In its effort to curb insecurity in local communities,the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has proposed the establishment of a Neighborhood Safety Corps Agency to ensure the safety of lives and properties in rural communities.
The bill was presented during plenary on Thursday.
Known as Akwa Ibom State Neighborhood Safety Corps Bill, 2019, the bill which is sponsored by the member representing Uyo State Constituency, Hon. Anietie Eka with 14 other members in support,has passed through a second reading.
In his submission, the lead sponsor of the bill, said the Agency, when established will complement the efforts of State Police command and help bridge the security gap the police and residents of local communities within the State.
He further added that the initiative would provide employment opportunities for youths at the grassroots.
In her contribution, the member representing Ukanafun State constituency ,Charity Ido acknowledged that the local people are more conversant with the terrain of their communities than Police Officers.
She added that if community people were involved in the security of their properties, more will be achieved as the people will have that sense of responsibility.
Member of Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency, Usoro Akpanusoh described the bill as the timely.
David Lawrence of Eket State Constituency said with the establishment of the Agency, the duties of community vigilante will be complemented as it would mostly take effect at night.
Also,the member representing Etinan State Constituency, Aniefiok Denis said the relevant committee will consider the bill to place it side by side with the already existing Vigilante bill to reconcile grey areas.
In his view, Hon Mark Esset of Nsit Atai State Constituency queried the timing of the bill considering the ravaging corona virus pandemic which had crippled the world economy, it was advisable that the issue of security be discussed after the containment of the virus.
However, the bill has been sent to the House Committee on Security, Youth and Sport for consideration and to report back to the House within one month.
The House adjourned plenary till Thursday, May 14, 2020.