Eastern Security Network: “You’re On Your Own” – Igbo Elders Tell Nnamdi Kanu
Igbo elders have told Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu that he is on his own for creating the Eastern Security Network for the South-East and South-South zones.
The elders advised Igbo governors to immediately move to counter Kanu’s “illegal” action by creating a security outfit for the South-East zone in the mold of Amotekun created by South-West governors for their zone.
They equally called on the leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to denounce Kanu’s action, charging Ndigbo not to fall victim to his antics.
The Conference of Igbo Elders for Peace and Development spoke Thursday in a statement signed by National President, Dr. Festus Edochie, and National Secretary, Barrister (Mrs) Esther Amadi.
They called on “southeast governors and businessmen in the region to pull resources together and form a security outfit like Amotekun or civilian JTF backed by law, which can be controlled and be effective.”
According to the statement, the elders said their attention was drawn to a trending video of some misguided youths armed with prohibited firearms and dangerous weapons, describing it as an “inglorious activities of Mr. Kanu”.
“We observe with utmost shock and concern a disturbing video of a group of some misguided youths codename Eastern Security Network, bearing arms and circulating on the social media.
“In the said video, the group which claimed to be operating somewhere in Anambra State carried Ak-47 and other dangerous weapons under the guise of providing security against violent crimes being committed by herdsmen in the region.
“We condemn this group and its activities in its entirety and call on all southeast governors and well-meaning Ndigbo to come out and condemn this act of criminality being sponsored by a self-appointed leader of a proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” the Igbo elders said.
”While we recognize perfectly the yearning and desire of every Nigerian today for community policing and self-security due to the insecurity in the country, we insist that it must be done in accordance with the law of the land and by the right people who are legally empowered to do so.
“No group or individual has the legal right to bear prohibited firearms of that nature without the proper backing of the law. Hence we must all rise in the South East to not only condemn but also distance ourselves from this act without delay,” the Igbo elders added.
They noted that the proscribed IPOB lacks the power to bear prohibited arms, blaming the failed security architecture in the country for the resort to self-help.
“No doubt, the current security architecture of Nigeria has failed and Nigerians deserve to protect themselves but that must be done within the premise of the law.
“We are Nigerians and cannot form a parallel security arm that bears prohibited firearms for any reason in our region.
“It is not in the place of IPOB to organize such a group armed with automatic weapons, no lawful country or citizen will support that, even the civilian Joint Task Force which is supported by law with members assisting in fighting terrorism in Borno State and other parts of North East don’t use automatic weapons.
“In the South West, also Amotekun which is lawfully set up by the authorities in the region does not use automatic firearms. ” Bearing prohibited firearms under any guise is unacceptable,
“Only Dane guns and pump-action rifles can be licensed in Nigeria. We have restrictions in Nigeria on the use of firearms and nobody is above this law. Criminals use these illegally,” the Igbo elders said.
The Igbo elders noted, “The obvious gap in our national security notwithstanding, a proscribed organization like IPOB does not have the right to arm a group of young men with automatic weapons in the name of a security network or any nomenclature. It is unacceptable and must be resisted by all Ndigbo of goodwill.
“We are therefore calling on all the Southeast governors and businessmen in the region to pull resources together and form a security outfit like Amotekun or civilian JTF backed by law, which can be controlled and be effective.
“Finally, we wish to call on the southeast governors, Ohaneze Ndigbo, and other well-meaning groups to come out to condemn the act of criminality that may spark unrest in the region thus portraying Ndigbo as bad and lawless people.
“We further appeal to all Nigerians not to see this act of criminality as an Igbo agenda, but a deliberate act by a fugitive criminal, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to gain popularity and earn his daily bread from his sponsors.”