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Hundreds of extra policemen have been sent to southeastern Nigeria
following growing insecurity driven by criminality and violence from
the proliferation of armed groups.
Armed gangs have been on
the rampage across southeastern Nigeria, near the troubled Niger Delta,
killing several people and carrying out brazen raids on homes, currency
exchanges and banks during the past few months.
Young men armed
with grenade launchers, sophisticated rifles and machine guns have
acted with impunity, encountering little resistance from the security
forces. Public outrage has finally stirred the police into action with
the deployment of more policemen to the region.
regarded as a major center of commerce in the country, has seen more
robberies than any other state in the southeast. Emeka Chukwuemeka
speaks for the police in Anambra state.
"The police high command
has responded to the situation by deploying about 10 units of mobile
policemen to Anambra state," said Emeka Chukwuemeka who speaks for the
police in Anambra state. "There are more nipping points in place and
vehicular and foot patrol systems have been employed more and we are
doing whatever that is possible to contain them. And I can assure you
that sooner than later, crime in Anambra will be a thing of the past."
poverty and unemployment, robbery has become an option for an
increasing number of youths in Nigeria. And the fear of crime is
pervasive, more so in the southeast, at this time of year.
A victim, Isaih Egberike, tells VOA what his recent experience had been at the hands of a gang that raided his home.
said they were going to rape my wife, my daughter, and one of them now
said he was going to kidnap my little three-year-old girl," said
Egberike. "They had made away with 150, 000 (nigerian dollars)
[$1,000], my wrist watch, but at the end I was able to recover the
phone. He asked me to bring my brief case and I brought my brief
case. In the process of looking through my brief case, I dived for the
gun so that I overpowered him."
With the national economy still
stumbling, and the police lacking resources to fight serious crime such
as armed robberies, security analysts say the crime wave is expected to