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Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has blamed unemployment for the reason behind crimes and criminality in the South East, while urging Igbo's and the people of old Eastern region of Nigeria to see as a priority the need to invest and create jobs in the region , in an effort to curb the menace and other insecurity challenges confronting the region.
Governor Ikpeazu made the appeal at a one-day South East/Delta State's security conference organised in Awka, the Anambra State capital by Governor Willie Obiano.
This comes less than a week after he appealed to Igbo industrialists and investors in Lagos to come home to Igboland and invest for the economic development of the South-East Region.
Dr Ikpeazu, who said that government alone can’t provide the needed employment opportunities to curb insecurity in the region, also urged for collaborative efforts of state governments in the region in the fight against insecurity.
Speaking at the conference which is expected to find a lasting solution to the security challenge facing the South-East and Delta, the Abia State Governor said; “I am convinced that crime and criminality is the great threat to our prosperity and progress as a people.
“Crime has really touched and affected our values. We are a hardworking people, but crimes have been imported into our lexicon, lifestyles that have derailed us and it is fast destroying our values. Not until we come together to fight crime, our hopes and aspirations as the people of old eastern region will remain a mirage.
“We must rise up to protect the value which we are known for, which is hard-work. We must do everything we can to hold down crime and criminals in our areas.
“I want to conclude by saying that I want to call on Ndigbo, like I did in Lagos during the week, to look back home and join in our current fight against crimes and criminality in our region. We expect our people to join in this fight by investing in the region, and help in finding solution to the problem of unemployment that has created rooms for all kinds of crimes and criminality in our region.”Ikpeazu noted.
The theme of the conference is;'Security, Bedrock of Governance', and had in attendance, Governors of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Delta State and Enugu State Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, while the Ebonyi State governor was represented by the State’s Secretary to the State Government.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase and the Director General of Department of State Security (DSS) Lawal Musa Daura, also delivered papers on security.
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