Amby Uneze in Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has cautioned Nigerians against placing criminals and their activities on tribal sentiments but should rather treat all forms of criminal acts and their culprits as such not minding where they come from.
He noted that crime is an offence against the nation while a criminal should be seen as a common enemy of the people.
Okorocha said this at the official launch of the Imo Peace Advocate Corps, remarking that Boko Haram elements, herdsmen who kill or members of other groups who engage in heinous crimes should be treated as criminals and their activities should not be viewed from the angle of where they come from, since a criminal is a criminal.
According to the governor, “a lot of criminal activities are going on in our nation and time has come for us to treat criminals as criminals despite where they come from. An armed robber is an armed robber first and foremost. Where he comes from is secondary.”
He continued, “our nation is going through a very turbulent period and it takes only lovers of peace to ensure peaceful co-existence in our nation. Our mission as responsible indigenes of Nigeria is to ensure peace and pursue peace. I therefore charge the Peace Advocates to be diligent and work with sincerity of purpose.”
In his speech, the Executive Secretary, Human Rights Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe commended the governor for championing peace across the nation, especially with free education through Rochas Foundation and said, such action calls for emulation.
Prof. Angwe noted that for the governor to ensure peace in his state and also be promoting peace across the nation portrays him as an architect of social engineering, promising that the Human Rights Commission would collaborate with the Peace Advocate Corps to ensure success.
The Director-General for Peace and Conflict Resolution, (Foreign Affairs), Prof. Oshita O. Oshita commended the Imo Governor for equipping the Imp Peace Advocate Corps to become the most effective in the nation, and assured that they would offer training to the members.
In his welcome address, the commandant, Imo Peace Advocate Corps, Engr. Peter Ohagwa said the corps under his command has resolved major crises in communities in the state and has also ensured peaceful co-existence between Imo indigenes and non-indigenes living in their midst.