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Establish military formation in A’Ibom, Reps urge army

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Establish military formation in AIbom Reps urge army

The House of Representatives has instructed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, to establish a military formation in Oron Local  Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. This directive aims to address the rampant cases of kidnapping and killings in the area, which have been exacerbated by the porosity of national borders. The mandate came following a motion presented by Hon Martins Esin, the representative of Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency, highlighting the crucial need to bolster security in the Oron Local Government Area and its surroundings.

According to a statement by the lawmaker’s press directorate in Uyo, Akwa  Ibom State, the Chairman House Committee on Youth Development emphasized that the vulnerability of the national border has made border communities in Akwa Ibom State susceptible to frequent attacks by criminals and sea pirates, resulting in fatalities and abductions of citizens. The scarcity of armed security agencies, inadequate equipment, and low morale among law enforcement agents in Oron and its environs have perpetuated various criminal activities, including kidnappings, sea piracy, armed robbery, and indiscriminate killings, leading to economic hardship in the region.

Esin also highlighted a specific incident to support his plea, citing the abduction of a High Court judge in Akwa Ibom State, Joy Unwana, along with the murder of her driver on the Uyo-Okobo Road after a court session on December 18, 2023. The motion garnered unanimous support from the members present at the session and urged the Inspector General of Police and the National Security Adviser to promptly deploy security personnel to Oron/Mbo/Okobo/Udung Uko/Urueoffong Oruko Federal Constituency, by increasing surveillance and manpower. The House also mandated its committees on army and police affairs to oversee compliance with this directive.

In a separate development, on Thursday, the army successfully apprehended a suspected female kidnapper in Taraba while she was attempting to collect ransom for an abducted victim. The suspect, Janet Igohia, was arrested after picking up N 1.5m. The troops acted on information received on January 25, 2024, regarding the activities of extremist groups and insurgents in Chanchanji and Sai communities, who were planning to move to a drop zone for ransom money collection from the relatives of the abducted victims.

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