From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Chairman of South East Governor’s Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, yesterday, said people from the zone appeared to have accepted the Eastern Security Network (ESN) as an alternative security outfit because of “inability” of the conventional security agencies to protect them from bandits and other criminal elements.
He, however, reiterated that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), its security arm known as Eastern Security Network (ESN) and their activities remained outlawed.
He noted that though the ESN and its activities remained unlawful, it was wrong to assume that all the banditry and criminal activities being committed in the South East were perpetrated by the group.
Umahi said IPOB leaders have repeatedly dissociated themselves from violent attacks on policemen and police facilities in the zone, calling on the people to note that the group believes in non-violent agitation while maintaining that those killing innocent people and destroying police stations were not their members.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, Governor Umahi alleged that some criminal elements were hiding under IPOB and ESN to commit crimes and kill innocent people.
He called on the Federal Government to take urgent actions to protect the people from criminals, including considering giving a nod for the formation of state police as part of measures to track down the criminal elements and tackle insecurity in the country.
He warned that the spate of insecurity in the country was capable of imploding the nation if not urgently and properly checkmated, stressing that the time has come for the Federal Government to approve the establishment of state police across the country.