By OBINNA EZUGWU
Professor Uzodinma Nwala, President, Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), has quit from Southeast Security Committee headed by Gen Obi Abel Umahi (rtd), the elder brother of Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, citing lack of progress in the committee and the decision of the Southeast governors to adopt the community policing initiative of the federal government as opposed to the zonal security outfit canvassed by the committee.
Prof Nwala who announced his decision in a letter dated August 25, 2020 addressed to the Gen. Umahi and copied to Governor Umahi, Chairman South-East Governors Forum; The South-East Governors Forum; The President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; The Coalition of Alaigbo Religious and Civil Society Organizations; Pan-Igbo Groups and Pro-Biafra Organizations in Alaigbo; Chairman, South-East Council of Traditional Rulers; Prof Ben Nwabueze, Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT); Chief Mbazulike Amaechi; His Lordship, Bishop Obi Udezue Onubogu, among others, also criticized governors of the Southeast for embracing community policing even after the ADF had, according to him, exposed its inherent character as a policy to encourage the continued serial killing, kidnapping and rape of Igbo women as well as ensure the occupation of Alaigbo by Jihadists.
The ADF president regretted that since the security committee was constituted early in the year, it has not made any progress, even as he argued that the need for it no longer exists since the purpose for its formation has been defeated.
He also cited the killing of 21 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by security agencies in Enugu on Sunday.
“I write to resign formally as a member of the South-East Security Committee which was set up at a Joint Meeting of the Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) since February 2020,” he wrote.
“I do this because the purpose for which this Security Committee was set up has been made null and void with the pronouncements of the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi Sate, abolishing the idea of a Regional Security Architecture for the South-East. According to him, the Governors of the South East have jointly rejected the idea of a Regional Security Architecture for the entire South East and by extension, the entire Alaigbo. The fact that the so-called South East Security Committees set up since early 2020 and after several months, nothing had been achieved, means that it was not intended to serve any useful purpose.
“In place of a Regional Security Scheme for Alaigbo, the Governors of the South-East have accepted the Community Policing program of the Federal Government. As you may recall, the Community Policing program had been rejected by the South East after the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) exposed its inherent character as a policy to encourage the continued serial killing, kidnapping and rape of our women as well as ensure the occupation of Alaigbo by the Fulani Jihadists. As you may recall, ADF had compared the policy of Community Policing as equivalent to handing over the Security of Chickens to the Hawks.
“In opting out of the now moribund South East Security Committee, we, in ADF shall continue to work with the various pan-Igbo organizations to advance all possible and legitimate means of ensuring the Security of Alaigbo and her neighbors.
“It should be recalled that in a Press Statement issued by the ADF on February 2020, we had stated unequivocally that the “POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police has been IN OPERATION IN THE SOUTH EAST while the horrors in several parts of Alaigbo including Ebonyi State as depicted in the Report of Chief Gary Igariwey at the last Ime-Obi meeting as well as that depicted in the Report by Mr Aduba CP (rtd) at the Joint meeting of Ime-Obi and the Governors Forum. All those horrors rather than abating have been rising in crescendo with our helpless people wondering if they have any Government or Leaders who care for their plight”.
“It is to be observed, very unfortunately, that immediately following this declaration of the South-East Governors, 21 unarmed Igbo youths have been gruesomely mowed down in Enugu State by combined forces of the army, DSS, SARS, police and other Security forces. Most of the personnel of these forces are no doubt non-Igbos. What is more, while this is happening, none of our Governors is saying anything.
“In addition, it is our view and stand that
i. The Security of Alaigbo is a joint responsibility between the Government and the People of Alaigbo.
ii. ADF is not opposed to any genuine and positive role of the Federal Government and her agencies in helping to tackle the prevailing state of grave insecurity in Alaigbo, provided –
iii. That such role by Federal Agencies must be under the exercise and full control of personnel of our zone.
iiii. The primary Security outfit for the protection of Alaigbo must be that created by the Government and people of Alaigbo.
v. Our people should not abandon their own individual and community responsibility over their security/
vi. If the Governors decide to abandon their own responsibility over the Security of our people, we, as organized patriotic forces in our land must continue to courageously play our role to ensure that our people overcome the present dangerous siege over our land.
vii. This is why history beckons on the emergent Coalition of Religious and Civil Society groups in Alaigbo to remain focused and determined to help protect our people. Certainly part of their responsibility is to provide strategic guidance to our patriotic youth to enable them play their role constructively.”
Nwala asked the President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to legalize arms so that Nigerians can defend themselves in view of the heightened security challenges in the country.
“Finally, we wish to call on the Federal Government to legalize the use of AK-47 so that our people can arm themselves for self-defense. In the absence of this, we call on our people to arm themselves with any available defensive weapons for the protection of themselves, our wives and our children, This is a fundamental natural right that supersedes any state law.”