Bandits Committing Crimes Under The Guise Of ESN, Says Umahi
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi on Wednesday said bandits are committing crimes in the South-East of the country under the guise of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), but insisted governors of the region will not allow what he termed illegality to reign in the area.
“Of late, we have bandits that are now doing a lot of evil and saying that they are Eastern Security Network (ESN),” Umahi who is also the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. “They commit a lot of crimes and say they are IPOB and most of the time, IPOB will come and say, ‘We have no hands in this, we have no hands in that.”
While admitting that the development makes it a bit complex in fighting crime, the governor vowed that leaders of the region will not allow criminals to have a field day in the area, stressing that the establishment of the South-East security outfit codenamed Ebube Agu, will tackle insecurity in Igboland.
“We have the command of the law to protect the lives of our people and we would not allow illegality to thrive in our land,” he assured. “Conflict will not resolve conflict.”
The governor explained that herders-farmers clashes are not the only threat facing the region, noting that the new security outfit was created to flush out crimes of all forms in the South-East.
He also raised the alarm that there are grand plots to incite war in the South-East, asking the people not to fall for such plans.
“The problem of this country is that people will leave their problems and make your problem their problem,” the 57-year-old added. “But what some of these people are doing is to incite the South-East into war and step aside, and we are not going to buy into that; we’re not going to be deceived again.”
The proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) had in December 2020 launched the ESN, a group he said was established to shield the South-East and South-South region from banditry and terrorists.
But on Sunday, Nigeria’s South-East governors announced the establishment of the region’s security outfit in a move reminiscent of the Amotekun in the South-West region of Nigeria.
“That the political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone,” Umahi said in a communique while announcing the setup of Ebube Agu.