They is tension right now in Abia State as Governor Okezie Ikpeazu dares Nnamdi Kanu and launched a new security outfit to counter Eastern Security Network. The name of the new security outfit is Homeland Security. This is coming after Nnamdi Kanu launched Eastern Security Network to protect south-east and south-south residents from Fulani herdsmen. The question right now is, why is it now that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu noticed that south east farmers and residents needed security and protection from Fulani Herdsmen? Why is he launching the security outfit right now, knowing full well that Nnamdi Kanu has already launched Eastern Security Network? Could it be that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is just trying to challenge Nnamdi Kanu with his power.
However, Nnamdi Kanu has issued a warning to all south east governors saying that IPOB security outfit will operate without their backing. Igbo elders have decried the formation of an illegal security outfit known as “South East Security Network” by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and tasked governors of the South East region to immediately move against the action. Besides, the elders called on the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo not only to denounce Nnamdi Kanu’s action but advise people of the region against falling prey to Nnamdi Kanu’s illegal activities.
They, however, called on the southeast governors to lead the way in forming a security outfit that would protect that region, similar to Amotekun formed by authorities of the South West Region. Also, they charged the “southeast governors and businessmen in the region to pull resources together and form a security outfit like Amotekun or civilian JTF backed by law, which can be controlled and be effective.”
The Igbo elders said while they recognized the desire of the people to protect themselves through community policing given the worsening security problems in the country, it must be done within the country’s established laws. The South East elders operating under the aegis of Conference of Igbo Elders for Peace and Development, in a statement, said Nnamdi Kanu’s action does not have their blessings and asked Nigerians to see his action as personal and not representing the region.
In the statement signed by Dr. Festus Edochie, National President, and Barrister (Mrs) Esther Amadi, National Secretary of the group, respectively, the elders said their attention to the inglorious activities of Nnamdi Kanu was drawn to a trending video of some misguided youths armed with prohibited firearms and dangerous weapons. ” We observe with utmost shock and concern a disturbing video of a group of some misguided youths nickname Eastern Security Network, bearing arms and circulating on the social media.
“In the said video, the group which claimed to be operating somewhere in Anambra State carried AK-47 and other dangerous weapons under the guise of providing security against violent crimes being committed by Fulani Herdsmen in the region. “We condemn this group and its activities in its entirety and call on all southeast governors and well-meaning Ndigbo to come out and condemn this act of criminality being sponsored by a self-appointed leader of a proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” they said in the statement.
The Igbo elders said, “While we recognize perfectly the yearning and desire of every Nigerian today for community policing and self-security due to the insecurity in the country, we insist that it must be done in accordance with the law of the land and by the right people who are legally empowered to do so. No group or individual has the legal right to bear prohibited firearms of that nature without the proper backing of the law. Hence we must all rise in the South East to not only condemn but also distance ourselves from this act without delay,” they added.
Going further, the group said:” No doubt, the current security architecture of Nigeria has failed and Nigerians deserve to protect themselves but that must be done within the premise of the law.” “We are Nigerians and cannot form a parallel security arm that bears prohibited firearms for any reason in our region.” It is not in the place of IPOB to organize such a group armed with automatic weapons, no lawful country or citizen will support that, even the civilian Joint Task Force which is supported by law with members assisting in fighting terrorism in Borno State and other parts of North East don’t use automatic weapons.
“In the South West also Amotekun which is lawfully set up by the authorities in the region does not use automatic firearms.” Bearing prohibited firearms under any guise is unacceptable,” Only Dane guns and pump-action rifles can be licensed in Nigeria. We have restrictions in Nigeria on the use of firearms and nobody is above this law. Criminals use these illegally,” the statement further read. They noted that “The obvious gap in our national security notwithstanding, a proscribed organization like IPOB does not have the right to arm a group of young men with automatic weapons in the name of a security network or any nomenclature.
It is unacceptable and must be resisted by all Ndigbo of goodwill.” ”We are therefore calling on all the Southeast governors and businessmen in the region to pull resources together and form a security outfit like Amotekun or civilian JTF backed by law, which can be controlled and be effective.
“Finally, we wish to call on the southeast governors, Ohaneze Ndigbo, and other well-meaning groups to come out to condemn the act of criminality that may spark unrest in the region thus portraying Ndigbo as bad and lawless people. “We further appeal to all Nigerians not to see this act of criminality as an Igbo agenda, but a deliberate act by a fugitive criminal, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to gain popularity and earn his daily bread from his sponsors,” the statement further read.
However, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), didn’t care about what the Ohaneze Indigbo and south east governors think, rather he stated that the group does not need the approval of the south-east governors or Igbo elders for its security outfit to operate. Nnamdi Kanu said this in a statement on Sunday while condemning the governors’ disapproval of the security outfit.
The Cable News had earlier reported how IPOB which had been proscribed by the south-east governors launched the “Eastern Security Network (ESN)” to protect the south-east and south-south regions from criminal activity and Fulani herdsmen. But David Umahi, Ebonyi state governor and chairman of the governors in the region, said the leaders have no hand in the move which he described as very laughable and should be totally ignored.
Reacting via the statement, Nnamdi Kanu accused the governors of being against the wish of the masses, describing their disapproval of the outfit as very shameful and cowardly. He further stated that the south east governors cannot protect their region because they are slaves to Fulani caliphate. According to his words; “At a time when well-meaning individuals and groups from the entire Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt are hailing the setting up of Eastern Security Network, the so-called Governors are busy advertising their opposition to the people they claim to be leading. Anyway, they never had the mandate of the people. So, we are not surprised.”
Nnamdi Kanu further stated that the group’s message to the governors regarding the new outfit is that “the train has since left the station and can’t reverse its course. It’s pretty too late to have a rethink. The people have got what they long desired which the cowardly Governors failed to give them because of selfish political interest,” he added.