South East Governors’ Ebubeagu Security Outfit: Another Empty Rhetoric?

Last Sunday, April 11,South East Governors, working under the aegis of South East Governors Forum, publicly announced the formation of Ebubeagu Joint Security Outfit.

The announcement came with so much fanfare and ceremony, and that initially  seemed to have made  people excited by the news.

However, the early morning celebration seemed to have evaporated after the Governors Forum official communique from the meeting/ security summit hit the public space.

Majority of those who reacted after reading first hand the document  were of the opinion that  the whole exercise was merely a rhetorical exercise. 

According to them upon going through what was written it became obvious that it was all   sound and fury with  very little weight and import.

South Easterners who think that the floating of Ebubeagu was an exercise in futility no doubt must have been inspired by  the seeming plethora of issues left unaddressed and hanging by the governors.

Among these issues are those that can be considered key like absence of legal framework for Ebubeagu, amorphous command structure and clear enunciation of funding structure.

Undoubtedly, all these are burning issues that can’t be swept under the carpet. Knowing that security is a sensitive issue in which nothing should be left to chance, one had thought the governors would have done their home work well before going public by first  given legal teeth to the outfit. 

At least they ought to  have borrowed a leaf from their colleagues  in South West in the birthing of Amotekun.  What of states like Benue which banned open grazing?  They also enacted laws so as not to leave anything to chance.

 As important as legal framework or, even more  critical is also the issue of architecture or structure of the outfit. Many people have argued that the decision of the governors to hand control of the outfit to a committee made of various entities appears like ploy to abort it even before it becomes operational. 

As a committee of equals without a clear commander,  many have expressed concern that  it would not be possible for it to take swift decisions, which are often daily routine in security.

 Again,  questions have been asked why the same  conventional security agencies which have been unable to tame rising insecurity in the zone were incorporated into the Ebubeagu command committee. 

Also, is the command structure only going to be at the zonal level? Who would be in charge at State, Local Government and Community levels?

When one  critically analyse what  people are saying, one would be tempted to align with them completely, because they are raising Pertinent issues.

In all honesty, the Ebubeagu thing seems like another wild goose chase at the moment. 

However,  some voices have cautioned that it  is still very  early to completely write off the venture. This school of thought should also be accommodated.

 But, by and large, if the governors are really serious about the security outfit, then they should immediately set machinery in motion to tie identified loopholes.

They must back it with a law which would provide for its funding structure; properly design and put its architecture in place and, quickly provide enough logistics for effective service delivery.

And they must do these things quickly because the Igbo land seems to be under serious siege now. In the last two weeks over forty people have been killed in Ebonyi and Enugu States. By every yardstick that is more than proof that these  are  perilous times and  something drastic needs to  be done.

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