The Value News

Community Policing: Ohaneze Ndiigbo And South East Governors On The Warpath

By Godwin Obi

The war of words between Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, and the south  east governors over the  starategy to be adopted to maintain internal security in the region appear to be getting out of hand.

 This may have forced some  well-meaning Igbo leaders to intervene in the feud  to bring the situation under control by  pleading   for the understanding of the  Ohaneze and the governors  on the contentious issue of adopting Community policing, even as they believe community policing lacks the bite that is needed in view of the sophisticated guns and bayonets used these days by kidnappers.

Prof. Ebigbo ‘NNOM’

Chairman of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (,NNPP,, Bonniface
Aniebonam, in an interview with The Value News  noted that Ohaneze’s insistence on having the Yoruba kind of special  network   ‘Amotekun’ arose from the fact that people now live in fear. He noted that  at this stage of the south east governors looking  for a way to solve the security problem in the region and throwing its weight on Community policing,  ‘’we should be talking about migrating to ‘e-policing’ because  the conventional , police are doing their best but their best is not enough”.

Aniebonam, who could not hide his feelings,  appealed to the leadership of Ohaneze not to bow to pressure  to soft pedal in their demand  to force the south  east governors to stop thinking of adopting  Community policing in the region but   continue to  push forward  their  idea  because the Southeast needs to be adequately protected. 

 He wondered why the  governors were shying away
from the realities as presented by Ohaneze, suggesting that if they
are afraid of funding it, a Special Trust Fund could be setup for the
project, which he believes would be supported  by well-meaning people in the
region.
According to Anniebonam, “I think the best thing the governors should
do is to encourage the various Houses of Assembly in their states to
pass legislation on establishment of Special Vigilante services, SVS, and
thereafter, apply to Muhammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, for the appropriate Arms that could be used at the level of vigilante”.
He said using supernumerary police with batons in communities that are
ravaged by highly armed criminals was not the best for the Southeast.
He finally implored the governors in the region to listen to the cry
of Ohan, a Poeze and dialogue further on the issue with them to achieve
relevant peace.
P.E. Ebigbo ‘NNOM’, a Professor and Traditional Ruler of Amafuo Kingdom in Oru local government Area of Imo state sympathised with Ohaneze
and advised them to give a trial to the community policing as endorsed
by the Governors and see how far it would go in arresting criminality
in the region.
Though he admitted that community policing is not  the best for the
Igbo nation at this time of indiscriminate attacks in their lands,
Ebigbo said the Governors’ hands are tied, perhaps, because of
the constitutionality needs of vigilante option. “Lets first recruit
30 youths from each community as demanded and then, give them a
trial”, the Prof. had said..
Observers wonder what the Southeast Governors want to do with
Supernumerary police in a time like this, asking where has it had worked
in Nigeria?
They described the governors as acting out the scripts of highly placed
elements who want Southeast to be overrun by insurgents from the north east and bandits from the north west geo-political region.
Recall that Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization
has dissociated itself from the communique of the Southeast regional
summit held recently at the Enugu Government House.
A member of the Ime Obi, the highest decision-making organ of the
group and former Secretary General of Ohaneze, Nduka Eya, said the
IGP, Adamu was not supposed to be
part of the regional summit.
  “I was surprised that there was a security meeting, held
behind closed doors, ahead of that summit’, he queried. The Ime Obi, which is the
highest decision-making organ of Ohaneze Ndigbo, first met to discuss
the region common security matters recently. Coincidentally, the Southeast Governors also met on the same day in Enugu.
“Who summoned the security summit? Who was responsible for the
governors of the Western Region coming together to announce the
formation of Amotekun? Was the Inspector General of police there? Why
was our own always different?
The Ohaneze chieftain said the group wanted their own security outfit
and not the community police model sold to the Governors by the IGP.
He said people of the Southeast want a security outfit in the class of
the Southwest’s ‘Amotekun,’ adding that anything short of that would not be accepted.

Stephen Ubanna

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