Insecurity: Southeast govs float Ebubeagu, want IGP monitoring units kicked out, silent on ESN, seek increased military policing

Rising from a one-day security meeting in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the South-east governors announced the setting up Ebubeagu – a security outfit to be co-funded by all the 5 states in the region, with headquarters in Enugu.

They also asked that the “influx of IGP monitoring units” into the region be stopped while calling on the federal government to increasingly fund military policing in the area.

These were some of the highlights as contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the first South-east security summit which had all heads of security agencies from the region in attendance.

The governors’ positions came against the backdrop of the increase in the number of attacks on of the Police and Nigeria Correctional Services (NCoS) in Owerri, as well as the accompanying tension in the region.

The communiqué was however silent on the status of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) which the police accused of being a mastermind in the serial attacks on security agencies in the state.

In less than 72 hours, gunmen, last week, stormed three police posts and NCoS three times with little or no counter from the security agencies.

The resolutions

Presenting the communiqué after the meeting, Chairman Eastern Governors’ Forum and Governor Dave Umahi, said Ebubeagu was created to check the increasing cases of criminality in the region.

He said, the meeting resolved “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 including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.”

The meeting also said “the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security 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 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.”

The communiqué further said: “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.”

Furthermore, the governors “ requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitoring units but to allow CPs and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases,” while also approving “that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East.

“Meeting agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.”

On open grazing, it said the “meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.

“The meeting encouraged a of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.”

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