SECESSIONIST group the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) has lashed out at the five governors of the southeast geo-political zone for opposing its plans to create the regional vigilante group the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Earlier this month, Ipob launched the regional vigilante group ESN to combat the growing insecurity across the southeast and south-south geo-political zones. In January this year, the six governors of the southwest geo-political zone agreed to launch a regional body called Amotekun to combat the growing menace of banditry, kidnapping and insecurity in their states and ESN was established along similar lines.
However, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, distanced the governments and people of the area from the Ipob security arrangement. Since Ipob made the announcement, the governors have met with the inspector-general of police Mohammad Adamu, with whom they have agreed to form an alternative community policing plan.
In response, Ipob described the southeast governors as cowards with shameful actions targeted at pleasing the powers-that-be. Ipob spokesman Emma Powerful, accused the governors of standing by idly while heavily armed Fulani herdsmen slaughters Igbo people at will.
Mr Powerful said: “We condemn in very strong terms, the recent shameful statement credited to Governor Dave Umahi on behalf of his fellow lily-livered and coward governors of the southeast against the newly established Eastern Security Network. Such a cowardly statement is nothing but a shameful display of their irredeemable enslavement and loyalty to their caliphate slavemasters who in the first place appointed them governors.
“They only further exposed their emptiness and detachment from the people. At a time when well-meaning individuals and groups from the entire southern Nigeria and Middle Belt are hailing the setting up of ESN, 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. However, our message to the treacherous southeast governors and their south-south counterparts is that the train has since left the station and can’t reverse its cause.
“It’s pretty too late to have a rethink as the people have got what they long desired which the cowardly governors failed to give them because of selfish political interest. May we remind the traitors that the Eastern Region cannot be sacrificed at the altar of their political interest, it’s either they key in or shape out.
“The East can exist without them, so they should steer clear because they can’t withstand the force behind ESN. We reiterate that ESN is not a Biafra army but a vigilante group established to protect Biafrans against terrorists.
“The outfit is only a child of necessity born to bridge the gap of leadership failure by both states and the federal government to protect lives and property of Biafrans who are daily dehumanised, raped and killed by Fulani herdsmen and terrorists unchallenged by any security agency. ESN is beyond Ipob, it’s the people’s irreversible resolve to defend themselves against conquest and occupation by aliens who enjoy the protection of the Fulani controlled federal government and security agents, and anyone trying to oppose the security outfit is testing the will of the people and does so at his own peril.”
Earlier this year, under pressure, the five governors began moves to create a body that would be known as Operation Ogbunigwe, which would mirror Amotekun. However, after a meeting with Mr Adamu in Enugu, they decided to shelve these plans and instead opt for the federal government’s community policing programme.