By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
A former lawmaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Barr. Eni Uduma Chima, Friday blasted the National Assembly members of Ebonyi extraction for opposing the constitution and operations of the South East Security outfit code-named Ebubeagu in the State.
He stressed that anybody antagonizing Ebubeagu must have skeleton in his or her cupboard.
Eni, who explained that “Ebubeagu is a creation of an existing law duly passed by the Ebonyi State House of Assembly and its mandate of complementing the Nigeria Police Force and other law enforcement agencies in securing lives and properties are well spelt out in the enabling law” added “an Ebonyi State without Ebubeagu will be a dystopia where only gunmen and their sponsors will survive.”
In a press statement titled “Only the guilty are afraid of Ebubeagu” Eni who criticized the PDP federal lawmakers for choosing “to play politics with the efforts of the State Government to curb insecurity bordering on communal clashes, farmers/herdsmen clashes, kidnapping and other violent crimes in Ebonyi State” stressed that the federal lawmakers “lied as usual when they alleged that operatives of Ebubeagu are not professionally trained and wield AK 47 and AK 49 rifles alongside other dangerous weapons.”
The Chairman of Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State was reacting to a motion moved on the floor of the National Assembly yesterday and sponsored by Representative Igariwey Iduma Enwo of Afikpo South/Afikpo North Federal Constituency and supported by Representatives Ogbaga Sylvester, Nwazunku Chukwuma, Edwin Anayo and Makwe Livinus against the operation of Ebubeagu Security outfit in the State.
“According to him: “The mischievous motion informed by destructive opposition politicking carried too far was sponsored by Representative Igariwey Iduma Enwo of Afikpo South/Afikpo North Federal Constituency and supported by Representatives
Ogbaga Sylvester, Nwazunku Chukwuma, Edwin Anayo and Makwe Livinus, all of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“This infamous quintet have never sponsored any meaningful bill or participated in any worthwhile debate on the floor of the House, only to wake up from their inactivity to attempt setting fire on the security infrastructure of Ebonyi State, in a bid to play the script authored in Lagos to sabotage the political standing of Engr. Dr. David Umahi.
“The truth is that the vigilante group underwent diligent training in the use of arms, which in all cases are limited to duly authorised pump action rifles. The group does not have any detention facility as it hands over any person suspected of committing an offence to the nearest police man or police station for investigation.”
The All Progresives Congress, APC Chieftain stressed that “Ebubeagu is an answer to the insecurity question in the South East and neither indulges in torture nor other illegal activities as alleged by Igariwey and his colleagues.”
“If there is any substance in the litany of allegations catalogued by Igariwey and his fellow mis-representatives, one would expect them to make formal complaints to the police or even to the DSS against the suspects involved, rather than pushing for the proscription of a group, which is part of the solution to the rife insecurity in different parts of Nigeria.
“On the contrary, I know for a fact that the Ebubeagu vigilante group has been under attack by hoodlums supported by opposing political elements and this campaign has led to the loss of lives of at least seven Ebubeagu operatives.
“Why did Iduma not mention it in the House? Why are they not complaining of lack of AK-47 and AK-49 licenses for Bandits, Anarchists and other Violent Criminals who are on the prowl?
“State vigilante has become a convention in Nigeria and discerning leaders have continued to support them to achieve their mandate of complementing police efforts in securing the people. We have ‘Amotekun’ in all the States of the South West Region and ‘Hisbah’ Police in the North and yet, resourceful National Assembly members from these States have never raised questions about the legitimacy, activities and modus operandi of these vigilante groups.
“Why are Igariwey and co against Ebubeagu? What are they hiding? They should come clean because only the guilty are afraid.
“That these agent provocateurs were given ample time to fly their dummy kite on the floor of a House under APC leadership is a testament of the ruling party’s tradition of fair play. Yet, such privilege must not be abused striving after wind and wasting national parliamentary time castigating their State vigilante instead of discussing federal questions. Why not discuss insecurity on a national scale?
“Why did Iduma Igariwey not raise a motion of urgent public importance when gunmen attacked police stations and killed many including in his immediate constituency?
“How ridiculous could people be just to get at one man? I am aware that Linus Okorie has been serially disseminating seditious articles on Facebook and other social media. If he has been invited by any law enforcement agency to come and adopt his inciting lies, there is no point hiding. Making himself a fugitive and his co-conspirators reading resolutions in the Green Chamber cannot shield him from the provisions of the Cybercrime Act.
“This latest attempt by enemies of Ebonyi State to blackmail the Government will come to nothing as usual. The relevant authorities should investigate the people sponsoring the attack on Ebubeagu operatives and bring them to book.
“Criminals and their sponsors should get used to the fact that Ebubeagu has come to stay and will last for a very long time under the superintendence of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies. Hon. Iduma Igariwey Enwo and co should spare the nation their myopic views and malicious resolutions which though are like the proverbial tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.”