Owerri – The five governors of the Southeast states have finally resolved to establish a Security Outfit for the Southeast Region, after over a year of agitation for such by stakeholders in the region.
Ohaneze Ndigbo under the leadership of its immediate Past President, Chief John Nnia nwodo, had championed the cause for the establishment of the outfit, which they had proposed will be called ‘Ogbunigwe’, but the governors did not oblige.
However, following the recent spate in insecurity across the Igbo states, the governors met on Sunday in Owerri where far-reaching decisions were taken.
Top among such decisions was for the region to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebube Agu, with headquarters in Enugu to coordinate the vigilante in the South East.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave Umahi said the meeting strongly and unequivocally condemned terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East and 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.
He revealed that the five southeast states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges in the country and stated clearly that the Southeast will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits to a finish.
“The meeting resolved that there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the southeast, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five southeast states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone,” he revealed.
Other resolutions reached at the meeting he read to include “That the heads of all the security agencies in the southeast 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 southeast, 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 Southeast 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 southeast Governors requested the Acting Inspector General of Police, to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow cps and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases, while further asking the acting IGP and other security chiefs to invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Christian association of Nigeria (CAN), to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East.
The meeting also agreed that military policing in the southeast should be adequately funded and become effective.
The governors maintained that open grazing has been banned in the region and security agencies should implement the ban, calling for peaceful coexistence of farmers and herders to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.
The meeting was attended by the governors of Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Abia states, a representative of the IGP, Service commanders in the southeast states, Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership, CAN representatives, representatives of the traditional rulers’ council and town Union leadership, among others.