PAN-cultural society the Igbo National Council (INC) has given the five governors of the southeastern states a 90-day ultimatum to launch a regional security outfit similar to the Amotekun project launched in the southwest geo-political zone.
Across southwestern Nigeria, the governors of the six states decided to form a regional security network called Amotekun to combat the menace of armed attacks by Fulani cattle herdsmen. This led to calls for the creation of a similar body in the southeast and at one stage the South East Governors Forum considered launching an identical outfit called Operation Ogbunigwe but after a recent meeting with the inspector-general of police (IGP) they abandoned the idea.
However, according to Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who is the chairman of the South East Governor Forum, they have decided instead to opt for community policing. He added that the southeast governors are resolute in their adoption of community policing as prescribed by the inspector-general of Police Adamu Mohammed, stressing that the model fits into the local security architecture in the area.
In response to this, the national working committee of the INC, has issued a 90 day ultimatum to the governors of the southeast zone to inaugurate their own regional outfit. Reading a communiqué after a meeting attended by members from 20 states, the INC president Chilos Godsent, said the group condemned what it described as the naked cowardice exhibited by the governors.
INC leaders attacked the failures of the governors to establish and officially inaugurate the highly-demanded security outfit like their contemporaries in the northwest and southwest geopolitical zones. Mr Godsent revealed that INC rejects the view of the inspector-general of police’s proposal for community policing across the southeast geopolitical zone.
Mr Godsent said: “We wish to inform the people of the Igbo race that the proposed community policing by the IGP is meant to officially aid the framework for intelligence gathering and invasion of Igbo communities by the jihadist. On the foregoing, the Igbo National Council requests the governors of the southeast, south-south and north central geopolitical zones respectively as a matter of urgent necessity to establish and officially inaugurate their regional security outfits like the southwest Amotekun and northwest Shege-Ka-Fasa within 90 days from 29th February 2020 as a sign of patriotism and commitment to the security and welfare of their citizens.
“We note that failure for the governors of the aforementioned geopolitical zones to adhere to this call, the self-determination groups in those geopolitical zones maybe compelled to take their destiny into their own hands in other to protect their citizens from the rampaging Fulani jihadist. Finally, the Igbo National Council wishes to advise the leadership of Miyetti Allah in Nigeria to urge its members who now camp in many forests in the southeast and south-south geo-political zones to immediately vacate those forests or regret their deviancy.”
He averred that the reality on the ground has clearly shown that the present crops of service chiefs in the country can no longer protect the lives and properties of Nigerians who he claimed are daily slaughtered like cows and chickens by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and Fulani jihadists. In addition, the INC called on the federal government to reopen Nigeria’s southern border or otherwise close the porous northern borders where smuggling activities have been taking place since the politically-motivated closure of the southern borders.