Memorandum Sumitted to CTC Chairman Eleme Local Government Hon. Johnson O. Nwogu

Memorandum Submitted to CTC Chairman, Eleme Local Government, Hon. Johnson O. Nwogu By Ollorwi Osaro

Title: Addressing Insecurity in Eleme

Congratulations

Let me start by congratulating you on your well-deserved appointment as CTC Chairman Eleme Local Government.

Introduction

It is no gainsaying that you assumed the leadership of Eleme at a critical period when the security and social structures of the area had almost collapsed. But I am optimistic that God has given you all it takes to fix the situation. This piece aims to give a brief roadmap to guide you as the local government boss and the leadership in your effort to address insecurity in Eleme and reconcile all feuding groups and return peace and unity to Eleme.

Weak Leadership Fuels Insecurity

Chairman, delay is dangerous. So goes the saying. In other words, Obiε ebo obi be ͻmͻ oku eji. Severally, it has been speculated that that weak leadership fuels cultism in Eleme.

As you are aware, the weak political and traditional institutions is said to have given openings for the rampaging cult activities and associated crimes like kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and assassination in Eleme. The inability of recognized institutions to counter threats from these rival cult gangs when it was rearing its ugly head further their growth and influence. And the strength and influence of these armed gangs is fast growing that if nothing is done urgently to contain it, Eleme will soon be sacked, then the Federal Government of Nigeria will abandon force and open a peace dialogue after so many lives might have been lost and properties destroyed.

Chairman, irrespective of the life span of your government make it strong and effective. Be focused and address security and welfare the primary duty of government. Parallel government must not be tolerated in any part of Eleme. Opposition and constructive criticisms are allowed in a democracy, but definitely not parallel government.

Factors Influencing Cultism in Eleme

Each armed gang operating in Eleme appeared sponsored by both internal and external patrons bent on colonizing. The rival cult gangs seem motivated by a complex mix of economic, social, and political conditions. They grow in power as these conditions are exploited by a series of patrons seeking their own objective.

Growing from a small socio-politically motivated group with no distinct organization, they have created a network of terrorist cells in all the towns and villages of Eleme with an emerging organizational structure; and have become a major threat to Eleme.

The unique conditions of Eleme provide fertile ground for external enemies with their internal collaborators to provide the central foundation for armed gangsterism.

Ideological indoctrination, sweetened with tangible material benefits is a powerful force, particularly when the controlling apparatus are acceptable for personal gains and aggrandizements.

There is no smoke without fire. And for fire to occur there must be heat, fuel and air or oxygen. The government should be interested in knowing those who are heating up the area and fueling the cult crises in Eleme. Although it is speculated that those who arm and send this young ones to terrorize Eleme are mostly corrupt and criminal minded elites chilling in their air-conditioned mansions outside Eleme and ridding in their super cars. The need to uncover them is now ripe.

With funds and morale support provided by these elites comprising some politicians and traditional rulers who are sympathetic to these criminals coupled with huge returns from robbery operations and kidnap ransom, acquisition of sophisticated weapons, recruits, training, charm preparation and motivation becomes more elaborate and attractive.

Another worrisome dimension to the Ebubu rival cults crisis is the introduction of petrol bombs and dynamites on Saturday 14 November, 2015, which portends grave danger to the community if not checked before it escalates.

Fight Cultism from All Fronts

The war must be directed at both the cultists and their patrons. The elites, political and traditional sympathizers must be identified and made to reject and renounce violence and condemn the activities of these armed gangs in clear terms.

The strategy of using your own against you is as old as man. Therefore, the search for these patrons should extend to inhabitants of our neighbouring nationalities as well as our own who reside outside Eleme.

Until armed gangs no longer serves the ulterior motives of these crops of individuals, until the people of Eleme finally reject cultism and violence as primary means to solve their problems, cultism will likely continue to grow in power and influence.

Whether armed gangs are motivated by a desire for wealth, a desire for land, a desire for political power, a desire for followers, or a combination of all these, all armed group share a common link. They only grow beyond the level of criminal annoyance when they remain unchallenged and have support of existing authorities.

The people that tolerate the existence of armed gangs invariably do so not because they approve of them, but because they find them useful for furthering their own end. Even when they do approve of the basic motivations of the group in question, such as political or economic motives, when it ceases to serve their purpose, they will withdraw their support, and at worst, will verbally attack the group or destroy it completely, if possible.

Methods of Dealing with Armed Gangs

The dangerous aspect of armed gang is when through the support of the patrons it is able to consolidate its power and influence to the extent that it has the strength and resources to openly challenge both its patrons and other existing authorities. Once this threshold is crossed, it can no longer be treated as criminal annoyance. It must be dealt with through one of the following ways:

  1. Power politics, whereby the activities of the group is ignored and alienated to the detriment of the society.
  2. Open attack and complete destruction of the group.
  3. Acceptance of the group as a coequal and integrate them into the socio-political order.

The last option is not particularly desirable. But then, neither are the first two, which invariably prove costly in terms of blood, treasure, and political-economic capital. At some time, the piper must be paid. But when will he be paid, and what currency will be used?

Over the years, Eleme have adopted the first option. The leadership is perhaps waiting for Eleme to be sacked and law and order totally broken down before action is taken to restore normalcy. God forbid! The cases of Odi in Bayelsa State, Zaki Biam in Benue State, Ogbakiri, Omoku and Buguma in Rivers State are still very fresh in our memory. Mmi rε εdͻdͻ àkprikpa àtama àkprikpa.

Bring the Leadership Together

It is your responsibility to bring the leadership of Eleme together to address the problems of cultism and associated security challenges in Eleme. Abandoning Eleme in these perilous times is disservice to Eleme. Those blowing cool and hot, who are pumping more fuel than water into the heat up environment cannot be smarter than security if we are sincere in this fight. The people of Eleme must be determined to move Eleme from darkness to light, from crisis to peace.

Look Beyond the Youths

To effectively dismantle cultism and restore peace and normalcy to Eleme, I implore you to look beyond these young ones. Investigation of armed gangs in Eleme by security agencies must extend to include the youth leaders, elites, traditional rulers, politicians, and even mothers who in one way or the other instigate, support, encourage or sponsor cult activities.

Addressing Cultism in Eleme

While this is necessary, you are urged to:

  1. Without further delay, constitute viable youth bodies in all the clans, towns and villages with a central youth body for Eleme, thereby silencing all other groups parading themselves.
  2. In addition to having a viable and effective youth bodies across Eleme, under a single strong umbrella, the Chairman should establish Eleme Vigilante Committee (EVC) made up of at least five trustworthy youths drawn from each of the sixteen communities of Eleme.

Though the new Eleme police boss, SP Harrison O. Akpoguma, during his familiarization tour of communities in his area of responsibility (AOR) instructed the various communities to form vigilantes group and have offered to document, train and work with such group to ensure effective policing in Eleme many communities are reluctant to do so due to fear of the unknown; threats from the cultists; weak system/institutions; and corrupt leadership. The CTC Chairman is in a good position to establish and empower the Eleme Vigilante Committee with support from the various security agencies and local leadership.

  1. Where (for one reason or the other) 2 above is not feasible, in the interim, there is need for a contingent of mobile policemen sufficient in strength to check these armed gangs and enforce law and order to be deployed in Eleme until the cultists are disarmed completely and normalcy fully restored and the threat posed by these armed gangs are removed. The elites, traditional rulers, and politicians under your leadership working sincerely together can approach the appropriate authorities to deploy a mobile police contingent for an extended period of duty in Eleme. The former Health Centre in Ebubu can serve as quarters for such a mobile force in Eleme.
  2. Create and empower Eleme Amnesty Committee (EAC) comprising representatives of the various security agencies, government officials, youths, women and traditional rulers to provide necessary incentives, mop up illegal arms in Eleme and pardon repentant cultists who return their arms and publicly denounce cultism.
  3. Except the police, or the Armed Forces, or approved and authorized security agencies, all armed groups, parties or gangs, or individuals forming part of a group, however described should be banned from entering Eleme with any such arms (guns, knives, cudgels, etc)after the expiration of the given amnesty period.
  4. Equally no fire arms should be exhibited, paraded, displayed or demonstrated at any funeral, wedding, or any other type of ceremony in Eleme. The only exception to this rule should be the firing of ànáa ebibi (canon) authorized by the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme or the proper Ͻnε Ԑε Eta during funerals of entitled Chiefs. To make this effective and bidding, the CTC Chairman should ensure that violators are promptly arrested by the police and security agencies and dealt with according to law.
  5. The formation, existence, operation and activities of any cult group, by whatever name they may be known or referred to should be banned in Eleme. Accordingly, no such groups, bodies, parties or any components of them should be permitted to enter Eleme for meetings, displays, operations or any form of activities in or out of uniform or to be represented in any function or ceremony in any manner or form in Eleme.

To resume normal life within each community, former members of cult groups whether ordinary members, leaders, or patrons should forthwith openly surrender their weapons and renounce such membership before the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme-in-Council or the Ͻnε Ԑε Eta-in-Council. The presence of government officials and security agencies is necessary for all such ceremony.

Violators of the above should be arrested by the police and security agencies and promptly dealt with according to law.

  1. Chairman, Eleme is a civilized Christian society with several Churches dating back to nearly a century. Therefore, excepting the practice of recognized traditional worship or practice all other evil forms of voodoo, occultism, metaphysics, invoking of juju intended at causing inimical or debilitating consequence or any poisoning of individuals, groups, Eleme at large or any section therefore should be banned in clear terms.

Violators should be subjected to cleansing by their Church, or be subjected to recognized traditional cleansing and oath taking before Ogbo Nkpͻrͻ Eleme with Ete-Ͻpͻͻ and Nkpͻrͻ Eleme present and traditionally administered or any other form of openly recognized oath taking as the case may be.

Where such practice involve public nuisance or malfeasance, the police, the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme-in-Council or appropriate Ͻnε Ԑε Eta should promptly and appropriately deal with the person concerned. The taboo on shedding of blood of the son of the soil in Eleme land should be respected and enforced.

In the spirit of reconciliation and settlement, let all feuding groups within the communities of Eleme cease their open or secret feuding or confrontation forthwith and let all sons and daughters of Eleme make peace among themselves and pursue unity and reconciliation.

Towards this end, the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme-in-Council should make a royal proclamation to this effect and declare a return of peace and unity to Eleme. Where the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme is indisposed, the CTC Chairman can make an executive proclamation to this effect and is bidding on all.

Hon. J. O. Nwogu CTC Chairman, Eleme L. G. A.

Hon. J. O. Nwogu
CTC Chairman, Eleme L. G. A.

4th from left: CTC Chairman Eleme, Hon, J. O. Nwogu and Members of his Caretaker Committee shortly after swearing-in at the Council Secretariat

4th from left: CTC Chairman Eleme, Hon, J. O. Nwogu and Members of his Caretaker Committee shortly after swearing-in at the Council Secretariat

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INSECURITY IN ELEME: TASK BEFORE J. O.

Insecurity in Eleme: The Task before J. O.

The new Eleme Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairman, Hon. Johnson O. Nwogu assumed the leadership of Eleme at a critical period when the security and social structures of the area had almost collapsed. But all hopes are not lost because his pedigree proves that he has all it takes to fix the situation. This piece aims to give a brief roadmap to guide the local government boss and the leadership of Eleme in an effort to reconcile all feuding groups and return peace and unity to Eleme.

Delay is dangerous. So goes the saying. In other words, Obiε ebo obi be ͻmͻ oku eji. Severally, it has been speculated that that weak leadership fuels cultism in Eleme. The weak political and traditional institutions is said to have given openings for rampaging cult activities and associated crimes like kidnapping, armed robbery, rape and assassination in Eleme. The inability of recognized institutions to counter threats from these rival cult gangs further their growth and influence. And the strength and influence of these armed gangs is fast growing that if nothing is done urgently to contain it, Eleme will soon be sacked, then the Federal Government of Nigeria will abandon force and open a peace dialogue after so many lives might have been lost and properties destroyed.

Each armed gang operating in Eleme appeared sponsored by both internal and external patrons bent on colonizing. The rival cult gangs seem motivated by a complex mix of economic, social, and political conditions. They grow in power as these conditions are exploited by a series of patrons seeking their own objective.

Growing from a small politically motivated group with no distinct organization, they have created a network of terrorist cells in all towns and villages of Eleme with an emerging administrative structure; and have become a major threat to Eleme.

The unique conditions of Eleme provide fertile ground for external enemies with their internal collaborators to provide the central foundation for armed gangsterism.

Ideological indoctrination, sweetened with tangible material benefits is a powerful force, particularly when the controlling apparatus are acceptable for personal gains and aggrandizements.

There is no smoke without fire. For fire to occur there must be heat, fuel and air or oxygen. Who are those heating up the area and fueling the cult crises? It is speculated that those who arm and send this young ones to terrorize Eleme are mostly corrupt and criminal minded elites chilling in their air-conditioned mansions outside Eleme and ridding in their super cars.

With funds and morale support provided by these elites comprising some politicians and traditional rulers who are sympathetic to these criminals coupled with huge returns from robbery operations and kidnap ransom, acquisition of sophisticated weapons, recruits, training, charm preparation and motivation becomes more elaborate and attractive.

The war must be directed at both the cultists and their patrons. The elites, political and traditional sympathizers must be identified and made to reject and renounce violence and condemn the activities of these armed gangs in clear terms.

Until armed gangs no longer serves the ulterior motives of these crops of individuals, until the people of Eleme finally reject cultism and violence as primary means to solve their problems, cultism will likely continue to grow in power and influence.

Whether armed gangs are motivated by a desire for wealth, a desire for land, a desire for political power, a desire for followers, or a combination of all these, all armed group share a common link. They only grow beyond the level of criminal annoyance when they remain unchallenged and have support of existing authorities.

The people that tolerate the existence of armed gangs invariably do so not because they approve of them, but because they find them useful for furthering their own end. Even when they do approve of the basic motivations of the group in question, such as political or economic motives, when it ceases to serve their purpose, they will withdraw their support, and at worst, will verbally attack the group or destroy it completely, if possible.

The dangerous aspect of armed gang is when through the support of the patrons it is able to consolidate its power and influence to the extent that it has the strength and resources to openly challenge both its patrons and other existing authorities. Once this threshold is crossed, it can no longer be treated as criminal annoyance. It must be dealt with through one of the following ways:

  1. Power politics, whereby the activities of the group is ignored and alienated to the detriment of the society.
  2. Open attack and complete destruction of the group.
  3. Acceptance of the group as a coequal and integrate them into the socio-political order.

The last option is not particularly desirable. But then, neither are the first two, which invariably prove costly in terms of blood, treasure, and political-economic capital. At some time, the piper must be paid. But when will he be paid, and what currency will be used?

Over the years, Eleme have adopted the first option. The leadership is perhaps waiting for Eleme to be sacked and law and order totally broken down before action is taken to restore normalcy. The cases of Odi in Bayelsa State, Zaki Biam in Benue State, Ogbakiri, Omoku and Buguma in Rivers State are still very fresh in our memory. Mmi rε εdͻdͻ àkprikpa àtama àkprikpa.

The leadership of Eleme must come together to address the problems of cultism and associated security challenges in Eleme. Abandoning Eleme in these perilous times is disservice to Eleme. Blowing cool and hot pumps more fuel than water into the heat up environment. The people of Eleme must be determined to move Eleme from darkness to light, from crisis to peace.

To effectively dismantle cultism and restore peace and normalcy to Eleme the new Eleme LGA boss must look beyond these young ones. Investigation of armed gangs in Eleme by security agencies must extend to include the youth leaders, elites, traditional rulers, and politicians who in one way or the other instigate, support, encourage or sponsor cult activities.

While this is necessary, an amnesty committee comprising security agencies, government officials, youths and traditional rulers should be setup to provide necessary incentives, mop up illegal arms in Eleme and pardon repentant cultists who return their arms and denounce cultism.

In the interim, there is need for a contingent of mobile policemen sufficient in strength to check these armed gangs and enforce law and order to be deployed in Eleme until the cultists are disarmed completely and normalcy fully restored and the threat posed by these armed gangs are removed.

The elites, traditional rulers, and politicians working sincerely together can approach the appropriate authorities to deploy a mobile police contingent for an extended period of duty in Eleme. The Old Health Centre in Ebubu can serve as quarters for such a mobile force in Eleme.

Secondly, except the police, or the Armed Forces, or approved and authorized security agencies, all armed groups, parties or gangs, or individuals forming part of a group, however described should be banned from entering Eleme with any such arms (guns, knives, cudgels, etc)after the expiration of the given amnesty period.

Equally no fire arms should be exhibited, paraded, displayed or demonstrated at any funeral, wedding, or any other type of ceremony in Eleme. The only exception to this rule should be the firing of ànáa ebibi (canon) authorized by the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme or the proper Ͻnε Ԑε Eta during funerals of entitled Chiefs.

To make the above effective and bidding, the CTC Chairman should ensure that violators are promptly arrested by the police and security agencies and dealt with according to law.

Thirdly, the formation, existence, operation and activities of any cult group, by whatever name they may be known or referred to should be banned in Eleme.

Accordingly, no such groups, bodies, parties or any components of them should be permitted to enter Eleme for meetings, displays, operations or any form of activities in or out of uniform or to be represented in any function or ceremony in any manner or form in Eleme.

To resume normal life within each community, former members of cult groups whether ordinary members, leaders, or patrons should forthwith openly surrender their weapons and renounce such membership before the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme-in-Council or the Ͻnε Ԑε Eta-in-Council. The presence of government officials and security agencies is necessary for all such ceremony.

Violators of the above should be arrested by the police and security agencies and promptly dealt with according to law.

Fourthly, Eleme is a civilized Christian society with several Churches dating back to nearly a century. Therefore, excepting the practice of recognized traditional worship or practice all other evil forms of voodoo, occultism, metaphysics, invoking of juju intended at causing inimical or debilitating consequence or any poisoning of individuals, groups, Eleme at large or any section therefore should be banned in clear terms.

Violators should be subjected to cleansing by their Church, or be subjected to recognized traditional cleansing and oath taking before Nkpͻrͻ Eleme or any other form of openly recognized oath taking as the case may be.

Where such practice involve public nuisance or malfeasance, the police, the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme-in-Council or appropriate Ͻnε Ԑε Eta should promptly and appropriately deal with the person concerned. The taboo on shedding of blood of the son of the soil in Eleme land should be respected and enforced.

In the spirit of reconciliation and settlement, let all feuding groups within the communities of Eleme cease their open or secret feuding or confrontation forthwith and let all sons and daughters of Eleme make peace among themselves and pursue unity and reconciliation.

Towards this end, the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme-in-Council should make a royal proclamation to this effect and declare a return of peace and unity to Eleme. Where the Ͻnε Ԑε Eleme is indisposed, the CTC Chairman can make an executive proclamation to this effect and is bidding on all.ollorwi.images.ctc.si2ollorwi.images.ctc.si3

NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE WARN AGAINST CONSUMPTION OF DISPOSED BIRDS

Nigerian Customs Service Warn Against Consumption of Disposed Birds

The Nigerian Customs Service, Onne Ports Command has warned the public against the consumption of the disposed frozen chicken at a dumpsite along the Eleme section of the East – West Road, in Ejamah Ebubu, saying the birds are not good for consumption.

Recently a large population of people were seen excavating frozen chickens from the dump site where the Nigerian Customs officers disposed ten containers of imported frozen chickens and turkeys.

Eye witnesses at the scene expressed fear that the excavated contaminated birds may end up in the market as frozen foods and will be sold to the unsuspecting members of the public.

Speaking to the media in her office the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service, Onne Command, Eunice Nwaja said that the 14ft Container loads of chickens were destroyed with the assistance of the National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) because it was found that the preservatives used for the chicken were the same used in embalming corpse.

According to Nwaja, “It is contaminated contraband good; therefore, not good for human consumption”.

She maintained that, “We have been advising the general public that the birds are not good, and that the chemicals used for corpses were used for the preservation processes, making the birds unfit for human consumption”.

Nwaja observed that consumption of contaminated birds could be advanced as one of the reasons there is high rate of cancer in the country.

The Customs spokesperson warned that the service has mobilized security officers to protect the dumpsite; stressing that the Customs Command will arrest and prosecute anyone who tries to excavate the poisonous frozen chickens from the dumpsite.

“We have been telling them that this thing is not good for human consumption but they will not understand”, she lamented.

“The truth is that we have taken the birds to the laboratory and we found out that it is not fit for human consumption,” she revealed.

“If we catch anybody there, we will punish the person so that others will take precaution,” she threatened.

Residents in Ebubu and Onne said that the birds were not properly disposed, and that the Customs Service erred by dumping contaminated birds without seeking permission and advice of the landlords and local residents. They queried why Customs should dump such dangerous contrabands in someone’s land without his consent and at a place, and in a manner that is easily accessible to the general public in the face of biting poverty, crushing joblessness and acute frustration? They are wondering what will happen to under-ground waters in years to come as result of the dump. The landlords in collaboration with Eleme Researhttp://www.ollorwi.com.ngch Foundation (a nongovernmental organization) are already contemplating legal action to force Customs to clean up the polluted environment now and protect their land and underground waters from further pollution arising from the dumped birds.

Our investigation revealed that it is the same chemical known as formalin (formaldehyde) used for fixatives, (i.e. embalming dead bodies), which was recently used to brew the killer kaikai that was used to preserve those birds.

In the meantime, Press Secretary in the Rivers State Ministry of Health, Mr. Paul Bassey said efforts are being intensified to mop up the frozen chickens that were imported by fraudulent businessmen from circulations.

Mr. Bassey warned the general public from buying birds at low rates from the markets.

ollorwi.image15 ollorwi.image13 ollorwi.image10

POLICE DECLARE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CRIME IN ELEME

Police Declare Zero Tolerance for Crime in Eleme
The new police boss in charge of Eleme Divisional Police Headquarters SP Harrison Akpoguma has declared zero tolerance for those instigating insecurity and other societal ills in Ebubu.
The DPO made this known during his familiarization visit to Egbalor Ebubu on Wednesday, 4th November, 2015.
He called on the people to partner with him in achieving this goal, promising to promote synergy with the citizens and residents for the development of Ebubu in particular and Eleme in general.
According to Akpoguma, his office will partner with all stakeholders in providing security to Ebubu inhabitants by seeking the cooperation of all the stakeholders through provision of relevant and timely information.
The police boss is however not new to the security challenges in Eleme as he disclosed he faced similar situation in Port Harcourt and prevailed.
He therefore assured the citizens of Eleme of his resolve to stamp out criminals and social vices, and appeal to the public to provide the police with useful tips about hideouts of bandits and criminal elements.
He however emphasized on community policing as a duty call to all inhabitants of Ebubu, which he said the “citizens are major players”.
In achieving this aim, he emphasized the importance of citizens to always supply the police with valuable information on crime and criminals before they strike so as to enable the “police to check crimes in the bud. By so doing we will together prevent crimes by deterring criminals, thereby ensuring a safe and peaceful society”.
Earlier, the Secretary of Egbalor Council of Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders, High Chief Julius Okereke thanked the DPO for the visit, especially for his efforts towards the maintenance of peace and protection of lives and properties within the short period of assumption of office in Eleme.
Okereke, while commending the police for their “rapid response to our distress calls”, called on the police boss to facilitate the provision of a police post in Egbalor.
He decried a situation where known criminal suspects are arrested and released almost immediately, allowing them to boastfully regrouped and visit more mayhem on the entire community.
Chief Okereke emphasized on the need for the police to protect both the informants and information given to them; and to ensure diligent prosecution of criminal suspects.
The visit which is the first by a DPO in Eleme in recent times was well attended by a cross section of Traditional Rulers, Chiefs, Elders, Opinion Leaders, Women and Youths of the community.