By Justice Amadi
September 2 (Newshour.com.ng) – Reverend Vincent Durugbo, a native of Ojukwu village, Ugbele-Umuakah in Njaba LGA of Imo state, has said that the efforts of the police in combating crimes both in Imo state and Nigeria at large, are not enough to nip criminality in the bud.
Durugbo who is the General Overseer of a Community Church in Bayelsa state, said crimes and criminal activities could be reduced to the bearest minimum if some operatives of the police can eschew parochial interest in cases before them and handle them in accordance with the dictates of the law.
The cleric who recently spoke to newsmen in Owerri, the Imo state capital, regretted that so many innocent people have fallen victim of the police listen-to-the-highest-bidder practices including himself (Durugbo) whom, he said, had severally been manhandled by the police.
He described Umuakah community as the hub of criminal activities, regretting that the several security agencies in the community including the police have done little or nothing to reduce crimes in Umuakah.
Narrating his several encounters with the police, he said, “I have severally complained about Umuakah police not doing their job excellently well. If they are doing well in combating crimes, our community would not be the den of kidnappers, armed robbers, criminals and what have you. Yet we have a Divisional Police Headquarters situated in the community.
“I have personally reported several cases to Umuakah Divisional Police Headquarters, cases of urgent importance which ought to be given due and immediate attention but the police would always tell me one story or the other, probably because I am against inducing them with bribe.
“There are some known criminals in my community who are walking freely in Umuakah and when you report their cases to the police, they will show no interest in it. These boys have done so many atrocious things in my community but are still having field day without the police arresting them.
“In Umuakah today, no one is saved. Last week, when I was burying my brother, thugs came from nowhere and distorted the burial and threatened to kill me. Last December, I was robbed at Umuakah junction and lost so many of my valuables including millions of naira to my attackers.
“About three months ago or so, four kids were taken away by suspected child traffickers in Amako Njaba and till today, the kids are still missing. So many wrong things going on in my community that have not received any attention.
“I have been attacked several times but it was God that has been saving my life. My grouse is that the police is no longer friendly with the civilians who still believe they can sort a situation through them (police). I have written to the CP on a number of times but none was given attention.”
The cleric who turned out to be an ex-Nigeria soldier further advocated for a more robust police-civilian relationship where the common man can also get justice without having to spend through their noses.
He called on the state Commissioner of Police and the government of Imo state to beef up security in Umuakah and other neighboring communities in order to curtail the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery, child-trafficking and other heinous activities.