With the unveiling of Ebubeagu Security Network in Ebonyi State and equipping it with operational vehicles and other measures against insecurity in the state, by Governor Dave Umahi, killings and banditry may come to an end in the once most peaceful state in the federation, UCHENNA INYA reports
Ebonyi State, which hitherto used to be very peaceful, was confronted by banditry and herdsmen killings just like every other state in southeast. Many lives were lost especially in three communities in Ishielu, Local Government Area of the state were many indigenes were massacred by herdsmen with many houses burnt and four villages in Ngbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state were many were also killed by suspected herdsmen.
There were also killings of policemen and soldiers along some federal highways in the state by unknown gunmen. In fact, three Policemen were killed along Abakaliki/Ogoja highway while two soldiers and a private security guard were killed at Timber shade junction axis of Afikpo/ Okigwe highway. Another policeman was also killed in Onueke with a bank Manger shot when armed robbers terrorized the metropolis and dispossessed the people of their cash and other valuables. The robbers later moved to Umuoghara that same day and also robbed many people. All these happened within one week.
It is against this backdrop that Governor Dave Umahi rose to the occasion and unveiled Ebubeagu Security Network in the state. The Governor unveiled the Security outfit during the state security council meeting attended by all the Chief Security in the state.
The council banned wake keep and all other social activities in the state beyond 6:pm. The council said anybody who allows any social activity in the state beyond 6:pm must pay a fine of N1million. Governor Dave Umahi, while briefing journalists after the meeting, said a lot of hoodlum activities happen during the night and banned all social gathering beyond 6:pm.
He condemned increase in fake news in the state especially the one that led to schools closing down on Wednesday last week, following the rumour that herdsmen were killing school children in Abakaliki me-tropolis. Umahi said: “We have agreed that all native doctors in the state and traditional medicine dealers must within seven days today register with the Commissioner for Border Peace, with the Commissioner for Health and with the CP.
“There will be executive order to this event and anyone that is caught doing otherwise will be arrested and will be prosecuted. We are aware that there are some killings over the weekend; a policeman was killed, two army men were killed and I think one civilian and their killers are pure bandits.
“They do these killing and put it in social media that they are members of IPOB or ESN. Without standing for either IPOB or ESN, but they continue to deny that they are not into violence but for me, criminality is criminality and I have directed security agencies to crackdown on all criminal activities in the state.
“And for those who did the killings, the security agencies must bring them to book within 72 hours, they must do that. We agreed that there is rampant of fake news in Ebonyi State. “Like today, somebody posted that herdsmen are in Ebonyi and they are killing people and schools started closing down, students and pupils started running helter scalter, is that what we will continue to tolerate? “And so, I have directed whether you are in opposition, whether you are in agreement, whatever thing you are, you should be tracked down so that you should be going to court to prove whatever thing you are putting.
“We have directed that all wake keep in the state must end by 6pm and the local government chairmen, security agents and Ebubeagu must enforce this. All social activities must end by 6:pm. When you defy this order, you will pay a minimum of N1million because a lot of hoodlums’ activities happen during this week keep going into the night.” Few days after unveiling Ebubeagu Security Network, Umahi procured over 60 operational vehicles for the outfit and all security agents in the state to enable them commenced work immediately.
The vehicles have since been distributed to the security network and the security agents. While distributing the operational vehicles at new government house, centenary city, Abakaliki, the Governor berated Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) for talking about the 2023 general elections amidst the security challenge facing the country. Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu had on Wednesday announced at a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021, organized by the Senate Committee on INEC that the 2023 presidential election would be held on February 23, 2023.
He said it was unfortunate that the electoral umpire was talking about election when the country was on the crossroad. The governor said leaders at all levels must take responsibility and stop blaming the President or the Governors, adding that there was need for the leaders to have a rethink. He noted that Nigeria had enough resources to be a great nation, but had been facing the challenge of bad leadership.