EBUBEAGU: Finally, five Igbo Governors launch joint security outfit, set to clash with IPOB’s ESN

After long procrastination, Governors of the South East region have established a regional security outfit to tackle the increasing insecurity and criminality.

They also announced a total ban on open grazing in all the five States of Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo.

At a security meeting in Owerri, Imo State capital on Sunday, the Governors said that the security outfit, code-named EBUBE AGU, will have its headquarters in Enugu State, the regional capital.

This comes a year after the Governors of the South-West launched the Western Nigeria Security Network code-named Amotekun Corps.

At the meeting were the Governors of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Enugu States, Navy and Air Force regional Commanders, Inspector General of Police, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other stakeholders.

The meeting held one week after gunmen attacked the Nigerian Custodial Centre, Owerri, freeing 1,884 inmates. 

The Imo State Police Command was also attacked by gunmen who set several vehicles ablaze.

Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, Dave Umahi, who read a communique issued at the end of the meeting expressed optimism that the development will boost security.

“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 centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.

“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

“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.

“That 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 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.

“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 its 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 co. Named 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 (Commissioners of Police) and State and Zonal Commands to handle their cases. Meeting approve that 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.”

But what was looming large at the South East Governors’ meeting is the already empowered Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Eastern Security Network (ESN) which was formed following the failure of the Governors to secure lives and property in the South East and South-South regions.

The IPOB security arrangement of the IPOB appears to have delighted the people especially of the South East region who were disappointed at their inactivity or lack of concern at the growing increasing insecurity especially terrorism, extra-judicial killings, kidnapping and destruction of farmlands, rape, armed robbery, illegal occupation of forests and river banks by marauding killers.

But the South East Governors opposed the formation of the ESN the moment Nnamdi Kanu announced its formation on December 12, 2020 with Governor Umahi asking Nigerians to ignore the IPOB and their pranks, stressing that the governors had already concluded arrangements on the regional security outfit for the zone and would soon take off.

IPOB, on the other hand, cautioned the Governors against compromising the security of the region through what it described as “the mischievous advice of certain elements.”

According to IPOB Media Director, Emma Powerful, “we therefore advise all Biafran fathers and mothers to caution their children against joining Umahi’s vigilante group as such an outfit is an enemy of the people. Their agenda is sinister and anti-Biafra. We are happy to state that the grand conspiracy by our oppressors to take over the South with the help of compromised leaders is dead on arrival.”

Indeed, the next few weeks would determine whether there would be cohabitation or supremacy battle between the Governors’ regional outfit and IPOB’s ESN. Time will tell.

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