South-East Governors and leaders of thought, including Ohanaeze, traditional rulers, and clergymen, yesterday, practically aligned with the South-West zone on the issues of state police, regional security outfit, and ban on open grazing.
This was the kernel of their meeting in Enugu, after deliberations on worsening security situation in the region.
This came as no fewer than eight security operatives were on Saturday night killed by unidentified gunmen in Rivers State.
The meeting endorsed the establishment of Ebube Agu security outfit to work with the Police and other security agencies in their operations to protect lives and properties in South-East zone.
The meeting disclosed that the structure and operational modalities of Ebube Agu have been set up, though they were not made public.
The meeting also said that an Advisory Board for the security outfit has been set up and that Attorneys-General and Commissioners for Justice of the South-East states have been directed to work with the Joint Security Committee to come up with the amendment of existing state laws to reflect the new Ebube Agu outfit.
The meeting directed Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General “to immediately form two committees of South-East Peace and Reconciliation Committee to “engage our people for the purpose of security of our people and her visitors,” and “security and welfare committee to engage and protect our people, especially those who have been unfairly treated.”
The meeting directed that “these Committees must become functional within the next 10 days from the day of establishment.”
The meeting also restated its support for restructuring and State Police.
Attack on Uzodimma’s home condemned
It condemned the attacks on the country home of the Governor of Imo State, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and other state infrastructure, saying “we sympathize with him and call on the Federal Government to fish out the perpetrators and ensure their prosecution.”
The meeting restated the commitment of South-East leaders to ban open grazing in the zone, and urged security agencies and the local vigilantes to enforce the ban in all states of the South-East.
The gathering noted that South-East Governors have agreed on implementation of various ENDSARS Youth Empowerment Programmes in South-East states as soon as possible. However, details of the programme were not made public.
Present at the meeting were Chairman, South-East Governors Forum and Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi; Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; host Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Placid Njoku.
Others included Ohanaeze Ndigbo President, Professor George Obiozor; Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; and South-East CAN President, Bishop Goddy Okafor.
Gunmen kill 8 security men in Rivers
Meanwhile, eight security operatives were on Saturday night killed by unidentified gunmen in Rivers State.
The killings came as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, described weekend attack on the country home of Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, as a threat to Nigeria’s existence, while Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemned the attack in very strong terms.
Meanwhile, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, tasked security agents on fishing out killers of the operatives, as opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, asked the Federal Government to urgently seek foreign assistance, especially from the United States and Europe, to tackle the escalating wave of insecurity in the country.
A source told that the invaders attacked four security check-points on Owerri-Port Harcourt expressway, noting that four policemen, three Nigeria Customs operatives and two soldiers, believed to be Air Force personnel in the JTF were victims of the attack.
The source disclosed that the killers also beheaded two of the persons killed at a Joint Task Force, JTF, check-point close to Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Another source who did not want his name in print, said the bandits also attacked a Nigeria Customs check-point at Isiokpo Umuanwa interchange, killed four persons and burnt down Customs operational van.
‘Attacks started at Elele’
The source disclosed that the killers started the coordinated attack at Elele and operated uninterrupted till they got to Omagwa community Jn Ikwerre LGA, where they carted away guns and two operational vehicles at a security post.
gathered that the gunmen also made attempt to burn down Ikwerre LGA headquarters in Isiokpo community but were resisted by a local vigilante in the area, known as Isiokpo Security Planning and Advisory Committee, ISPAC.
The source said: “There was serious attack on security check-points on the Port Harcourt-Owerri Road. About eight security men were killed.
“The boys that are still unknown came at night and attacked a JTF check-point and killed three soldiers and two policemen. They also attacked a Nigeria Customs’ check-point and killed three operatives.
“They were trying to attack the Police Area Command in Isiokpo and the local government council headquarters before ISPAC, a local vigilante, engaged them.”
The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, SP. Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the attacks, noted that details of the attack were still sketchy.
Omoni noted, however, that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Friday Eboka, has ordered full scale investigation into the development, assuring that the culprits would be arrested and prosecuted.