Why South-East Governors Banned Open Grazing, Float Regional Security Outfit

254 views | Akanimo Sampson | April 12, 2021

Piqued by the menace of Fulani herdsmen to food security in Eastern Nigeria, the hotbed of Biafra agitation, governors of the region have finally risen against open grazing.

They have also floated a regional security outfit in a desperate bid to restore confidence in farmers who have been shunning their farms for fear of being killed by the rampaging herdsmen.

Cases of raping women in their farms have been very rampant across the South-East geo-political zone, and have negatively impacted on food production in the area.

To contain the worsening situation, the governors rose from their meeting on Sunday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, with the establishment of a joint regional security outfit christened EBUBEAGU and the banning of open grazing throughout the zone.

Ebubeagu which means “Lion-Like Intimidation” or ”Lion-Like Boldness’’ is mandated to enforce the prohibition.

Strongly supported by key stakeholders including serving and retired security and military personnel, clergymen and politicians, the governors also tasked the Inspector General of Police to stop the practice of Abuja Force headquarters posting so-called “IGP monitoring units” to investigate incidents, instead of allowing Commissioners of Police, state commands and zonal commands to handle local cases.

A communiqué issued by the governors indicated that the Ebubeagu agency will supervise vigilante groups throughout the South-East.

Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who read out their resolutions, revealed that the headquarters of the regional security outfit will be in Enugu, the old capital of the defunct Eastern Region.

Their communiqué goes thus:

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:

1. 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 herdsmen.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South-East otherwise known as Ebubeagu.

10. 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.

11. South-East 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.

12. Meeting approve that the Acting IGP and other security chiefs to invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South-East.

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

14. Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.

15. The meeting encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and herders to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.

 

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