The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law otherwise known as Intersociety has said that it is strongly suspicious of the panicky and hurried announcement of the new security outfit by the Southeast Governors Forum more so as the outfit is coming when all hopes had been lost from state actor angles, forcing most citizens of the region to place their hopes, expectations and solutions on the table of non-state actors.
The group in a statement issued in Onitsha, Anambra State by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Obianuju Igboeli, Chidimma Evan Udegbunam and Samuel Kamanyaoku disclosed that it was very surprised to hear the sudden announcement even as it also doubted the sincerity and genuineness of the promoters of the new security outfit.
It pointed out that it was doubtful, too, whether critical indigenous stakeholders and other interest groups were duly consulted and carried along insisting “that the new outfit is most likely a baptism name given to the 2019 illegitimate and unpopular ‘Community Policing’ arrangement by the same Southeast Governors during which all the security chiefs that attended the meeting where the decision to use ‘Community Policing’ to checkmate menaces of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the Southeast region were made up of officers of Fulani-Hausa Muslim background.”
“We therefore have strong reason to suspect and conclude that the Southeast Governors newly created security outfit, tagged ‘Ebube agu Security Outfit is a caliphate inspired counter measure to truncate or weaken non-state actor arrangements including vigilant and vigilantism resort to legitimate self-defense safeguards provided in Section 258 of the Criminal Code and Section 59-60 of the Penal Code (operational in the Igbo parts of Benue and Kogi States).
“The latest moves by the Southeast Governors are also likely geared towards using the so called ‘Ebube agu Security Outfit’ to protect and consolidate the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen incursions and settlements in bushes, forests and farmlands in the Southeast region and its outposts in Benue, Kogi, Rivers, Cross River, Delta and Edo States.
“The name ‘Ebube agu’, as a matter of fact, is meaninglessly a camouflage especially when the Nigerian Army has used similar camouflages like ‘Egwu-Eke’ and ‘Atilogwu Udo’ to massacre over 700 unarmed and defenseless citizens of the region and maim over 800 others and engage in other atrocious conducts including roadblock corrupt practices. Also, today in Igbo land, the ‘Ogbu-Agu’ title given to Retired Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has turned out to be ‘a killer-license (Ogbu)’ and ‘Agu (Igbos translated as lion)’ or ‘license to kill Igbos’, issued back in 2014 while “Ikeogu” title given him in 2018 has translated to ‘thank you for killing Igbos”, it said.
It however contended that the outfit can never operate successfully in the Southeast region where almost 100 percent of top security especially military and police formations were in the hands of officers from other regions, most of whom were Muslims of Fulani-Hausa extraction.
While positing that it was an act of impossibility finding any region in Nigeria where 10% of its top security formations were commanded by officers of Igbo Christian stock, not to talk of dominating or controlling their majority or over 98% as presently the case in Igbo Southeast region, Intersociety lamented that the gross lopsidedness, if not total control of the named formations by officers of Fulani-Hausa Muslim extraction in Igbo Southeast and its gateway regions was so shocking and alarming that key security formations in its gateway States were also manned by senior Fulani-Hausa officers and a fraction of Southwest Muslim officers.
According to the group, “Statistically, in Benue State, a major gateway into the Southeast, the Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke is Major Gen. Yekini Adeyemi (Southwest Muslim), the Commander of 401 Special Forces Brigade, Makurdi is Brigadier Gen. Samai’la Mohammed Uba (Fulani-Hausa Muslim), the Commanding Officer of 72 Special Forces Battalion, Makurdi is Lt. Col. A.D. Alhassan (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and the State Commissioner of Police is Audu Madaki.
“In Edo State, another major gateway into the Southeast, the Brigade Commander of 4 Brigade, Benin is Brigadier Gen. M. A Sadiq (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and the State Commissioner of Police is Aliyu Ogbadu. In Delta State, the State of origin of large outpost Igbo population, the Brigade Commander of 63 Brigade; Asaba is Brigadier Gen. A. Idris (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and the State Commissioner of Police is Ari Mohammed Alli (Fulani-Hausa Muslim). In Rivers State, a major gateway into the Southeast, the GOC, 6 Division, Port-Harcourt is Major Gen. Sambo G Mohammed (Fulani-Hausa Muslim).
“In Cross River State, a major Southeast neighbor, the State Commissioner of Police is Sikiru Akande (Southwest Muslim) and in Akwa Ibom State, another Southeast gateway, the Brigade Commander of 2 Brigade, Uyo is Brigadier Gen. Faruk Mijinyawa (Fulani-Hausa Muslim). The Police Zonal Commands in Calabar and Benin are also as at weeks back headed by Fulani-Hausa Muslims (AIG Zaki Ahmed incumbent AIG for Zone 6 and another is for Zone 5). In neighboring Bayelsa State, Air Vice Marshall Aliyu Bello (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) is the Air Officer Commanding Nigerian Air Force Base in Yenagoa.
“In the Southeast region proper, the following findings were made: Major Gen. Toareed Lagbaja, GOC, 82 Division, Enugu (Southwest Muslim), Brig. Gen. GS Mohammed (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and Commander, 82 Division Finance Corps, Brigadier Gen. Ibrahim Tukura (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and Brigade Commander, 34 Brigade, Obinze, Brig. Gen. M. Ibrahim (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade, Ohafia), Col. Abdulsalam Abubakar Sambo (Fulani-Hausa Muslim) and Cantonment Commandant of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Onitsha, Lt. Col. O. Sadiq (Muslim) and Commanding Officer, 24 Army Support Engineering, Abakiliki, Nasiru Mohammed, Commissioner of Police, Imo State (Fulani-Hausa Muslim), Aliyu Garba, Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State (Fulani Hausa Muslim), Mohammed Aliyu, Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command (Fulani-Hausa Muslim), Monday Bala Kuryas, Commissioner of Police, Anambra State (Hausa Christian) and Janet Agbede, Commissioner of Police, Abia State. Police Zones 9 (Umuahia) and 13 (Ukpo-Anambra) are also in the hands of same Fulani-Hausa Muslims and as at weeks ago, were headed by AIGs Zana Mohammed Ibrahim and Hafiz Mohammed.
“In all these, the only Igbo found among top security headship in the region is the newly posted Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Air Force Ground Training Command, Enugu, Air Vice Marshall Frank Oparah who took over from Air Vice Marshall Idi Amin (Fulani-Hausa Muslim).”
“Intersociety also found that headships of Operations, Criminal Investigations and Mobile Squadrons of various State Commands of the Nigerian Police Force in the Southeast region are controlled by officers of Fulani-Hausa extraction and a fraction of Southwest Muslim officers. For instance, in the Anambra State Police Command, the present Deputy Commissioner of Police for Operations is Salman Garba, the ACP for State CID is ACP Babalola Adewuyi and Commander of MOPOL 29 Squadron, Awka is ACP Abubakar El-Jamal (Fulani-Hausa Muslim). These are just to cite but a few”, it added.
It will be recalled that the Southeast Governors Forum had on Sunday April 11, 2021, after its meeting at Owerri, the Imo state capital, announced the launch of the Southeast regional security outfit codenamed Ebubeagu, headquartered in Enugu to coordinate the vigilante in the Southeast.
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