Why South –South Governors Agreed To Float A Regional Security Outfit

 By Lateef Adegbite

Amidst the increasing high level of insecurity across the country, particular, the activities of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of the West African Province, ISWAP, operating in the north eastern geopolitical region and the armed wielding bandits in the north west including the rampaging herdsmen,may have encouraged the governors of the south-south geo-political region to establish a regional security out to ward off any attacks.

The decision to establish the regional security outfit  was said to have been taken during a recent closed door meeting hosted by Nyensom Wike, a former minister of State, ministry of Education, during Goodluck Jonathan Administration and now governor of Rivers state, in Port Harcourt, the state Capital..

Ifeanyi Okowa, a  one-time Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria and now governor of Delta state had had dropped the bombshell when he came out of the  given an insight why they took the decision to float the regional security outfit.  He noted that they were encouraged to do so because most of’’ the Braced states have established their state security organs’’. He may have gladdened the heart of the people of the region when he disclosed that after their extensive deliberations, the regional security architecture was adopted and will be ‘’Launched very soon’’.

Prof. Ayade: Governor of Cross river State

Ben Ayade, a Professor and a former Opposition People’s Democratic  Party , PDP, governor of Cross-rivers state , who had bowed to pressures from the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Leadership and the Presidency, to decamp to the Party. He may have turned out to be another Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo state, in the south east, in the region. He may have demonstrated that he is not ready to Collaborate with his fellow governors in Akwa Ibom, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states to in supporting the proposed regional security outfit to avoid playing into the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, and political ally. It was not surprising why he was not  at the all the important south –south governors meeting in PortHarcourt, Capital of Rivers state on Monday, October 4, 2021.

Recall that the south west states governors of Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, Osun , Ekiti and Ondo , had established the Ometokun, regional Security outfit while the south east governors had proposed the establishment of Ebube Agu, regional security outfit, which the governors had agreed at the Tuesday, Octiber 5, 2021, meeting at Enugu, Capital of the old Eastern region,  will be established  in all the south eastern states  before the end of 2021 .

The decision of the south west,  south east  and  south –  south states to establish regional security outfit and the hardline position adopted by Samuel Ortom, a former minister of state , Trade and Investment ,may have informed why Farouk Yahaya, a Lt.General and Chief of Army Staff, CoAS, who ought to be concerned on how to checkmat the activities of  the Insurgents in the north east  states of Borno and Yobe,  and the Bandits crippling economic and social activities in Zamfara., described as home state of the bandits, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Katsina, home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, has mobilised the army  to Launch three field training exercise in four geopolitical regions across the country.

Lt.Gen.Yahaya: CofAS

Yahaya, the CoAS, was said to have told those that cares to listen  that the training exercises  which would be conducted simultaneously in  the four  earmarked regions: south west, south east, south-south and north central,, where the insecurity situation , appears to be worsening, south-south, south west and the north central  geopolitical regions.

The army General, had said that the  training exercise  will be conducted in ‘’collaboration  with the  Usman Akali Baba,  led Nigerian Police  Force, NPF,  Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Nigerian Security & Civil ,Defence Commission, NSCDC, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, , Federal Fire Service,  and other critical stakeholders , who expected to provide  all the necessary support  for the exercise.

 Although the army fielding training exercise is taking place in the southern and the north central parts of the Nigeria, the army Chief had made Nigerians to believe that’’’’ the exercise will confront the multifaceted and contemporary challenges prevalent in different parts of the country’’ as well as ‘’restore  and order in the troubled regions as well as create the enabling environment  for socio-economic activities to thrive’’.

He had appealed to the soldiers to remain professional steadfast and diligent in the discharge of their military duties throughout the period of the training exercise in consonance with the objectives of the exercise, without harassin  the people.  He was said to have further charged the troops’’ to ensure the respect and protection of Fundamental Human rights of the people in line with the provisions of the 1999, Constitution, as they discharge their duties’’, thus fueling speculations making the rounds that he is acting out a script prepared  from above.

He may have sent a signal to the Criminal elements, particular, the separatist groups, in the south east and south western geopolitical regions  to desist   from their atrocious activities or be ready to face the country’s military might. He may have alluded to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the close watch of Nnamdi Kanu, who is still in the Department of State Security, DSS and Sunday Adeyemo, popular, Igboho, figting for the actualization of the Yoruba nation.  The  retired army General Nigerian President may have shocked Nigerians in in his speech to mark the country’s 61st  Independence Anniversary when he disclosed that ‘’the government has identified  sponsors  of the secessionist groups  , stressing thatone of their Leaders is a member of the Ntional Assembly by the Lawmakers would not take it.  The House under the close watch of Femi Gbajabiamila,  has challenged Buhari’’to name and prosecute the Lawmaker  identifies  as sponsor of  the secessionists groups in the country instead of making such wide allegations.

Chukwuka Utazi, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Enugu North Senatorial district, appears to have realized this that  he has asked  the Katsina state born Nigerian President to change the way  he addresses  the people of the south –east region.  Appealing to the Nigerian President  to engage  the stakeholders  from the region to address whatever grievances that may be on  instead of using force to achieve his aim, the Lawmaker, who could not hide his feelings said ‘’it is the  only forward to  the agitations in the region.

kEnyinnaya Abaribe,   may have shocked Nigerians and indeed, the security agencies personnel, when  he revealed that   that ‘’there are dozens  of separatist  groups  in the south east geopolitical region alone.   He noted that IPOB, is just one of the many groups jostling for recognition and acceptance by the people. He cited the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, as another. He would want the government to de-emphasis its focus on IPOB, and take a look at why the various separatist are protesting  the marginalization  of their people and demanding that their grievances must be addressed instead of applying Force to calm them.

Already, the army Chief, who many believe is acting out a script, has flagged off the army training exercise in Enugu state. The exercise was said to have been witnessed by the various army Commanders in the region and representatives of other security agencies in the state.  An aggrieved Senator Eyinnaya had said  that ‘’it should be a source of worry to the government  if a bon –state  action  is applied  in this mannner’’, to calm the various separatist groups in the region. Worried by the high level of insecurity in the region and the threat to the November 6, governorship election, in Anambra state,  may have informed  why Mahmood Yakubu, a Professor and Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, arranged  a security meeting with Babagana Munguno, a retired Major General and National Security Adviser, NSA,  and heads of other security agencies , including  the inter-agency  Consultative  Committee  on Election  Security, ICCES and  other senior  electoral officials. Note that the NSA, had, one Sanusi Galadima, to represent him at the top level security on the Anambra election.   The INEC, Chairman, had said that with the increasing attacks by alleged  gunmen in the state , it may affect the Commission’s plan for the November 6, 2021, poll in the state , if not properly tackled.

He fears that the gunmen who had unleashed in the south eastern stat, where Obiano, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, is seeking re-election, ‘’do not want

 the governorship  election to hold as planned next month’’.

Galadimmma, may have spoken the mind of the Munguno, the NSA, at the INEC, organised security meeting for the Anambra , governorship election, when he revealed that  that the office has initiated steps  in Collaboration with   the security agencies  in the country  to stop the separatists attempts  in the region  ahead of the November 6, 2021, poll, in the state.

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