Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State governor.

From PETER OKORE, Umuahia

Despite criticisms and doubts that have trailed the formation of Ebubeagu as a security outfit in the South east by zone’s governors, Special Adviser to Abia state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu on security, Capt Awah Udensi (Rtd), has said that the outfit is working in the state.

He maintained that as a special security outfit, they are yet confined to forests and charged with responsibility of intelligence gathering.

According to him, “ People should not expect to see them on the streets in their uniform like other security agencies. The Ebubeagu formations are presently feeding other arms of the Abia security architecture with pieces of information to work with.”

Speaking when members of the Abia state committee on the re-Launching of Abia Seurity Support Fund/Deployment of Resident Cards visited the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, in Umuahia on awareness creation, Awah said that the present security situation in Nigeria demands every government to re-strategize her security architecture or be left behind.

He noted that considering the geographical location of Abia in Nigeria, it has become very imperative for the state to be more pro-active in its security efforts.

Awah said with the efforts of Internal Homeland Security, the Homeland security watch, Ebubeagu, the Vigilante groups , local vigilante neighbourhood units, working in collaboration with other security architectures of the state, security in Abia is gradually becoming easier.

The security adviser, however, called for reduction in the number of security checkpoints in the state , saying “we want investors and visitors to come into Abia state freely to enjoy the hospitality of the inhabitants.”

Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Mr. Okey Ihedioha Onuoha explained that the team was working to realise the aims and objectives of Abia Law 4 of 2020, which established the Abia Security Support Fund / Deployment of Resident Card.

He noted that, “Under the Law residents of the state and children above 18 will be issued with Cards for easy identifications. The state has also opened security websites.”

Onuoha hinted that the committee has carried its awareness creation activities on the Security Support Fund and the provisions of the law establishing it to a number of groups and organizations, including the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the Traditional Institution, Trade Unions, Market Associations, Transport Unions, Landlords Associations in Aba and Umuahia, Abia House of Assembly, Youth organizations, Nigerian Bar Associations, NBA; ALGON and now the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.

He noted that with the level awareness created so far created, implementation of the Security Support Fund Law would be easy.

In his vote of thanks, the Chairman of Abia state Council of the NUJ, Comrade Victor Ndukwe, commended the Abia state government for enacting pro-active laws on security and urged managers of the security fund to use the money realised during the Security Support Fund launching judiciously, so that people will enjoy the benefits of their contributions/ donations.

During questions and answers session, it was suggested that copies of the Security Law No.4 of 2020 be made available to Journalists in the state so that they can read and appreciate contents of the law better and interpret same to the public