By Vincent Ujumadu; Chidi Nkwopara; Dennis Agbo; Peter Okutu; Steve Oko & Ikechukwu Odu
The national vice chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene however urged those responsible for the implementation of the security outfit not to expose the strategies to Nigerians before its take-off. He argued that revealing the modalities when no concrete plan for it had been made by the governors of the South East on its location, funding, training and staffing, would amount to putting the cart before the horse.
To him, Ebubeagu is merely an introduction of a new nomenclature because, as he observed, every state in the zone already has a security outfit operating in their various states. According to him, at this stage, what the planners of Ebubeagu should do is to harmonize the various security outfits operating in the five states into a zonal command structure with headquarters in Enugu.
He said: “Actually security outfits are not new in the zone, but the only difference this time around is that the five South-East governors are involved in it for the purpose of achieving a common purpose.
“With the stakeholders like Ohaneze, the activities of Ebubeagu would be harmonized and make it more forceful and expand its area of coverage. We recall that before now, state vigilante outfits could not cross their state borders to operate, but with the proposed Ebubeagu, there might be a need for cross-fertilization of ideas and passage of security information beyond state borders and among the various states.
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“Since this is a pure security matter, we do not expect the public to know everything concerning Ebubeagu because it is not everything that people should know. We expect the governors and the major stakeholders to work out the modalities and implement them the way they want them and it is the result that will determine if they got it right. Even Ohaneze Ndigbo is not expected to know all the details since the apex Igbo organization is not part of the government. What we can do is only to advise when it is necessary, but we should not force our opinion on matters of security.
“Again, the operators of Ebubeagu should be properly trained to act mainly through intelligence gathering, rather than the usual manner of using force by Nigerian security operators.”
A post-graduate student of criminology, Mr Justin Animalu argued that with the governors divided along political lines, the tendency is for them to follow the directives of their parties, thereby undermining the interest of those they govern.
“I don’t see much coming out of this Ebubeagu.
The governors merely did a photo show and you might be surprised that nothing much would come out of that gathering. When it comes to working out the modalities, funding, staffing and all that, you will see that Ebubeagu will die a natural death,” Animalu said. According to Animalu, the success of Ebubeagu would go a long way in determining how the Igbo nation would unite in their quest to produce the next president of Nigeria in 2023.
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