Governors of the South-East on Sunday harkened to the cry of their people as they took far-reaching decisions to protect the region from attacks of criminals and resolved to set up a regional outfit to be known as Ebube Agu to check insecurity in the region.
The governors made the decision at the first South East Security meeting in Owerri.
In a welcome address, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma said he sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to host the meeting.
“Now given the recent spate of security breaches in the south east zone, and given also the wild conspiracy theories about several terrorist attacks in different parts of the south east, I was minded to convene the meeting as a necessary forum to find a common response to the security challenges assailing the zone.
“From the killings in Ebonyi and Enugu States to the murder of security personnel in Abia and Anambra and the bombings of the Imo State police command headquarters and Owerri Correctional services, the statement is made loud and clear: We are confronted by a hydra-headed monster that must be tamed with a sense of urgency, through a creative seamless synergy by the south east states, strong enough to outwit the cowardly, yet daring onslaught from merchants of carnage against our people and our institutions of authority.
The communique was read by the Chairman of the Southeast Governors forum, Dave Umahi.
1. To strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East. The meeting strongly condemns the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.
2. That the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges in the country. To this end, the meeting makes it absolutely clear that the South east will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits to a finish
3. That the political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorists from the zone.
4. That the summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the south east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five south east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.
SOUTHEAST GOVERNORS LAUNCH EBUBE AGU
5. That the heads of all the security agencies in the southeast have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.
6. That to fast track crime-busting in the south east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.
7. That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the south east joint security platform.
8. To applaud the initiative of the South east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.
9. The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebube Agu.
10. The meeting appreciated the formation of South East joint security outfit co. Named Ebubeagu. Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South East.
11. South East Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow cps and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases.
12. Meeting approve that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East .
13. Meeting agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.
14. Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.
15. The meeting encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.