South South leaders canvass for regional security outfit

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By Esther Yakubu

South-South leaders have joined their South west counterpart to canvass for a regional security network.

Rising from a meeting in Asaba, Delta State capital, on Thursday the South South leaders resolved to create a regional security outfit like the Amotekun in the South West to deal with challenges of insecurity in the area.

Roll coll of those who attended the meeting include the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum and Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; governors of Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri; Edo, Godwin Obaseki; Rivers, Nyesom Wike and Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udom.

While referring to the move as long overdue, South-South leaders, who spoke on the initiative said it was a welcome development.

The leaders cited kidnapping, herdsmen menace, cultism, militancy, proliferation of light weapons, sea piracy, pipeline vandalism and oil theft as disturbing security challenges that such regional outfit should deal with.

Specifically, Secretary-General of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Alfred Kemepado, said the regional security outfit would help provide maritime security and stop the criminal activities of pipeline vandals and oil thieves.

Kemepado said: “The governors of the south-south should have come up with this type of security measures long ago to protect our water territory especially against pipeline vandalism and other oil theft activities.

“This goes back to emphasise our long cry for the restructuring of the Nigerian state not to the advantage of any particular region but to make Nigeria a more viable project.

Governors of south south Nigeria

” The Federal Government from Abuja is too small to police the large Nigeria that it controls.

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“It can only effectively do that by decentralising most of its powers.

“The south-south governors should not just stop at the formation and the funding of the regional security outfit, they should also task oil multinationals operating in this environment who will be the major beneficiaries of this initiative to also contribute to a security trust fund as it is in Lagos to ensure that the security outfit is productive”.

Kemepado advised that the governors should put measures in place to protect such security outfit from abuse insisting that the outfit must focus on the purpose of its creation.

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