ICYMI: Ebubeagu security outfit: an afterthought ~ By Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu
Two days ago the five governors of the Southeast geopolitical zone apparently awoke from slumber and announced the formation of Ebubeagu Security Outfit to help combat the rising insecurity in the region. The announcement was welcomed with mixed feelings by most people in the region. While some heaved a sigh of relief, others lampooned the development opining that the outfit was already dead on arrival. Both sides of the divide could have plausible reasons behind their views.
But empirical facts on ground clearly show that the formation of the outfit appears to be another shenanigan laced with political undertones for which the Southeast governors are known for. In other words, one may not be wrong to conclude that the governors are quite unserious with the purported security outfit. The reasons behind this ideology may not be far-fetched. When one juxtaposes the inauguration of the Western Nigeria Security Network (Amotekun) with that of Ebubeagu Security Outfit, any right thinking person can deduce that the governors of the Southeast are really unserious.
During the inauguration of Amotekun, each of the five governors of the Southwest contributed 20 vehicles each, while Oyo State contributed 33 for the operation. Also each of the governors donated 100 motorcycles each making it a total of 600. In addition, about 1,320 operatives were recruited and commissioned on the said date to commence operation. This is beside funds raised for logistics and the daily operation of the outfit.
The reverse appears to be the case with the Southeast governors who came unprepared to announce the formation of the regional security outfit. Based on their experience as the chief security officers of their various States, the governors can’t claim not to be aware that an efficient security outfit can’t be formed on the pages of newspapers. They are also fully aware that logistics, personnel, funds and planning are all necessary factors for setting up an effective security outfit. Therefore the governors betrayed their apparent dishonest intentions when they inaugurated Ebubeagu Security Outfit without any of the above factors in place. The whole exercise appeared to be a laughable charade.
Nevertheless, the formation of Ebubeagu Security Outfit has justified the establishment of Eastern Security Network (ESN) by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (MNK). MNK who is the supreme leader of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) had earlier raised alarm on the need for the Southeast governors to emulate their Southwest counterparts in establishing a regional security outfit to help curb insecurity in the region. Instead of accepting the wise counsel and ignoring the messenger, the governors failed to heed the warning and politicized the whole matter. The daily attack on innocent citizens in the region by Fulani herders compelled MNK to set up ESN in order to arrest the situation.
The rate of attack by Fulani herders in the region depreciated significantly since ESN commenced operation. However, the entrance of the “unknown gunmen” in to the scene has escalated in no little way the rate of insecurity in the Southeast. It doesn’t make common sense that the Southeast governors rejected ESN which appears to be more equipped and organized and opted to set up Ebubeagu Security Outfit on the pages of newspaper. And I ask, what is wrong if the governors partner with ESN to curb insecurity in the region? If Northern governors can canvass for the pardon and reintegration of bandits and former members of Boko haram into the society, why can’t their counterparts in the east do the same with ESN or IPOB?
Many political analysts view Ebubeagu Security Outfit as a mere paper tiger without a teeth to bite. Others consider it as another jaundiced political move by the Southeast governors to save face in the midst of the growing rate of insecurity in the region. But in all, the whole episode appears to be a tales by moonlight geared towards deceiving the people as usual. One would wonder what the Southeast governors tend to gain by habitually gambling with the lives and properties of citizens who are under their watch. The only reasonable explanation could be that whereas the Southwest governors appear to be independent minded, their counterparts in the Southeast appear to be subservient to a higher authority who tells them what to do.
In all this, it has become crystal clear that the people have lost confidence in the ability of the government in the Southeast to provide security of lives and properties. Also the people are now searching for a credible alternative which has now been provided by IPOB/ESN. Consequently, the Southeast governor’s abdication of their constitutional role of providing security for lives and properties has become the gains for IPOB/ESN. And in a short time, the people may make a drastic decision in chosing between their elected leaders and the IPOB/ESN, and in answering to that, your guess is as good as mine.
Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu Esq.; Public Affairs Analyst.