By Jude Atupulazi and Ikeugonna Eleke
The Anambra State Government will change the name of Anambra Vigilance Group (AVG) to Ebubeagu in line with the South-East Governors’ resolve to have a uniformed security outfit in the region. This comes in the wake of renewed activities of hoodlums popularly known as unknown gunmen in parts of Anambra and Enugu States, a development that prompted the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to declare war on those enforcing the sit-at-home order which IPOB however says it has long suspended.
Last Monday a Sienna bus was burnt in Ekwulobia by people suspected to be members of IPOB enforcing the sit-at-home directive earlier given by their parent body. Their action caused chaos in that area as people ran helter-skelter, with businesses closing before security operatives restored normalcy.
In neighbouring Enugu State, hoodlums suspected to be loyal to IPOB had also disrupted activities and burnt a vehicle, with a video recording showing where people’s wares were thrown across the road. At Four Corners, a popular place in Oji River, a video recording of a woman condemning the damaging of her vehicle by suspected IPOB loyalists was also shown.
In the wake of those attacks, IPOB, through its spokesman, Emma Powerful, denied IPOB’s involvement, maintaining that the group had since suspended such directives since September 19 last year.
A press statement signed by Powerful, said, ‘The attention of the global movement and family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been drawn to the senseless shooting in Enugu State on Monday by hoodlums and cultists recruited and sponsored by some evil politicians in the state who derive joy in spilling the blood of their fellow citizens.
‘We have severally explained that IPOB has not authorized anybody to enforce Monday sit-at-home which has been suspended since September 19, 2021. Anybody unleashing sorrow on innocent citizens under the guise of enforcing sit-at-home order is a criminal and does not deserve pity.’
He accused those people of conniving with security agencies and IPOB’s enemies to inflict pain on fellow Igbos.
‘Now, we want to inform our people to stand firm in the fight for their liberty. IPOB did not ask anybody to enforce sit-at-home of any kind. Henceforth, ESN operatives will come from the bushes and forests and go after these criminals unleashing mayhem on innocent people and visitors to Biafra Land in the name of enforcing a non-existent Monday sit-at-home order,’ Powerful said.
IPOB then asked the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to also deal decisively with any hoodlum using the Monday sit-at-home to make life difficult for innocent citizens/residents. He said anyone still doing such
‘We equally call on our people and members of the public to skin alive, any idiot caught inflicting sorrow on the people in the name of enforcing non-existent Monday sit-at-home order. Such evil soul and messenger of death doesn’t deserve to live.
Those shooting sporadically in the market are criminals and bandits using the name of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and ESN to humiliate our people and demonise the movement. Their aim is to give the federal government excuse to hold our leader perpetually in detention.
‘ESN operatives must be ready to confront criminals creating these problems in the name of ESN and IPOB in the region. We have suspended Monday sit-at-home long time ago, and we have not rescinded that decision. Biafrans must be strong to withstand our enemies and their collaborators every Monday,’ IPOB stated.
But barely a day after, the Anambra State Government through the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, disclosed new security arrangements in the state, starting with the Vigilance Group which he said would be renamed Ebubeagu, the name of the security outfit formed by the Southeast Governors Forum.
‘For us, there is no big deal, we have an efficient Anambra Vigilante Group which we intend to restructure and change its name and uniform to Ebubeagu; that’s all.
‘The delay in changing the name to Ebubeagu is a mere administrative thing; it’s as a result of the new security challenges we are facing and we are working on that, which is unusual.
‘We have forwarded the processes to the State House of Assembly and when they are through, they are going to change the name and change the uniform. It requires some changes in the law establishing and governing it as regards its operations. Maybe we might make one or two adjustments. We are looking into the possibilities of making adjustments to their mode of operation,’ Adinuba said.
He disclosed that the state government already had existing personnel and was only bugged down by he described as ‘extraordinary security challenges where we are being attacked by outside forces, people that are not indigenes. It is not a normal situation.’
Adinuba further said the state government would redesign the system with a view to rejigging it and giving it a proper operational procedure.
‘Once we are through with fine-tuning the modus operandi, we will announce it. The security challenge we are facing is only in Ihiala Local Government Area because it borders Imo State and it is where these people have their camp,’ he said.
It is however left to be seen how the change of name will have the desired effect.