LAWMAKERS across Nigeria’s southeast geo-political zone have begun moves to pass legislation in its five houses of assembly to legalise a regional security network to be known as Operation Ogbunigwe along the same lines as Amotekun in the southwest.
Earlier this year, the South East Governors Forum scrapped plans to launch a regional security network to be known as Operation Ogbunigwe that would have been similar to Operation Amotekun launched in the southwest geo-political zone. In February, the six southwest governors agreed to launch a regional body called Amotekun to combat the growing menace of banditry, kidnapping and insecurity in their states.
Highly popular with Nigerians who have been living with chronic insecurity, Amotekun sparked off calls for the creation of similar regional structures nationwide. In the southeast geo-political zone, the governors began moves to create a body that would be known as Operation Ogbunigwe, that would mirror Amotekun.
However, after a meeting with the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu in Enugu, the southeast governors agreed to shelve their plans and instead opt for the federal government’s community policing programme. Last month, however, Governor Dave Umahi, the chairman of the South East Governors Forum, said they were reviewing the situation after Mr Adamu reneged on their agreement.
Consequently, since the start of the week, the houses of assembly of the five southeastern states have commenced the process of enacting laws in line with the proposed South East Joint Security Programme. Southeast governors have been under severe pressure and criticism from Ndigbo at home and in the diaspora for not floating a regional security outfit following the emergence of Amotekun.