Elders in the South-East region under the auspices of Conference of Igbo Elders for Peace and Development (CIEPD) have taken a swipe at the recently formed “South East Security Network” by leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, calling the outfit illegal.
The Igbo Elders who spoke on the outfit on Friday, December 18, said Kanu was on his own and did not have their blessings to set up the security network, and tasked governors of the South-East region to move against the action immediately.
The Elders also called on the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo to denounce Kanu’s action as well as advise the people of the region against falling prey to Kanu’s illegal activities.
In a statement issued by Dr. Festus Edochie, National President and Barrister (Mrs) Esther Amadi, National Secretary of the group, respectively, the Igbo Elders charged the “southeast governors and businessmen in the region to pull resources together and form a security outfit like Amotekun or a civilian JTF backed by law, which can be controlled and be effective.”
The Igbo Elders added that while they recognised the desire of the people to protect themselves through community policing given the worsening security problems in the country, it must be done within the country’s established laws.
They insisted that Kanu’s action does not have their blessings and asked Nigerians to see his action as personal and not representing the region.
The CIEPD said their attention to the “inglorious activities of Kanu was drawn to a trending video of some misguided youths armed with prohibited firearms and dangerous weapons.”
“We observe with utmost shock and concern a disturbing video of a group of some misguided youths codenamed Eastern Security Network, bearing arms and circulating on social media,” the statement read.
Continuing, it added:
“In the said video, the group which claimed to be operating somewhere in Anambra State carried AK-47 rifle 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 South-East governors and well-meaning Ndigbos 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.
“While we recognise 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.
“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.”