By Udo Akam-Alo, ABAKALIKI
The Governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi, has announced his resolve to dissolve the neighborhood watch effective from June 1, 2020.
He also hinted that it will however be reconstituted with a mandate to man the borders properly to contain the spread of the contagious coronavirus (Covid-19).
Governor Umahi disclosed this on Sunday at the Exco Chambers, Old Government House, Abakaliki, noting that there are 50 borders to be manned by the potential watch group and other security agencies in the state.
“We need to announce to Ebonyians with effective from 1st of June, the neighborhood watch in Ebonyi state will stand dissolved. LG chairmen are to pay their salaries for May 2020 immediately, we will reconstitute the neighborhood watch and we will give the authority to the traditional rulers of the various communities in all the local government areas together with their village heads, Ezes-in-council and the town union presidents to come together and recommend the redeployment of 100 neighborhood watch and the salary per person is #30,000 per month.
“We have 50 borders we are going to use this neighborhood watch boys to man the boarders and we have reduce the blocking of the boarders from 6 to 4 because the six never worked and so the police will still have the first blocking, the Army will have the second and the other security agencies will have the third and then neighborhood watch alone will do the blocking of the fourth one.” Governor Umahi explained.
The Governor further expressed sadness over the border leakages and threatened to dissolve other government appointees if they continue in their reluctance in the maintenance of the borders to cushion the spread of the pandemic.
He, however, saddled all Technical and Senior Technical Assistants with the function of manning all inter-local government boundaries while the traditional rulers and town union Presidents are to concentrate on fishing out returnees in their various communities.
“We are not happy with the leakages at the borders. I don’t like a situation where deputy governor will be running into the bush to make sure people don’t cross when we have about hundreds and thousands of appointees.
“All the appointees’ jobs are on the line, if by Wednesday they do not participate actively to protect our people we will have no choice than to dissolve all of them and get people who will be committed to protect our people from the pandemic.
“We don’t have any other job in the Local government than to protect the lives of our people. All the inter local governments will be manned by all the TAs and STAs while traditional rulers and town union presidents will be combing their areas to get returnees to the holding down centers and it is a must they get them into the holding down centres because they must protect their people and families.” He said.
On the other hand, he commended the Local Government Chairmen for their doggedness in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state, hoping to receive guideline from INEC on how to conduct the local government election as the curtain will be drawn on the serving chairmen by May 29.
The Governor emphasised that all the incoming officials at the local government level are coming in for the purpose of solely fighting COVID-19 instead of other political activities.