*Says Eastern Security Network an illegal outfit
By Joseph Erunke
SOME Igbo professionals have condemned the reported attack on soldiers and police operatives in Orlu, Imo State, by persons operating in the name of Eastern Security Network (ESN), saying the development must not be allowed to go unchecked. It’s a known fact that a sovereign nation will allow armed security groups to operate without necessary approvals and legal backing.
While describing the so-called Eastern Security Network as an illegal contraption, the group called on prominent Igbo sons and daughters to rise against the outfit, which was established by the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The concerned professionals, who operate under the aegis of Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND), advised Igbos against supporting the ESN, insisting that same was not in the interest of the region.
In a statement signed, Tuesday, by the National President, Prof. Madumere Chika, insist the coalition warned that groups such as IPOB and ESN were jeopardizing the chances of the South East in national affairs.
Specifically, the group accused Kanu of not having the interest of the South East at heart, wondering why a true Igbo son will be working at cross-purposes with a region struggling to assume national reckoning.
Consequently, the professionals have urged federal and state authorities to ensure that the illegal security network was disbanded, while its operatives and sponsors were rounded-up and made to face the full weight of the law.
They maintained that the activities of the ESN constituted an insurrection, which must be viewed with all the seriousness they deserve.
While clarifying that they were not against the establishment of any group that would complement law enforcement organisations in the South East, the professionals, nonetheless, warned that such efforts must satisfy due process requirements.
“As a professional group, we condemn in its entirety the clash between our security operatives and elements of the illegal Eastern Security Network”, the group said in the statement.
The statement read: “There are laid down procedures and processes for establishing a security outfit which, in our humble submission, were never met by this illegal group.
“Our investigation has revealed that men of the ESN carried out the provocative ambush attack with sophisticated weapons and other dangerous objects.
“We hold that Nigeria is a democratic nation ruled by the Constitution, which regulates behaviour and conducts of persons and groups.
“It is a welcome development for complementary security outfit’s to be created, but such must pass the test of extant laws.
“While we are in total support of a regional security outfit owing to the current security failure of the government we must do that within the ambit of the law so that they are properly regulated to avoid criminal elements hijacking the outfit.
“We are by this statement, therefore, calling on Ndigbo both home and in the diaspora to cooperate with security agencies to fish out these criminals that masquerade as regional security men.
“Above all, we enjoin the military and security agencies involved in the operation to conduct themselves professionally and in line with their rules of engagement, as we assure them of our total support and cooperation in their task to rid the South East of anti-progressive elements.”
“ We also urge the governors of the Southeastern states to consider establishing a regional security outfit just like the Civilian JTF in Borno and Amotekun in the Southwest to compliment the efforts of the security agencies”