The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has explained why the South East Governors’ Forum came up with the security outfit, Ebube Agu.
The Governor spoke on Channels Television hours after the Southeast region launched its own joint security outfit codenamed Ebube Agu.
According to the governor, Ebube Agu, which means the presence of a lion connotes protection, territorial authority, strength, and power.
Ikpeazu said operatives of Ebube Agu with headquarters in Enugu would oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the South East.
“It means today, we have come together to synergise and see how best we can protect lives and properties of citizens within this geopolitical zone,” he said.
The security situation across Nigeria as it is today is dynamic. We are just trying to respond to our peculiar circumstances in the southeast. We are not copying from any geopolitical zone,” he added.
Governor Ikpeazu, however, did not either confirm or deny if the personnel of Ebube Agu would bear arms and wear uniforms.
According to Ikpeazu, what is of importance is that he and his colleagues from the other four states in the region would cooperate to ensure that operatives of Ebube Agu would be properly equipped.
“Ebube Agu would be a security outfit both in name, purpose, and action. They will be properly equipped. I want to assure you that all the states in the southeast already has various vigilante outfits.
“We want to call for a harmonised synergised system of action to be able to compare notes to be able to set up digital platforms that can respond to communication challenges,” he added.
Speaking on its modus operandi, Ikpeazu said that the new outfit would be rural-based, adding “it is also going to be intelligence-based.”
Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail the announcement, while many are applauding the decision of the governors, others felt it was somewhat too late in the day, especially with the grossly deteriorated insecurity in the region.
There are some who equally felt the governors took a wrong decision and were only trying to toe the line of their South-West counterparts, who, about a year ago, came up with the South-West Security Network, also known as Amotekun. Others berated the governors for the establishment of a joint security outfit instead of supporting the Eastern Security Network (ESN), set up by the proscribed secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Many of these sets of Igbos see it as a puppet security outfit set up to do the bidding of Fulani overlords and expand their interests in the zone. For them, Ebube Agu cannot see the light of the day.