The Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, on Wednesday, claimed that his state, as at now ranks among the top five most secure states in Nigeria.
The governor, who made the claim after a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, however raised the alarm on the effect of gully erosion and other ecological threats facing the state.
Soludo, who said Anambra State is the headquarters of erosion in the country, said about 30 to 40 percent of the state landmass is threatened. He also declared that the issue of erosion is way beyond the reach of the state government to handle, calling on the Federal Government and other development partners to come to the aid of the state.
He said: “The environment is our number one existential threat, other than security, and Anambra is the erosion capital of Nigeria.
“Perhaps, you might know that about 30% to 40% of our land is under threat of erosion, there’s no other state like Anambra when it comes to erosion. Even last week somewhere between Ezinhifite/Osumenyin Road was cut off again and several huge gullies everywhere; Obosi, Oko, Nanka, Aguolo, everywhere, there’s erosion menace.
“As I said, while our landmass is shrinking massively due to erosion and so on, it’s far beyond the capacity of a state government to deal with. Even if you were to sink the entire budget of the state for the next ten years into dealing with the gully erosion in the state, it will still be like a drop in the ocean.”
Speaking further, Soludo said: “It is a state of emergency, with regards to erosion. And of course, we’re also promoting this concept of responsible citizenship on the part of our people, to be able to take some responsible steps.
“We are providing some regulations; people controlling the runoff water from their homes, they don’t just pipe them and get them off on the streets. Of course, they must go somewhere, contain it within your place. Building controls; will designate drain versus buildable areas, and so on and so forth.
“Then, of course, trying to tackle these things with early warning signals, and we’ll begin to tackle them. Clean up our drainages and make sure we channel runoff waters down to rivers and so on and so forth and not let them percolate on the road or try to go to unwanted places and so on and so forth,” he said.
On the security, while arguing that Anambra ranks among the five to ten most secure states in the country, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said most of the criminal rings in the state had been degraded with kidnappers’ camps and other organised criminal gangs uprooted.
“You’ll have the information that Anambra is quiet. It’s enjoying relative peace, and I will bet you that it’s probably, if you rank the 36 states, in terms of security of life and property, Anambra will rank in the top five, the top 10, or there about. From when we came, it’s a sea change, it’s like the difference between day and night.
“On a daily basis, there used to be kidnappings, killings. and so on. There were more than 15 camps all over in the southern senatorial zone, plus Ogbaru and I think they have been uprooted from those places. Anambra is relatively peaceful.
“About a week or so ago, a senator’s convoy was attacked, we’re trying to get to the bottom of it. We are now at a position where we’re able to get to the bottom of much of those kinds of organised criminality, but in terms of the kind of force that they have, I think that has been largely degraded. About 8.5 or 9 million people go about their peaceful businesses every day in the state,” he said.