Date February 17, 2020
ADF PRESS STATEMENT
The Community Policing Proposal of the South-East Governors and the Nigerian Police.
PART A. Two Meetings –
Joint Meeting of Ime-Obi and the SE Governors
Meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze.
On the 9th of February, the Ime-Obi Ohanaeze met in Enugu on the current acute Security Challenges in Nigeria with particular reference to Alaigbo.
At the meeting, the President General of Ohanaeze , Chief Nnia Nwodo and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu addressed Ime-Obi followed by speakers from all the States in Alaigbo including Rivers and Delta States.
The President of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), Prof Uzodinma Nwala, presented to Ime-Obi, a document referred to as a DISTRESS CALL signed by over twenty pan-Igbo and civil society organizations.
After deliberations, Ime-Obi took two key decisions, namely –
To set up, as a matter of utmost urgency, a Special Security Committee to forge and drive an Igbo Security Agenda that would enable Ndigbo to protect the lives and property in their zone just as other zones are currently doing.
To set up, as a matter of utmost urgency, an Elders Council to sustain an interface with the Governors and Legislators in the zone.
Joint Meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and the SE Governors Forum.
On the same day, a team of the Igbo leadership who attended the Ime-Obi, proceeded to the Enugu Government House for a joint meeting with the Governors of the South East.
At the Meeting, representatives of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze conveyed to the Governors key elements of Ime-Obi deliberations at her meeting earlier in the day.
In turn, the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee of the Governors, briefed the joint meeting on the deteriorating state of insecurity in the South-East.
At the meeting it was resolved that both the Governors and Ime-Obi should work together to promote a common Security Agenda for Alaigbo.
In keeping with the above, it was agreed that Ime-Obi should be fully appraised of the Security proposals by the Governors of the South East and that Ime-Obi would come up with its own proposals, so that Ndigbo can evolve one comprehensive and adequate set of Agenda to meet the Security Challenges in the South East. And indeed in Alaigbo in general.
Reports on the Alarming State of Insecurity in Alaigbo.
If anyone at those meetings was in doubt about the grave dangers of insecurity facing Ndigbo, such doubts were confounded by two very terrifying reports received at both the Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and the Joint meeting with the Governors.
At the Ime Obi meeting, the former President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief Enwo-Igariwey from Ebonyi State, narrated a very heart-rending account of the Security Situation in Ebony State. According to him, the Fulani herdsmen and insurgents have taken over many of the farms with their cattle ravaging farm crops. The farmers and the people are hardly able to access their farms because of the menacing presence and threats from the herdsmen and insurgents wielding AK 47 and other dangerous weapons. Not only farms and crops but their women and daughters as well as the men are desecrated. Killing and kidnapping are the order of the day.
Next at the Joint Meeting with the Governors at the Enugu Governor’s Lodge, the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee set up by the SE Governors, Mr. Aduba CP Rtd, presented even a more harrowing picture of the state of insecurity in the South-East. According to his account. what exists today in the South-East is not just a threat of insecurity, it is that the entire zone has been occupied or simply overrun by the insurgents. What is worse is that there exists a state of utter hopelessness in the face of the grave dangers facing the people of the South East.
That Joint-meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze and the Governors Forum undoubtedly raised some hopes. It was, therefore, expected that –
certain immediate and urgent consultations would take place towards implementing the decisions of the Ime-Obi regarding setting up of two Committees.
Proposed consultations between the Ime-Obi and the Governors Forum would quickly take place to ensure the emergence of a Regional Security Agenda for the South East.
All the above did not take place before news came about a Security Summit of the Nigerian Police and the SE Governors.
Security Summit of the Nigerian Police and the SE Governors.
The next we heard was that a Security Summit had been convened by the Governors and the Inspector-General of Police. And that at the Summit, the South-East Governors have accepted and adopted Community Policing proposed by the Nigerian Police as an effective tool in bringing policing to the grassroots.
Composition of the Security Summit by the Nigerian Police and the SE Governors.
There were two segments of this Security Summit –
The first segment during when the actual decisions were taken by the Police and the Governors.
The second was during when the decisions were formally announced to a larger audience.
According to the Communiqué there were twenty (20) participants in that first substantive meeting
Five (5) from Alaigbo
Four Governors and One Deputy Governor
Fifteen (15) from the Nigerian Police.
DIG 2 Igbo 1
AIG 5 Igbo None
CP 5 Igbo None
DCP Igbo 1.
None Igbo 13
This is the composition of the participants from the Nigerian Police Force who have come to plan for the Security of Alaigbo.
The Communiqué of the Summit of the SE Governors and the Nigerian Police.
According to the communiqué of this SE Security Summit, the South-East State Governors have accepted and adopted Community Policing as an effective tool in bringing policing to the grassroots.
It is important to note two things about this Summit and its outcome
that it was the SE Governors who accepted and adopted the so-called Community Policing Plan and not the People of the South East whose security is being planned. It is the people of the SE whom are the victims of the horrendous state of insecurity revealed by both Mr Enwo-Igariwey, former Ohanaeze PG and Mr Aduba, CP rtd and Vice Chairman of the Security Committee set up by the SE Governors Forum.
However, what was adopted was
COMMUNITY POLICING PLAN and not
SECURITY AGENDA FOR THE SOUTH-EAST
AND INDEED FOR THE ENTIRE REGION OF ALAIGBO.
If we understand this development thus (and it is the correct way for Ndigbo to understand it) then two things follow as the appropriate reaction to the SUMMIT of the SE GOVERNORS and the NIGERIAN POLICE .
A critical but constructive appraisal of the POLICING PLAN, which is the program and an affair of the Nigerian Police meant to be their contribution in tackling the GRAVE STATE OF INSECURITY IN ALAIGBO.
The Creation of an Appropriate SECURITY AGENDA (with an appropriate supportive laws and structures) for tackling the acute state of insecurity in Alaigbo, a bit of which were highlighted by Chief Igariwey during the meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze at Enugu on the 9th of February as well as the that contained in the Report of Mr Aduba, CP rtd who is the Vice Chairman of the Security Committee set up by the Governors of the South-East.
Thus, the POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police is neither a substitute for nor in principle mutually opposed to the a SOUTH SECURITY AGENDA which is to be put in place by the people of the South East and their Governors, Legislators and Stakeholders, PROVIDED
The POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police is not a FULANI PLAN to subdue and overrun the South East, nay the entire Igbo nation.
Understanding the proposed COMMUNITY POLICING PLAN
Information reaching us indicates that already there has long been a Security Program of the Nigerian Police in the South East called POLICING PLAN.
The so-called POLICING PLAN was set up and operated solely by the Nigerian Police. It is meant to monitor and moderate what they call FARMERS-HERDERS CLASH in the South East. The senior officers of the POLICING PLAN are non-Igbos, mostly Fulani Police Officers. They also recruit local members of the body of the POLICING PLAN, most of who are junior and subordinate officers and other unsuspecting members of the public.
Reports from the field monitors of the Policing Plan which are not in favour of the Herders, are frowned upon and demand made for any such report to be torn and so they get torn immediately.
It is our hope that it is not this outrageous outfit that the Enugu Security Summit organized by the Nigerian Police that is being elevated to what is now CALLED COMMUNITY POLICING FOR THE SOUTH-EAST.
From the above, it is important to underscore the point that this POLICING PLAN of the Nigerian Police has been IN OPERATION IN THE SOUTH EAST while the horrors in Ebonyi State as depicted in the Report of Chief 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 Possible that the Governors of the South East are ignorant of the truth of the POLICING PLAN as it has been in operation in the South East. And this is because they do not work with the people they are elected to serve. They rather work with the Oti Nkpus and the Oji Akpa elu ozus in the South East.
REACTIONS TO THE POLICING PLAN OF THE SE GOVERNORS AND THE NIGERIAN POLICE
There have been several negative reactions, indeed widespread condemnations by the people to this development – the idea of so-called COMMUNITY POLICING as the ultimate panacea to the dangerous Security situation in Alaigbo.
PART F.Position of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF).
ADF totally and unequivocally reject this so-called COMMUNITY POLICING for the South East.
We stand by the message conveyed as a DISTRESS CALL to the Igbo leaders and Stakeholders presented to the last Ime- Obi Ohanaeze. That position was signed by over twenty (20) Civil Society and pan-Igbo organizations. Based on that ADF therefore affirm the following –
The Security of Alaigbo is a joint responsibility between the Government and the People of Alaigbo.
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 –
That such role by Federal Agencies must be under the exercise and full control of personnel of our zone.
The primary Security outfit for the protection of Alaigbo must be that created by the Government and people of Alaigbo.
ADF shall continue to work with those genuine and patriotic authorities and civil society organizations in Alaigbo including our Governors, Ohanaeze, the Churches, the traditional institutions, etc, to protect and advance the interest of our people and the entire Igbo nation!
PROF. UZODINMA NWALA
PROF. NATH ANIEKWU
BISHOP OBI UDEZUE ONUBOGU
Chairman, ADF BoT
PROF ELO. AMUCHEAZI
ADF Vice President
BARR MAX OZOAKA
Director. ADF Legal Bureau
HON ABIA ONYIKE
Chairman ADF Publicity Bureau