Governors of the Southeast geopolitical zone have said they will resist attempt by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to frustrate its new security network, Ebube Agu.
The governors’ reaction comes after IPOB threatened to deal with members of Ebube Agu, should they spy on their activities.
IPOB had in a statement signed by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, Tuesday, warned Igbo youths against being members of the new security network, threatening to deal ruthlessly with anyone that might serve as a spy on its activities for Ebube Agu.
”South East governors set up outfit, Ebube Agu, probably to fulfill all righteousness or to spy on ESN to curry favour from their slave masters. We, therefore, warn our youths to have nothing to do with the so-called Ebube Agu security outfit which was ostensibly formed to sabotage IPOB and ESN.
”Anyone who neglects this warning and thinks he can hide under the cloak of Ebube Agu to spy on ESN should be prepared to join his ancestors. The protection of all Biafrans is our priority and we are prepared to sacrifice anything to achieve this,” IPOB had said in the statement.
But speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily monitored by Vanguard yesterday, chairman of South East Governors Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, said the Eastern Security Network, ESN, set up by IPOB was an illegal entity which the governors would not want to lose sleep over.
“The problem of this country is that people will leave their problems and make your problem their problem. But what some of these people are doing is to incite the South-East into war and step aside, and we are not going to buy into that; we’re not going to be deceived again,” Umahi said.
He said Ebube Agu was created primarily to protect lives and properties in the South East.
The governor explained that Ebube Agu was set up in compliance with the constitution, adding that what had happened was an amendment of the laws of each of the five South East states to enable operatives of existing vigilante groups in the states operate across borders to track down criminals, while also sharing intelligence.
”Operatives of Ebube Agu have been operating in the South East as Forest Guards, Neighbourhood Watch before now. These have only fused together as Ebube Agu for members to share intelligence and go across borders to track down criminals,” he said.
Umahi, who noted that the new security network had taken off already, said the governors had taken Ebube Agu as priority, adding that without security, there could be no talk about fixing education, health, among others.
The governor also said bandits were committing crimes in the South-East under the guise of Eastern Security Network, ESN, but insisted that governors of the region would not allow what he described as illegality to reign in the area.
“Of late, we have bandits that are now doing a lot of evil and saying that they are Eastern Security Network, ESN. They commit a lot of crimes and say they are IPOB and most of the time, IPOB will come and say ‘we have no hands in this, we have no hands in that.”
Umahi admitted that the development made it a bit complex in fighting crime, but vowed that leaders of the region would not allow criminals to have a field day in the area, stressing that Ebube Agu would tackle insecurity in Igboland.
“We have the command of the law to protect the lives of our people and we would not allow illegality to thrive in our land. Conflict will not resolve conflict,” he said.
The governor noted that herders-farmers clashes were not the only threat facing the region, noting that the new security outfit was created to flush out crimes of all forms in the South-East.