Governors of the five southeastern states are to meet in Owerri to consider the modalities of setting up a security outfit for the region, says Imo governor Hope Uzodinma.
The governors had been working to set up the Eastern Security Network, but the name was hijacked by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), who used the outfit to commit a lot of mayhem, he said.
He spoke at a meeting with correspondents in Owerri.
He said, “In the next couple of weeks, governors of the Southeast will hold a security summit in Owerri with a view to fashioning out modalities for setting up a security outfit for our region. We will hold an elaborate discussion with a view to finding a lasting solution and to complement the work of security agents in the country.
“It’s necessary for every zone to be vigilant and have a security outfit, especially with the present situation we have in this country. We cannot lose fate with the management of security in our region and at the same time, we must be careful in the way we go about it.
“southeast governors tried to set up the Eastern Security Network by working with Ohanaeze Ndigbo. The attorneys-general of the five southeastern states have already anchored a report on it and before we know it, IPOB hijacked the name and started using it to commit crime.
“That arrangement has not stopped. We are trying to take a review. We will come up with an outfit that will be lasting. We don’t want to do things because others have done it or be copycats. There are permutations and we must defend our people and ensure that there is no external aggression.
“It’s not failure of government because the primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives and property of the people.”
The summit, the governor said, will take a holistic assessment of the security situation in the region and determine the best solution to tackling the issue, especially after the fiasco of the ESN.
Uzodimma said that the governors would not want to be a copycat, especially with the pressure put on them after the formation of Amotekun by the southwest governors, adding that the new outfit will be different from others.