Chief Willy Ezugwu is the Secretary-General of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and National Coordinator, South-East Revival Group President. In this interview with ANAYO EZUGWU, he speaks on the formation of Ebube Agu security outfit in the region, the Eastern Security Network, among other issues
What do you make of the formation of Ebube Agu security outfit in the southeast?
As the coordinator of the South East Revival Group, we have already issued a press statement letting everybody hold South-East governors responsible if there is any security breach in the region and I stand by that. Why am I saying this, we find out that out of the selfishness of the South-East governors, they have decided to play into the hands of those we call our enemies.
There has never been anything tangible they have done for the assassinations and killings in the South-East. They have been oiling them and trying to treat them as if it is people from the region, whereas they are not.
We saw what happened in the southwest before the southwest people came up with Amotekun, you saw that every state enacted a law guiding it. And before they came out totally, you saw the vehicles each state governor in the southwest contributed.
You saw the uniforms. You saw the well-organized and sincere way of bringing in security for their people. But tell me what is on the ground for the Ebube Agu.
Have you seen in the southeast where the security meeting is being done without senior DSS officials and commissioners of police from the region in that meeting? Then how do you think that we are safe?
At the same time, the governors are now telling you that Ebube Agu would work with other security agencies in the country. We are no longer babies.
They are playing on our intelligence. They floated it for us to think they are doing something. Unfortunately for them, they have misfired again and they will keep on misfiring. So we don’t believe in that particular organization as far as I’m concerned and those who can understand what it is all about in the southeast.
From what you are saying you don’t see the possibility of it helping in resolving insecurity in the southeast?
Not at all because there is nothing on the ground, we are Nigerians and we saw what the southwest governors did with Amotekun before they flag it off. It happened in our eyes.
You don’t think that this announcement is the first process of setting up the system but every other thing?
I don’t believe in anything from these governors because they are not sincere. If you have watched Dr Sam Amadi’s interview with AIT, that says it all. Outside the statements, they issued, have they done any other thing since then? At times some people say that southeasterners are intelligent, but when you look at what they did, it is very unintelligent.
How do you think the governors should manage the Ebube Agu and the Eastern Security Network, ESN in the region to avoid clashes?
That is what they are now playing with because of their insincer- ity they still look at that Eastern Security Network, which they are calling IPOB, which is not IPOB. They are still looking at it as maybe they came up and start doing what their paymasters do not want.
And that is why they hurriedly came up with this ‘mago mago’ thing they are talking about. And most of us saw because of their indices of not coming forth, every person in the southeast believe that the socalled Eastern Security Network is the one they are looking up to. And this is what the governors supposed to have done. Even if you are forming Ebube Agu, you should have been about to liaise and bring them together.
There is nothing like formal training. There is nothing, you just come up and went to Owerri and say that we are Ebube Agu. Where is that Ebube Agu from? It is just a slogan as far as people like us are concerned.
For example, look at what happened in the killings in Ebonyi State, look at what happened in Imo State where they burn down a whole police headquarters, went to the prison and release every prisoner and even went to the army and kill some.
All are just trying to cause a problem in the southeast that has been very peaceful.
And instead of southeast governors to be serious and active they are still playing it with a kid glove because of their own selfish interest. And what is that their selfish interest, all of them wants to be vice president of the country comes 2023, as far as I’m concerned they all saboteurs.
The concern in the southeast presently is that people seem to believe more in ESN than the Ebube Agu outfit, how do you think the perception would be addressed?
That is why I’m saying that the formation came out from the blues. If they are reasonable enough they would have been able to recruit people. If they feel that Eastern Security Network is not from them, they would have liaised with them and own the process and give them a sense of direction if they are misbelieving, which they are not as far as I’m concerned.
All you people are tagging them that it is Nnamdi Kalu, is IPOB, whereas it is not. It is just like when you want to kill a dog you hang him with any name. What stops you from recruiting these people and give them formal training and be able to have a total way of organizing it in such a manner as what happened in the southwest.
You flag off Ebube Agu and there is nothing on the ground. Not even a law enacted on it, no one single bicycle to say this is for Ebube Agu. Or are they just preparing how to go about it? And none of these governors trusts each other, so it is a marriage that cannot work with them even.
Some are going to Abuja to be a good boy. Some are sitting down here to pretend as if they are working. They forgot that after their second term in office and all the security, definitely, you will come out and still stay with us.
That time your immunity is gone and you will still go the same market with me, you will still pass the same road with me, you will still go to functions with me except you become an island only you will live. So when they are doing what they are doing they should remember that there will be tomorrow.
We have a lot of people who have been governors for eight years and came out, we know their positions today. So when you think you are deceiving the people, it is just like your five fingers when you are pointing to somebody, who is the rest pointing to?
What do you make of general insecurity in the country?
This particular government of APC that is running our federal government has failed. I have said it time without number and they failed because of incompetent people who are manning our economy and the government.
Let me give you an example, Governor Obaseki of Edo State came up that government printed N60 billion, the minister denied it but the CBN came up and say yes we printed such money, can you imagine the confusion between government to government.
This is a government that came out with the mantra that security with be a time of the past, this is a government that says in less than six months, there will be light everywhere, is there anything that this government has not said. Watch out their manifesto and campaign promises, have anyone being done except needless propaganda that has not meaning.
At times in propaganda, you can propagate what you are saying and when you are saying what you are propagating, you can now say that this particular issue I’m looking at no matter it might be hard. But at least propagate something that has 50-50 benefit. Look at how the system has been so much disorganized with the most best-trained military officials and police officers being retired for unnecessary reasons.
Judiciary workers are on strike over their financial autonomy, what do you think, is it not high time we allow them to have their autonomy?
It is very unfortunate that we are running a lovable country like Nigeria now is ran like a banana republic. Quite very unfortunate whereby a country we so much loved that if you come today no one believes in Nigeria any longer. In a democracy, we have three arms of government and in those three arms of government, you talk of the executive, the judiciary and the parliament.
But today, the so-called parliament somehow has its own financial autonomy, the same thing as the executive, what stops the judiciary.
Why are the governors refusing to get it approved because they want to be directing that arm of the government, where a governor can sit down and appoint the attorney general of the state, where a governor will sit down and appoint the chief justice of the state, where the president will sit down and appoint the chief judge of the federation and direct them on what kind of judgment they want. If this country is actually a country that believes in itself, is there anything wrong with the judiciary to have financial autonomy?
It is even in the country that the judiciary should have its autonomy and we are pretending. If you are in government today, you will be out of government tomorrow, it is then you will see them lying, after all, I wanted it to happen but my colleagues refused. Who are the colleagues more than you now?
These are people, I don’t know whether they are cursed, who do not want anything good to happen in the governance.
There is no exemption. All we have is people of selfish interest. The medical doctors are on strike and Mr President went overseas to treat himself and there are people who promised not to travel abroad for treatment. Look at the amount of money that has been invested in the Aso Rock clinic, still, the president is travelling for treatment. Look at what they put in every budget for that clinic.
The doctors are on strike, ASUU is on strike, the judiciary on strike and we think that we are running a country and we have a president. So the autonomy of the judiciary is the right and it must be done and it must happen because that is what it is supposed to be. Whether they like it or not it must be and it has come to stay