Tuesday 20 April 2021

Mike Ejiofor: Military Intimidated In South-East, Ebube Agu Has No Support


Mike Ejiofor, a former director of the Department of State Services (DSS), says the “military forces” have been intimidated in the south-east — and as such, the new security outfit, Ebube Agu, will get little support.

He said Ebube Agu is “unfortunate” and needs a legal framework and structure to function.

Ejiofor spoke on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Monday.

He said: “What are the structures on ground before the formation of Ebube Agu? Is there any legal backing to Ebube Agu? The Eastern Security Network (ESN) that was formed, we all agree it is illegal and cannot take charge of the security space in that area.

“There is nothing on ground in the south-east to support Ebube Agu, so it’s quite unfortunate. It’s just like putting the cart before the horse. There should have been a legal framework before the launch of the operation Ebube Agu. 

“What they are trying to do is like involving community policing. If you go to the south-east, I can tell you… right from Onitsha to Umuahia, you will not see a single police or military checkpoint, and what does that tell you? Our military forces have been hoard[ed] and intimidated going out of the field, because of these people.”

He said vigilantes in various communities are now taking charge of security in parts of the south-east.

The former DSS director said the adoption of true federalism is the solution to the problem of insecurity in the country.

He said the establishment of state police is long overdue and that the call for restructuring must be heeded.

“There have been series of agitation for the rejigging of the security architecture, that took government a lot of time to effect change in the leadership of the various security agencies, especially the arm forces, that people have been talking about that it is queued towards a particular geopolitical zone,” he said.

“Now there has been a rejig, we have new heads of security agencies but again the bandits will now tell you that, if you think rejigging or changing the leadership is the problem, that is not the problem.

“The problem is structural, we need to look at the various components in the country and restructure. There has been a lot of agitation, calling for restructuring, we need to practice true fiscal federalism, until that is done, we will continue to have that problem.

“The security architecture, for instance, we will need to look at the issue of the establishment of state police. I continue to emphasise on this, and people will begin to say why do you always talk about the establishment of state police, security problem is local, so the solution too must be local.”

The former DSS director added that if the various security challenges in the country are not dealt with, the 2023 election is not guaranteed.

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