Members of the Kalabari Community Police at the weekend paid a courtesy call on the leader of Kengema Unity Forum, Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich in his country home in Degema to update him on issues surrounding their activities in the region.
Members of the body, drawn from the different communities in Kalabari Kingdom namely Buguma, Abonnema, Bakana, Abalama, Soku and others, lamented the fact that they were not being recognized and as such were not getting the required support from Stakeholders who have hitherto politicized their activities.
They expressed sadness that instead of encouraging them, the politicians have relegated them to the background because they refused to do their bidding which negates the essence of their existence.
Responding, the Leader of the Kengema Unity Forum (KUF) Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich aka Egberipapa thanked them for their visit and encouraged them to be steadfast in the discharge of their selfless responsibilities to their communities.
Amb. Jackrich expressed dismay that the state government set up a neighborhood safety corps agency which according to them will be independent and apolitical, but obviously not.
According to Jackrich, “the most shocking aspect is that over 70% of youths from the Kalabari extraction that passed through the screening processes and names published where denied access to the camp even with their names written boldly on the Neibourhood site and on notice boards and some went as far as buying the necessary kits, their names where changed with names of those whose brothers are in government, those who did not even follow the screening process and wasn’t even dressed properly to be in the camp, but came with some stakeholders of the PDP from the Ikwere LGA’s and said it’s Order from above”.
He frowned at the action of not involving the Kalabari Community Police that had been on the ground and keeping the peace in the kingdom but instead “the government deployed the ONELGA Security and Peace Advisory Committee (OSPAC) to Degema to witchunt perceived enemies and opposition of the government.
“If the government do not have an ulterior motive, why then will they bring in people from a different ethnic group in the name of security instead of extending the same measure of support that has been accorded to OSPAC to the Kalabari Community Police to effectively carry out their duties as nobody can know better than the people from that community. This is exactly why the agitation of Community Policing and State Policing appears to me as the best option”
Amb. Jackrich while calling on all stakeholders of Kalabari irrespective of their political affiliation for support, further tasked members of the Kalabari Community Police to eschew violence and avoid getting involved in criminal and cult related activities capable of tarnishing the image of the body.