Ebubeagu Security Outfit: We Reject The Fire-brigade Approach To Security Of Lives And Property.
(Being the text of a press statement made after an emergency regional summit of Nigeria Parents Forum held in Enugu on Thursday, 15th April, 2021 by the National Coordinator of Nigeria Parents Forum, Mr. Monday Eze)
1. Nigeria Parents Forum has noted the formation of the Southeast regional security network code-named Ebubeagu by the Southeast Governors Forum as announced on Wednesday, 13th April 2021 by the Chairman of Southeast Governors Forum and the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi.
2. As lethargic as the approach of the Southeast Governors Forum to the sensitive issue of security of human lives and property has been, Nigeria Parents Forum finds the drafting of political supporters and hirelings as operatives of Ebubeagu Security outfit by executive fiat within 24 hours of Ebubeagu's formation as done by the Southeast Governors and revealed by their forum chairman in a television programme disheartening and unacceptable. Security is a sensitive matter and the governors of the Southeast should neither adopt half-hearted fire-brigade approach to it nor use it to settle debts of political patronage.
3. Nigeria Parents Forum notes that membership of existing state vigilantes which Southeast governors want to use to kickstart the Ebubeagu Security outfit were basically political foot-soldiers and errand boys of the respective governors and many of them have questionable characters; are partisan; and have no requisite security knowledge and training which make them unfit for the job. For instance, when the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Taoreen Lagbaja, visited the war-torn Effium Community of Ebonyi State accompanied by Ebonyi State Deputy Governor and Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Security on 3rd April, 2021, the 66 armed war merceneries which the G.O.C. arrested in Okpoduma village revealed that they were members of the state vigilante outfit. This claim of the suspects and their subsequent compromised escape or release as reported by Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Security, Stanley Emeagha, deserves thorough investigations especially for the reason that those who manage the state vigilante outfit in Effium Community are people already identified to the general public by the governor of Ebonyi State as causers and interested parties in Effium Community war. This same people, going by the statement of the governor of Ebonyi State who is also the Chairman of Southeast Governors Forum, have become operatives of Ebubeagu Security outfit that "have been drafted to troubled spots in the state" including war-ravaged Effium Community! This is unacceptable.
4. By this token, Nigeria Parents Forum hereby implores the federal government to restrict involvement in the Federal Government Peace Initiative in Effium Community to only members of federal security outfits in order to prevent sabotage by the biased members of Ebonyi State Vigilante.
5. Nigeria Parents Forum recommends that members of Southeast Governors Forum should show sincere and non-partisan commitment to the security of lives and properties of the people of the Southeast region by initiating an independent; transparent; apolitical and non-partisan processes of enlistment; training and professional management as well as a legal framework for the Ebubeagu Security outfit.
6. Members of Nigeria Parents Forum and their families are hereby charged to be law-abiding and security conscious in all their engagements.
(National Coordinator, Nigeria Parents Forum).