Chairman of South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, on Tuesday announced the formation of a regional security outfit as part of moves to address the challenges of insecurities in the zone.
The new move is ostensibly a reaction to the security outfit which the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said last month that it was floating for the South East and South-South regions.
IPOB said it was moved to establish Eastern Security Network (ESN) by the failure of governments of the two regions to set up regional security outfits like their counterparts in other regions despite the worsening insecurity in the country.
The body noted that the ESN is expected to ensure safety in every forest and farmland in the old eastern region against rampaging criminal activities.
The South East Governors had last June 2020 said because it was opposed to the implementation of the community policing template of the Nigeria Police Force especially in the zone, it would implement a community policing programme that should be locally driven.
The meeting of Governors and other stakeholders also mandated the State Houses of Assembly in the zone to commence the enactment of State Security laws that will legalise the establishment of a regional security outfit, in line with its joint security programme for the zone.
But neither the State Houses of Assembly nor the Governors took any further step until IPOB floated its own outfit.
Governor Umahi told journalists at the end of the Tuesday meeting that though no name has officially been chosen for the outfit, the zone would meet soon to decide on the name.
He however expressed optimism that the region remained the most peaceful in the country, stressing that the pockets of resistance in his State of Ebonyi was politically motivated.
According to the Governor, “South East Governors had had meeting on security. We are going to unveil uniform and vehicles perculiar with South East. For adequate protection of lives and properties.
“Whether PDP, APC, APGA anybody that is causing problem must be arrested and dealt with.”
“There is growing concern of security in the State (Ebonyi) and it had a lot of political undertone.
“The idea is to discredit my administration in the State. If not properly handled will lead to attack on our brothers and sisters”, he explained.
Umahi also stated there’s peace between the residents of the State and Fulani herdsmen adding that issues concerning security should be handled with care.”