By Anayo Okoli, Chinedu Adonu & Steve Oko
Reactions have trailed Sunday’s formation of Ebubeagu as the Regional security outfit for the South East. Southeast Governors announced this after their meeting in Owerri, Imo State. A leading right group Intersociety, said the formation of the outfit was suspicious, as according to them, due to “the panicky and hurried announcement”.
“Coming when all hopes have been lost from state actor angles, forcing most citizens of the region to place their hopes, expectations and solutions on the table of non state actors; we are very surprised to hear the sudden announcement. “Intersociety also doubts the sincerity and genuineness of the promoters of the new security outfit.
“It is doubtful, too, whether critical indigenous stakeholders and other interest groups were duly consulted and carried along. The new outfit is most likely a baptism name given to the 2019 illegitimate and unpopular “Community Policing” arrangement by the same Southeast Governors during which all the security chiefs that attended the meeting where the decision to use “Community Policing” to checkmate menaces of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the Southeast Region were made up of officers of Fulani-Hausa Muslim background.
“We therefore have strong reason to suspect and conclude that the Southeast Governors newly created security outfit, tagged “Ebubeagu Security Outfit” is a caliphate inspired counter measure to truncate or weaken non state actor arrangements including vigilant and vigilantism resort to legitimate self defense safeguards provided in Section 258 of the Criminal Code and Section 59-60 of the Penal Code (operational in the Igbo parts of Benue and Kogi States).
“The latest moves by the Southeast Governors are also likely geared towards using the so called “Ebubeagu Security Outfit” to protect and consolidate the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen incursions and settlements in bushes, forests and farmlands in the Southeast Region and its outposts in Benue, Kogi, Rivers, Cross River, Delta and Edo States.
“The name “Ebubeagu”, as a matter of fact, is meaninglessly a camouflage especially when the Nigerian Army has used similar camouflages like “Egwu-Eke” and “Atilogwu Udo” to massacre over 700 unarmed and defenseless citizens of the Region and maim over 800 others and engage in other atrocious conducts including roadblock corrupt practices. “Also, today in Igbo Land, the “Ogbu-Agu” title given to Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari has turned out to be “a killer-license and (Igbo translated as lion killer ).
“The outfit can never operate successfully in the Southeast Region where almost 100 percent of top security especially military and police formations are in the hands of officers from other regions, most of whom are Muslims of Fulani-Hausa extraction.
“There is and it is an act of impossibility finding any region in Nigeria where 10% of its top security formations are commanded by officers of Igbo Christian stock, not to talk of dominating or controlling their majority or over 98% as presently the case in Igbo Southeast Region.
Intersociety spoke through its chairman, Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi.
Elite Igbo group, Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, on its own welcome the development but demanded for preparedness of the Governors to ensure its take off.
ADF also demanded a law by each state to back up the ban on open grazing.
It’s spokesman, Chief Abi Onyike said: “Well, they have pronounced on the Regional Security outfit. There should be a law banning open grazing of cattle in the South East. The law should be passed in the five state Houses of Assembly. To orally make an announcement banning open grazing shows lack of commitment on the part of the Governors. They are being smart.
“Again, we will like to know their logistic preparations. Where are their vehicles and other operational facilities and equipment like in the case of Amotekun in Yoruba land?
“Let the South East Governors go and use the draft bill prepared by ADF in 2017 to make binding laws against open grazing. If they fail to do that, then it exposes them further as unserious people”.
Reacting, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa commended the governors for settings but the outfit but urged them to back it with a law from their law makers.
Ohuabunwa, former Leader, House of Representatives, believed the move would curb the growing insecurity in the zone.
According to him “the courage and the unity of the governors in establishing the outfit were strong indications that the security of the zone is paramount to the governors.”
The action of the governors, he said, was in response to the growing clamour for a regional security outfit to help contain the activities of terrorists rampaging the zone and expressed confidence that the outfit would in collaboration with other security agencies help unmask and checkmate the elements behind the rising insecurity in the zone.
He therefore, tasked the various State Houses of Assembly in the zone to quickly provide the necessary legal backing for the outfit
However, a civil rights leader, Jonah said the arrangements were not clear.
“First of all, who are to be recruited into the outfit? Will they be given AK 47 to combat Fulani herdsmen parading AK 47 and JPGs? Which weapon will they be using? Will they be reporting to IPOB, ESN or Nigeria Police, Nigerian Military, DSS, EFCC, Immigration or who?
All Igbo should support to the maximum, IPOB or ESN which is the only security outfit that can save and deliver Igbo from the hands of Buhari, the Generalissimo of Islamic sharia with jihad as propagated by Fulani herdsmen and bokoharam and bandits and Islamic gunmen and kidnappers”, he said.
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