From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), a human rights organisation, has criticised the South-East Governors’ Forum for announcing a security force for the region, describing it as suspicious.
The group said the announcement of the new security outfit by the Forum comes at a time of heightened insecurity which has forced citizens of the region to place their hopes, expectations and solutions on non-state actors.
Intersociety Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi said in a statement that the group was surprised to hear the sudden announcement, saying that it doubts the sincerity of the promoters of the new security outfit.
‘It is doubtful, too, whether critical indigenous stakeholders and other interest groups were duly consulted and carried along. The new outfit is most likely a baptism name given to the 2019 illegitimate and unpopular “Community Policing” arrangement by the same Southeast Governors during which all the security chiefs that attended the meeting where the decision to use “Community Policing” to checkmate menaces of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the Southeast Region were made up of officers of Fulani-Hausa Muslim background,’ Umeagbalasi stated.
‘We, therefore, have strong reason to suspect and conclude that the Southeast Governors newly created security outfit, tagged “Ebubeagu Security Outfit” is a caliphate inspired counter measure to truncate or weaken non state actor arrangements including vigilant and vigilantism resort to legitimate self defense safeguards provided in Section 258 of the Criminal Code and Section 59-60 of the Penal Code (operational in the Igbo parts of Benue and Kogi States).
‘The latest moves by the South-East Governors are also likely geared towards using the so called “Ebube Agu Security Outfit” to protect and consolidate the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen incursions and settlements in bushes, forests and farmlands in the Southeast Region and its outposts in Benue, Kogi, Rivers, Cross River, Delta and Edo States.
‘The name “Ebube Agu”, as a matter of fact, is meaninglessly a camouflage especially when the Nigerian Army has used similar camouflages like “Egwu-Eke” and “Atilogwu Udo” to massacre over 700 unarmed and defenseless citizens of the Region and maim over 800 others and engage in other atrocious conducts including roadblock corrupt practices.
‘Also, today in Igbo Land, the “Ogbu-Agu” title given to Retired Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari has turned out to be “a killer-license (Ogbu)” and “Agu (Igbos translated as lion)” or “license to kill Igbos”, issued back in 2014 while “Ikeogu” title given him in 2018 has translated to “thank you for killing Igbos”.
‘The outfit can never operate successfully in the Southeast Region where almost 100 percent of top security especially military and police formations are in the hands of officers from other regions, most of whom are Muslims of Fulani-Hausa extraction. There is and it is an act of impossibility finding any region in Nigeria where 10% of its top security formations are commanded by officers of Igbo Christian stock, not to talk of dominating or controlling their majority or over 98% as presently the case in Igbo Southeast Region.
‘The gross lopsidedness, if not total control of the named formations by officers of Fulani-Hausa Muslim extraction in Igbo Southeast and its gateway regions is so shocking and alarming that key security formations in its gateway States are also manned by senior Fulani-Hausa officers and a fraction of Southwest Muslim officers,’ Umeagbalasi stated.