PRESS RELEASE
Insecurity: CSO Endorses State Police, Urges Akwa Ibom Governor to Tackle Hunger and Unemployment

A civil society organisation, Center for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN), has thrown its weight behind the establishment of State Police in Nigeria.

The group stated this in a press briefing by its Director, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Tuesday, 23 April, 2024.

The rights group said that the current security architecture in Nigeria appears overwhelmed by the myriad of security challenges facing the country.

“To ensure effective policing of the country, there is need to establish State Police to collaborate with and complement the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies in tackling crimes across the Nigerian State”, the rights group said.

The CHRAN advocated that the legal framework for the establishment of State Police should insulate the body from partisan political activities and focus on issues of crime prevention, neighbourhood safety and intelligence gathering. The Center preferred that the enabling law should be an Act of the National Assembly.

“The law should set limitations to exclude State Police from all kinds of political activities, elections, rallies, and things relating to politics, confining the State Police to crime prevention, neighbourhood safety and intelligence gathering”, the Center maintained.

On food scarcity in Akwa Ibom, the CHRAN bemoaned worsening food scarcity and spiraling food prices in the State, saying that despite the galore of promises by the State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, prices of food commodities are on a steady increase in the State on a daily basis, thereby visiting untold hardship on the people.

The CHRAN further expressed worry that despite Akwa Ibom being touted an agrarian State garri, a staple food in most homes, is now two (2) cups for five hundred naira (N500.00).

“A cup of Nigerian rice is six hundred naira (N600.00) while a bag of same is seventy-two thousand naira (N72,000). A custard pail measure of Nigerian rice is six thousand, five hundred naira (N6,500); a custard pail measure of iron beans is five thousand, five hundred naira (N5,500) and a cup of same is four hundred and fifty naira (N450), these prices are as at today, Tuesday, 23 April, 2024”, the CHRAN continued.

The CHRAN urged the Government of Akwa Ibom State to take urgent steps to mitigate hunger and hardship being faced by the citizens of the State amidst increased monthly federal allocations accruing to the State.

On petroleum scarcity in Akwa Ibom, the CHRAN described it as “artificial and economic sabotage carried out by petroleum marketers to further inflict pains and sufferings on the people of Akwa Ibom State.”

The CHRAN called on the State Governor to set up a special taskforce on petroleum monitoring that will comprise of government officials, security agencies, the press and civil society organisations (CSOs) with specific mandate to ensure availability of petroleum products.

On high unemployment in Akwa Ibom, the CHRAN called on the State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed in the State.

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