Dr Kenneth Ugballa, Gov. David Umahi’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Internal Security, said this on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
According to Ugballah, the State Government is law abiding as has established the outfit to give useful information and generally complement security agencies’ duties and not to bear arms.
“The neighbourhood watch members should immediately hand over arrested culprits to relevant security agencies and inform them on issues that warrant use of arms.
“Any member who seeks arms for any reason would be investigated for not being genuine and be sacked if found culpable,” he warned.
The SSA said that the security blockade of major roads in the state by the groups’ members and relevant security outfits was to check the upsurge of crimes such as kidnapping and car snatching in the state.
“The governor directed that we block and conduct searches on vehicles plying major streets of the state to check individuals who come in and go out from the state.
“Criminals escape through the streets after committing crimes and we are conducting this operation to safeguard lives and property and not to inconvenience the people.
“We are approaching the festive periods and some misguided elements perpetrate various crimes to acquire what they have not gotten since the beginning of the year,” he said.
Ugballah noted that the security checks extended to daytime because criminals were operating any time they wanted.
“We don’t however block roads completely during the day and the searches are not intended to hinder peoples’ movements but to allow them to enjoy social amenities provided by the government in full security.
“Individuals who accuse the group’s members of various wrongdoings should lodge formal complaints with my office because we would not be distracted from performing our duties,” he said.
Some of the group’s members interviewed by reporters however complained that they lacked equipment such as arms to effectively discharge their duties.