Governors of Nigeria’s South-east states have resolved to ensure the creation of laws to establish a regional security outfit.
The governors’ stance comes weeks after South-west governors met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo where they agreed to pass similar laws to back up the South-west security outfit, Amotekun.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had earlier declared Amotekun illegal, saying the constitution only allowed a unitary police structure to be controlled by the federal government.
To resolve the impasse, the South-west governors met with Mr Malami and Mr Osinbajo where it was agreed that the South-west state assemblies should pass laws to legalise the already launched Amotekun.
In their meeting on Sunday, South-east governors resolved to have their state assemblies pass laws to establish their own security outfit.
Details of the discussion of the South-east governors were sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the spokesperson to the Enugu State governor.
Read the full statement below.
The governors of the South-east geo-political zone rose from a closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu, disclosing their plan to forward a bill to South East State Houses of Assembly to enact a law to back-up the South East Regional Security Programme.
Briefing journalists after the meeting which lasted over five hours, the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, stated that the arrangement with the States Houses of Assembly will arrive at a name for the regional security outfit.
Mr Umahi, who maintained that the South-east governors had earlier formed their joint regional security on July 28, 2019, and consequently inaugurated the committee on August 31, added that the forum had written the federal government concerning the security outfit.
According to him, “at an appropriate time we shall be inviting the federal government to note the details of our Joint Security Programme”.
The governors assured the people of the South-east zone that “we have our State Vigilante and the Forest Guards in all the South East States, who work with the security agencies daily in our various communities for protection of lives and property”.
They reassured the people that “the protection of their lives and property is paramount to us and we are committed to just doing that”.
On ongoing rehabilitation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, the South East governors, while noting the quality and speed of work by the contractor, PW Nig. Ltd, expressed satisfaction with the progress so far made and assurances of integrated safety and landing facilities, fencing and drainage system incorporated in the package.
The forum, therefore, “commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt response in full release of special funding for the project”.
The forum also commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State “for making more land available and his commitment in the overall success of the project”, as well as the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Works Committee Chairman on the project, Chris Okoye and his team, for their commitment and constant supervision and monitoring of the project.
The governors assured the people that President Buhari, the aviation minister, the President’s Chief of Staff and all other stakeholders are committed to the re-opening of the Enugu airport by March 31, 2020, saying: “All inconveniences are regretted”.
The forum equally applauded the federal government on the speedy and quality work on the ongoing Enugu-Port Harcourt federal highway, with reservations on a number of sections yet to be attended to, “especially the Abia-PH axis being handled by a Chinese Company”.
According to the forum, “Our findings show that they are not yet properly funded, as to effect reasonable work before the rainy season. While thanking Mr President and the Hon. Minister of Works for this road, we appeal that all the companies be fairly funded so as to attend to most of the deplorable sections before the rainy season.”
On the 2nd Niger Bridge, after a brief on the progress of work from the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, represented by his deputy, Nkem Okeke, the forum and other stakeholders who were present at the meeting commended President Buhari, the works minister, the President’s Chief of Staff and the Managing Director of National Social Insurance Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, for making the all-important project a reality.
“With the level of funding by Mr President, we are confident that this project shall be completed in his tenure”, the forum declared.
They thanked members of Imeobi Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo for visiting them during the meeting, assuring them that their useful advice was noted with a pledge to work with them for the benefit of the people of the zone.