Gift Joseph Okpakorese
A retired director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mike Ejiofor, has disclosed that the Nigerian Military Force in the south-east region of the federation, has been recently frustrated with various challenges ranging from lack of proper support, restrictions, and a lack of proper recognition. He said a majority of these are caused by recent failures on the part of the federal government, which by extension has led to the establishment of various security outfits all over the nation.
He also complained about the fact that there is also some form of underlying political undertone to these crises, and for him, the new security outfit, Ebube Agu, established to aid the crisis of insecurity in the southeastern part region, will face the same challenges and get little or no support as well, if not properly structured.
Speaking on Monday in an interview session on Channels TV news program, ‘Sunrise Daily’, Ejiofor stated that Ebube Agu is now looking “unfortunate” and needs a legal authority and configuration to effectively carry out its intended task of protecting lives and properties of residents with the region.
The ex DSS boss who was very critical of the current situation, asked so many underlying questions; “What are the structures on ground before the formation of Ebube Agu? Is there any legal backing to Ebube Agu? The Eastern Security Network (ESN) that was formed, we all agree it is illegal and cannot take charge of the security space in that area.
“There is nothing on ground in the south-east to support Ebube Agu, so it’s quite unfortunate. It’s just like putting the cart before the horse. There should have been a legal framework before the launch of operation Ebube Agu.
“What they are trying to do is like involving community policing. If you go to the south-east, I can tell you… right from Onitsha to Umuahia, you will not see single police or military checkpoint, and what does that tell you? Our military forces have been hoard[ed] and intimidated going out of the field, because of these people.”
Meanwhile, commenting further on the dire situation of things, the retired DSS Chieftain, drew the attention of the general public to the fact that vigilantes in several neighborhoods were already functioning and are now taking control of security proceedings in parts of the south-east.
The former DSS director said the adoption of true federalism is the solution to the crisis of insecurity in the country. According to him, the introduction of state police is long overdue, and that the call for restructuring of the nation is of necessity and urgency as things stand currently.
“There have been series of agitation for the rejigging of the security architecture, that took the government a lot of time to effect change in the leadership of the various security agencies, especially the arm forces, that people have been talking about that it is queued towards a particular geopolitical zone,” he said.
“Now there has been a rejig, we have new heads of security agencies but again the bandits will now tell you that, if you think rejigging or changing the leadership is the problem, that is not the problem.
“The problem is structural, we need to look at the various components in the country and restructure. There has been a lot of agitation, calling for restructuring, we need to practice true fiscal federalism, until that is done, we will continue to have that problem.
“The security architecture, for instance, we will need to look at the issue of the establishment of state police. I continue to emphasize this, and people will begin to say why do you always talk about the establishment of state police, security problem is local, so the solution too must be local.”
Ejiofor was also wary of the threat posed by the current situation if not properly handled before the next administration is inaugurated. He insisted that if these various security challenges in the country are not dealt with, before the next elections, then the federation should be ready to experience more crisis as the 2023 election would not be assured.