The Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Sunday, said it had not abandoned Operation Ogbunigwe, the security outfit it planned for the South-East.
Ohanaeze Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, who disclosed this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Enugu, said community policing in the zone could still be named Ogbunigwe.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo had on Wednesday during South-East Security Summit organised by the Nigeria Police Force tagged Strategic Partnership for Effective Community Policing in the South-East Geopolitical Zone” appealed to the Federal Government to allow the zone to establish its security outfit to be known as Operation Ogbunigwe.
Nwodo had said, “Mr IGP, our farms have been devastated and the herders that devastated our farms carry AK-47 rifles. You cannot be talking about community policing when the people you want to supervise, you do not understand their language.
“Your legal architecture doesn’t take into consideration that our governors, by the constitution, are the chief security officers of their various states, and this gives them the responsibility to protect the lives and property of their citizens. So when you begin to talk about recruitment, with the command and control, and you do not share with the governors and representatives at the local areas this command and control and recruitment, this exercise is dead on arrival.”
But the South-East governors through their chairman, and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, after the summit, declared support for the community policing.
Umahi said that the South-East governors were satisfied with the strategies for the implementation of the community policing programme in the zone.
But the Igbo apex body said that it suggested the name for the South-East security outfit.
Ohanaeze Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibegbu who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu said, “Ogbunigwe is a signpost to notify bandits and killer herdsmen that we are ready as during the war to wipe them out.”
Also, the apex socio-cultural youth organisation in Igbo land, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, said the proposed Operation Ogbunigwe was still alive.
The President-General of the Igbo youth group, Okechukwu Isigusoro, stated this during an exclusive telephone interview with The PUNCH on Sunday.
He said, “There’s no going back on the regional security outfit (Ogbunigwe) which the OYC initiated. Community policing is dead on arrival, and even the IGP knows it, too.”
The Ohanaeze had supported steps taken by the South-West governors to set up
Operation Amotekun to tackle killings and kidnapping in the zone.
After agitations from the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other groups in the South-East, the governors from the zone last month met the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in Abuja where they presented a proposal for a South-East security outfit.