-Outfit to be security-oriented in name, purpose and action – Ikpeazu
In response to the rising unrest and spate of insecurity and criminal activiries in the Southeast, governors from the region have launched a security outfit called EBUBE AGU as part of plans to checkmate the rising unrest in the region.
According to a communique issued by governors of the Southeast yesterday, 11th April, and read out by the chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, the agency to be headquartered in Enugu State, is to oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the region.
TheFact Nigeria reports that the fifteen-point comminique was issued after a meeting in Imo State on Sunday.
According to the comminique, the governors, while jointly and strongly condemning, in no uncertain terms, terrorism and banditry, in any part of Nigeria, and particularly, the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen in the Southeast, stand in solidarity with the federal government to tackle the menace.
It was also made clear that the political leadership in the region will use every resuource at their disposal to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone by galvanizing relevant stakeholders in the region, including 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”.
Other resolutions contained in the comminique include: the setting up of a committee of security personnel and government officials to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the outfit; and to have a statutory security summit that will convene every quarter, whose hosting shall be rotated among the five southeastern states.
The governors, while encouraging peaceful co-existence between farmers and herders, also resolved to ban the practice of open grazing, the implementation of which will be handled by the security outfit.
Furthermore, the governors requested from the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, that he allow Commissioners of Police, CPs and State/Zonal Commands handle thier cases, rather than the IGP monitoring units. They also request the IGP and other security chiefs to convene a meeting with the leadership of the Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to establish reasons for the rising insecurity in the region.
In a related development, the governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, explaining why the South East Governors’ Forum came up with the security outfit, Ebube Agu, said the creation of the security outfit is thier way of responding to “our peculiar circumstances in the southeast”, adding that the “security situation across Nigeria as it is today is dynamic”.
Governor Ikpeazu, who spoke on Channels Television hours after the launch of the joint security outfit, said that “Ebube Agu would be a security outfit both in name, purpose and action. It will be properly equipped. I want to assure you that all the states in the southeast already has various vigilante outfits”.
“We want to call for a harmonised, synergised system of action to be able to compare notes, to be able to set up digital platforms that can respond to communication challenges,” he emphasized.
While Ikpeazu said that the Southeast governors would cooperate to ensure that operatives of Ebube Agu would be properly equipped, he did not however confirm if the personnel of the outfit would bear arms and wear uniforms.