- Suspected criminals run amok in Anambra community, kidnap, kill rob innocent citizens
- Aguleri community vigilante, police arrest suspects
- PG, Aguleri narrates how community wrestled the criminal elements, advises youths against social vices
For some months now, Aguleri community has been embroiled in insecurity ranging from kidnappings, killings and armed robbery.
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter caught up with the President General, PG of the community, Ifeanyi Iloakasia, Esq and had an Exclusive interview with him where he explained how the insecurity was curbed.
Your community has been embroiled in kidnapping, killing and other violent crimes. Tell us what brought about all these criminalities in Aguleri community lately?
Some persons claimed to be members of Eastern Security Network, ESN who camped at Umuenwelum Anam and Mmiata Anam.
We understand that these men have been occupying the said 2 camps since last year. Recently, the said guys started kidnapping our people at Aguleri junction. They will kidnap our people and take them to their camp at Umuenwelum Anam.
For how long has this been happening?
It has been happening since December, 2022.
Are these suspects your indigenes?
No. They are not from Aguleri community.
But from where?
We are yet to determine.
How did you know that they are ESN members? Did they confess?
Because they told the people who live in that community that they are members of ESN and that they were fighting against the Fulani people.
How true is it that these hoodlums are ESN/IPOB members?
Personally, I do not believe them to be ESN or members of IPOB. The aforementioned groups are not known for criminality. These people kidnapping our people are criminals.
In your own opinion, what gave rise to such criminal acts in Aguleri? Is it unemployment or what?
There are a lot of factors, unemployment, drug abuse, peer pressure and many others.
Since the ugly incident lasted, how have you the PG and of course the entire community being feeling?
We were scared initially, our people were living in fear until some of the criminals were arrested.
PG, can you tell us the extent of damage these criminals have caused in your community before their eventual arrest?
People were kidnapped, cars were snatched and our vigilante guy was killed and his gun taken from him.
Tell us, did you at any point in time regret being a PG in such troubled community?
No, not at all. It was a challenge that comes with leadership. As a leader, you solve problems and not run away from such responsibility.
Has Aguleri community witnessed such unprecedented level of insecurity before now?
No. Not in our history.
How were these alleged kidnappers arrested?
By a combination of Aguleri vigilante and that of Anam vigilante. Remember security issues are not always being discussed in the open.
PG did it worry you that these suspects were able to ply their illegal trade for long without being arrested by your community?
Their camp was raided by the joint vigilante operation with the assistance of the police at Otuocha. They were not disturbing our people until sometime in the month of July.
Is this not a sort of security slap on your face that you were not able to know that such criminal elements were in your community unnoticed?
They were not in Aguleri. The kidnapping was a recent occurrence. They don’t live in Aguleri. They visit the community intermittently.
How prepared is your community to sustain the current peaceful atmosphere in Aguleri?
We are ever ready to forestall any form of insecurity in Aguleri. We can’t leave our community to be run over by criminal elements.
What is your advice to the youths in Anambra state in general?
Our youths should remember that they are the leaders of tomorrow. They should desist from any form of criminality and focus on the development of their respective communities for the good Anambra state. Again, we should also be security conscious in our respective communities. If you see something, say something.