Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The 36 clans and five villages of Ifitedunu community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra state have decided to set themselves free from the captivity of cult groups, bandits as well as other criminal elements lurking in the community to unleash terror and mayhem on the people. The community characterised by its volatile nature due to the inhuman activities of outlaws in the area, has been under the control of miscreants. This situation however prompted the community to enlist 10 persons each from the five villages to help gather intelligence from drinking spots and other rendezvous where disgruntled elements meet to hatch plans for their operations in the community.
The traditional ruler of Ifitedunu, Igwe Emeka Ilouno, (Eze Dunu Ifitedunu) who spoke to the reporter on the menace of cult groups and other forms of criminality in the area, said it became pertinent that they recruited people and paid them some stipends to nose around for information that would aid the State Security Service (SSS), the Police and other security agencies to nip the activities of criminal elements in the bud. He stressed that from undercurrents, it appeared that a lot of students in secondary schools were being lured into cultism; alleging that they were being sponsored by money-bags in the area to perpetually hold the community hostage.
Igwe Ilouno maintained that the type of exotic drinks they consumed as well as the ostentatious lifestyle the youngsters led portrayed the fact that they were being misled and influenced into cultism, killing, maiming and armed-banditry by some influential individuals in Ifitedunu town. According to the traditional ruler, the community becomes vulnerable and helpless from 8 pm when the police in the area must have vacated their duty posts. This leaves the entire community at the mercy of hoodlums who capitalise on the loophole to rape, rob and in some cases kill their victims upon resistance. The monarch took cognisance of the fact that in spite of threats of security lapses in the community, the people of Ifitedunu town were on top of the situation working hand in hand with anti-cult and other security agencies to ensure as well as entrench a tranquil atmosphere where inhabitants would sleep with their two eyes closed devoid of incessant night and daylight terror from the men of the underworld.
Be that as it may, Igwe Ilouno noted that the five villages of Ifitedunu were known for being their brothers’ keeper. This according to him is evident in the fact that they have been empowering youths in the area through computer trainings and other entrepreneurial cum vocational skills to enable them to become self-reliant and self-dependent. The traditional ruler equally mentioned that widows and other vulnerable individuals in the community get grants and empowerment kits too to better their living status while farmers on the other hand receive farm implements free of charge every planting season to encourage them as well as boost production.
In the realm of government presence in Ifitedunu, Igwe Ilouno noted that the community had enjoyed government presence a great deal especially as it concerned road construction, construction of class room blocks, refurbishment of hospitals, to mention just a few, pointing out that the federal and state governments had been very magnanimous to Ifitedunu community in the siting of developmental cum people-oriented projects there-in.