By John Ndu
Imo, April 12, 2021 (MOI) The South East states have resolved to form a common security outfit known as “Ebube Agu’’ to provide security across the region.
The states are Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo.
This was unveiled on April 11 during a meeting of the South East Governors Forum at the Governor’s Lodge, Owerri, Imo State.
The meeting was held against the backdrop of incessant security challenges that adversely affected life and property across the region in recent times.
It is envisaged that the security outfit would end herders-farmers crisis, check kidnapping by suspected herdsmen and sporadic attacks from unknown gunmen.
Presenting the Communiqué after the meeting, Chairman, South East Governor’s Forum, Mr David Umahi, of Ebonyi said they resolved to maintain a joint security vigilance outfit for the South East — `Ebube Agu’, with Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate the vigilance in the South East.
It noted 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.
The Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP Monitoring Units but to allow Commissioners of Police (CPs) and state and Zonal Commands to handle their cases.
They urged the acting IGP and other security chiefs to invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the zone.
According to the communiqué, we 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 unlawful release of inmates, and the killings of security personnel, indigenous peoples/farmers and herdsmen.
“The five South East states are on the same page with the Federal Government on the issue of security challenges in the country.
“The South East will stand resolutely with the FG in the fight against terrorists and bandits.
“The political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all weapons with their disposal under a united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone.
“It resolved that in order 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.
“The heads of all the security agencies in the zone have also resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to check crime in the zone.
“We have also resolved to fast track crime-busting in the zone, 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.
“These needs are for immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.
“We applaud the initiative of the South East security summit and to make it a statutory that a summit like this will convene every quarter while it’s hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.
“It agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded in order to become effective.
“The meeting agrees that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.
“We encourage peaceful coexistence of farmers and herders to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.’’
The summit was well attended by all the Governors of the region;
They are Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, the host; Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra; Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi, the chairman of the forum. Also present include Service Commanders in South East and the Ohaneze Ndigbo. (MOI)