Finally the much expected and seemingly evasive regional security outfit for the South East zone in the wake of banditry and mayhem perpetrated against the of the zone by rampaging Fulani cowherds.
The SE governors had way back to 2019 mooted the idea of a regional security network against the backdrop of the hue and cries of the people of the zone who felt that conventional security agencies as well as the military have overwhelmed or unwilling, complacent, complicit and lack the capacity to handle the security challenge.
While governors were about to come out with outfit their counterparts of the South West unveiled their own version named Amotekun. This development heightened demands on the governors and as they readied the plans, the FG waded in through the instrumentality of an IGP -initiated security summit in Enugu February 2020, wherein the community policing opted was canvassed and rammed down the throats of the hapless governors even as south leaders protested and rejected the option.
However, since Fulani cowboy’s terrorism and brigandage continued unabated in the zone, IPOB moved in to fill the going lacuna in the security of the zone and launched the Eastern Security Network, ESN.
This put the governors in a tight corner as they rejected ESN in a bid to dissociate themselves from the separatist tendencies of its founder whose activities the governors had outlawed. However, the emergence of ESN has been hailed by a large section of the people of the zone who view the governors as uncaring. So finally, the governors had to take hard decision so as to restore people’s confidence in them.
The governors rising from a security summit held in Owerri last Sunday declared inter alia in a communiqué made available to reporters that;” After exhaustive discussions on the current security challenges in the South East and with valuable contributions from participants at the first South East security summit in Owerri on this day Sunday April 11th 2021, it was resolved as follows: to strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East. The meeting strongly condemns the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centers with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/farmers and headsmen. Pointing out that the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges 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 bandits to a finish ”
They stated further that 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 terrorist from the zone.
The summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanize 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 and 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 so as to fast track crime-busting 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.
The governors resolved 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, therefore to applaud the initiative of the South east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.
Consequently, the meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebubeagu. Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South East.
South East Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow CPs and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases while approval was given to the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East. They also agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.
The meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban, while it encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality