Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has solicited for the support of the Nigerian Police Force in curbing street cultism in the state.
Ikpeazu made the call on Tuesday when the Commissioner of Police in Abia, Chris Ezike, paid him a visit in Umuahia.
The governor described street cultism as a breeding ground for criminals.
He said that the spate of street cultism in the state had become worrisome and required swift actions by security agencies.
He expressed the commitment of Abia government to eradicate street cultism and ensure that the people of Abia were safe.
He said that street cultists constituted nuisance in the society and added that they were potential armed robbers and perpetrators of various vices.
He said: “The idea of policing in Nigeria is in tandem with what we want in Abia. It is better to be proactive than reactive in policing the state.
“I urge the police to boost community policing to be able to stop the perpetrators of crimes before they strike.
“We must lay emphasis on nipping street cultism in the bud and the police must not take it lightly.”
He reiterated the commitment of the state government in providing logistics that would support the operations of the police in maintaining peace and security.
Earlier, the police commissioner said that the command was interested in collaborating with the state government to maintain peace and security.
He said: “We are putting together materials that would help us set an agenda which will help businesses in the state to thrive.
“We want to gain the trust of the public and our policy thrust is going to emphasise strategic policing by distancing ourselves from traditional reactive policing and adopting proactive measures.
“I intend to establish the commissioner of police monitoring unit which will have the responsibility of setting up a mechanism to promote strategic policing in the state.”
Ezike gave the assurance that the command would address issues of wrongful arrest, extortion and other unlawful activities of police officers, in a bid to restore people’s confidence in the force.