- Ban open grazing
- Urge IG to stop influx of monitoring units
- Govs playing politics with security of S-East zone —Obasi
- You can’t secure S-East without our participation —Ejimakor
Following the wave of attacks on public institutions, especially on police stations in the South East, the five governors of the zone yesterday stormed Owerri to take strong decisions on the issue of insecurity in the zone.
The governors launched Ebubeagu Regional Security, made up of all the vigilante groups in the zone,with headquarters in Enugu, to fight terrorism in the zone.
This came as an Igbo leader in Ebonyi State, Chief Jerry Obasi, attributed the delay in floating a regional security outfit by the governors to the preference of their political interests above the security of the people of the zone.
The Chairman, South East Governors Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, disclosed the formation of a joint security vigilante to be known as Ebubeagu at Imo Government House, in the company of other southeast governors, after a security meeting attended by President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo World-wide, Prof. George Obiozor, and top security chiefs.
The governors also banned open grazing and requested the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to stop the influx of IGP monitoring units to the zone.
The governors stated: “The five south east states are on the same page with the federal government on the issues of security challenges in the in the country. To this end, the meeting makes it absolutely clear that the South East will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and and bandits to a finish.
“The political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together, all the arsenals at their command as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorists from the zone.
“The summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the South East, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five South East states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.
“That the heads of all the security agencies in the South East have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone
“That to curb crime in the South East, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.
“That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the South East joint security platform.
“To applaud the initiative of the South East security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while it’s hosting shall rotate among the five South East states.”
“The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East, otherwise known as Ebube Agu.
“The meeting appreciated the formation of South East joint security outfit, code- named Ebube Agu, with headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante groups in the southeast.
“The governors requested the acting IGP to stop the influx of the IGP monitoring units but allow CPs, states and zonal commands to handle their cases.
“The meeting approved the acting IGP and other security chiefs to invite the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to find out the reason for increasing insecurity in the South East.”
Govs playing politics with security of S-East zone —Obasi
Meanwhile, an Igbo leader, Obasi stated that the governors were more concerned with the politics of 2023 general elections, what positions they will occupy and how not to offend their ‘Northern pay masters’ than the security of the zone.
He lamented that the governors of the South East have failed to emulate their South West counterparts who braved the odds to float Amotekun security outfit to protect their people.
He said: “The South East governors should have been the first to set up a regional security outfit like their South West counterparts did; but they are playing politics with the security of their people. The last time they met with the Inspector General of Police in Enugu, nothing came out of it. For over a year, they set up the General Obi Umahi Committee. Where is the report? Nothing has been heard from the committee. The governors have been delaying to set up a security outfit which they continued discussing in their meetings. They were always meeting in Enugu but no action. The truth is that the South East governors are afraid to take certain decisions in order not to offend their Northern pay masters.
“Today, the governors will say they are for community policing, tomorrow, they will sing a different tune. Where is the outfit? Who are the leaders? What we see are window dressing efforts meant to cajole the public to believe that they are doing something. Gov. Dave Umahi and his colleagues should emulate the South West governors; they must jettison pursuit of political correctness which has never brought any benefit to the South East. You can see the concept, organization and sincerity of the South West governors in securing their area. The South East governors are rather scheming for 2023 at the detriment of the security of their people. In Igbo land, we only have political leaders who don’t want to offend their Northern pay masters. South East governors are scheming for the vice presidential position; they will always sit on the fence because they don’t want someone in the North to see them as pro -Igbo.
“A certain governor from the South East failed to act on security information about an impending attack on his people and when the attack occurred, he started shedding crocodile tears and ran to Aso Rock to see the President. These are the type of governors we have in the South East. Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu was seeking for second term and was still at the forefront of the struggle for the actualization of Amotekun security outfit.
“No South East governor seeking for second term would have touched the Amotekun project with a long pole. Our governors are always afraid to take certain decisions.”
You can’t secure S’East without our participation —Ejimakor
Also yesterday, an Owerri-based legal practitioner, Barrister Aloysius Ejimakor, said it would be impossible to secure South East without the participation of the people.”
Ejimakor, who took the position after doing a postmortem of the attacks in the region, recalled that “before Nigeria became a unitary state, while still pretending to be a federation, regional security was mostly within the purview of regional authorities, not the federal government”, adding that it worked pretty well.
He said: “This arrangement was not by chance but by design. Nigeria’s indigenous founding fathers and the departing British colonialists knew too well that you cannot internally secure a people without their participation.
“In other words, Eastern Nigerians shouldn’t be the ones internally securing Western Nigeria or Northern Nigeria and vice versa. When you do that, it becomes counter-intuitive to security and begins to look like an occupation, a conquest or worse. And it might breed popular resistance, overtly or covertly.”
Ejimakor argued that “the historical dangers of a tribally-imbalanced security leadership for Nigeria, even in its present unitary form, terrified the framers of the 1999 Constitution to the point that they enacted at Section 217(3) that the composition of the officer corps and other ranks of the armed forces of the federation shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria.”
He further explained that in plain terms, no region, including the South East, shall be excluded from securing Nigeria or any part thereof, especially its own part.