Tension in Anambra Community Over Missing 19 Rifles

When the community's security apparatus was transferred to a recently hired security outfit, the firearms vanished.

The disappearance of about 19 pump-action guns that were allegedly donated to the local vigilante security squad in the Awada village in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State has raised concerns.

According to reports by Punch, the guns went missing during the handover of the community’s security equipment to a newly appointed security outfit.

On Sunday, there was a small disturbance at the community town hall as leaders, including the recently elected President-General Patrick Oyeduba and executive members, found that only eight of the 27 pump-action guns that were donated to the departing local vigilante had been returned, leaving the other nineteen missing. An Ogidi police squad commanded by Inspector Hyginus Giwonke oversaw the transfer of security items, including the trucks, motorcycles, pump-action rifles, and other security gadgets.

In April, the community elected new executive members for the landlord association, with Oyeduba becoming the new President-General of the Awada Landlord Association.

Speaking to journalists after the handover, Oyeduba explained that the leadership change necessitated a comprehensive overhaul of the area’s security structure to enhance safety.

He said, “Today, our community is changing its security architecture and personnel. A new security outfit under the Nigeria Police Community Policing led by Commander Jude Akachukwu has taken over today.

This development became necessary because we want to fortify the security in the area by bringing in new personnel who will be loyal to the new leadership of the community.

“In the past, we had lots of security concerns even though we had the local vigilante security team in place. In the last dispensation, the community witnessed many reported cases of stealing, kidnapping, burglary, armed robberies and attacks carried out by hoodlums around the community. This shows that the security on the ground then was not active and it became necessary for us as the new leadership to make the required change.

Oyeduba, while lamenting over the missing guns, said an official report would be made about the worrisome development.

The 19 pump-action weapons that vanished in the Anambra State hamlet of Awada serve as a sobering reminder of the difficulties and complications associated with community-based security projects. Even while vigilante organizations are essential to preserving neighborhood safety, this incident shows how monitoring, accountability, and coordination need to be strengthened in order to stop similar incidents from happening in the future.

Initiatives are desperately needed to address the vulnerabilities this incident has exposed, even while the community waits for the investigation’s conclusion. Enhancing community safety and well-being throughout Nigeria can be achieved through fortifying community security frameworks and encouraging increased cooperation between local and official security services. Against the backdrop of changing security threats, the Awada community’s experience offers important lessons for the continuous endeavor to create safe and resilient communities.

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