The Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, has claimed that individuals carrying out kidnapping and killings in the South-East are Igbo.
Speaking in an interview with Channels TV’s Politics Today on Saturday, the governor said the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has distanced itself from the criminals who usually claim they are agitators.
While insisting that the criminals are so far “100 per cent Igbo”, the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor said that the perpetrators are not invaders.
According to Soludo, “They are plain criminals. Some of these criminals also hide under the cloak of agitation but IPOB has repeatedly distanced itself from the criminals.
“They are kidnappers and plain criminals and they indulge in these because it is lucrative. Anambra is without a doubt the richest state in the South-East so this is the state where kidnapping has the highest value and so you will have their highest concentration here.
“But we are decimating them. They are not unknown gunmen, they are unknown to the extent that maybe are not caught immediately. But I can tell you we’ve been catching quite a lot of them and they already know that Anambra is not safe for them anymore.
“Let me be clear about it, 100 per cent of the people we have caught are Igbo. There is no hoax that somebody is invading from somewhere. It is 100 per cent Igbo on Igbo.
“Anambra receives its proportional share of an influx of Igbo from other South-East states and other parts of Nigeria. At the initial stage when we stage and the first set of people we caught are Igbo from the South-East states and not from Anambra. But as we went on, we discovered that a whole lot of the youth are joining them and we have not disguised among them, we are dealing with them equally.”
Soludo stated that his government is already carrying out many operations to address the insecurity rocking the state, adding that residents of Anambra are enjoying peace.
He claimed that the 8.5 million residents in Anambra State can testify that insecurity has come down to the barest minimum, adding that in the last three months, cases of insecurity that seem to be daily affairs have come to a halt.
The governor said his administration in collaboration with security agents has been able to decimate criminal gangs and their infrastructures, stressing that the criminals don’t have the capacity again to come with the kind of ferocity they have in the past.
Soludo said: “Anambra has been relatively peaceful recently and we are pursuing a peaceful agenda. Compared to many other places in Nigeria, I will say if we have to have the statistics in the last three months, I think Anambra will compete favorably as one of the safest comparatively.
“We are not relenting. The operations are ongoing. Many communities are now at peace and having their new yam festival celebrations and these are things that weren’t possible in the past. Millions of events are also taking place simultaneously.”