Ebonyi won’t take Bakassi Boys for Southeast security outfit

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By Okocha Emeri

Ebonyi State Government has declared the dreaded Bakassi boys will not be part of the proposed south east regional security outfit slated to commence operation soon.

Governor David Umahi had last week announced that south east Governors were making adequate arrangements for the take-off of joint security taskforce in the zone to help tackle some security challenges.

The region has been battling to contain increasing cases of kidnapping, robbery, farmer/herders clashes cultism and other acts of criminality leading to the plan by the Governors of the region to propose forming a regional security outfit.

Umahi’s statement last week elicited commendations in the wake of the launch of a similar security outfit in the Southwest known as Amotekun.

Some groups, including the Ohaneze Youths Council Worldwide (OYC), had called for the incorporation of the Abịa State based Vigilante group, Bakassi boys in the joint security taskforce.

But the Ebonyi Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Stanley Okoro Emegha on Tuesday in Abakaliki, the state capital rejected such suggestions.

He said: “We don’t allow that, we cannot accept Bakassi boys in Ebonyi state. We have been running Neighborhood Security Watch and the outfit has been gazetted in our state law.

“Name doesn’t matter the important thing is doing the work and keeping the state safe.

“Actually, all of us are Nigerians. We can see that there is a lot of insecurity in the country. In as must as the federal government is doing their best, the best is not enough.

“They should redouble their efforts in curbing insecurity because it is solely their responsibility to secure lives and properties of the citizenry.

“As such what is happening here is that Mr President has not taken drastic and hardened measures. If he do, I tell you it will charge the security agencies that they must come out with a solution to insecurity in the country.

“And the regional joint security outfit, I have said it before that states doesn’t have peculiar problems, the zeal which our governor have to make sure that everybody stay safe in our state cannot be the same zeal other governors have. He is just trying to encourage them, push them to know what they are supposed to be doing.

He added: “I know that Abia state is running vigilante and Bakassi and in Ebonyi here Neighborhood watch is really doing the work the way it should be.

“If they are coming out with a regional security outfit so far as the individual state will know what actually their problem is and then be serious to fight crime I believe very strongly it can help”.

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