President-General Ohazneze, Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo
The apex Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has rejected the federal government community policing initiative, insisting on regional security outfit, Operation Ogbunigwe, as an effective way of tackling insecurity in the zone.
The Southeast governors had after meeting with the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Wednesday in Enugu, endorsed the community policing initiative of the federal government.
Controversy had trailed the meeting with Ohanaeze leaders and traditional rulers staging a walkout at some point.
There are also suggestions that President Muhammadu Buhari asked the IGP to tell the governors to forget about forming regional security, an order which ruffled feathers.
Although the governors forum, in a communique read by Engr Dave Umahi, its leader and governor of Ebonyi State, endorsed the community policing initiative, Ohanaeze rejected the idea.
The sociocultural group argued instead in favour of the formation of Operation Ogbunigwe as a more viable option.
Ohanaeze president-general, Dr. Nnia Nwodo who made the stance of the association known in a speech Wednesday, told the IGP that community policing would not work when farms in the region are being devastated by herders carrying AK47 rifles and appealed to President Buhari to allow the zone form its own regional security outfit.
“Mr IGP, our farms have been devastated by herders, and the herders that devastated our farms carry AK-47 rifles. You can’t be talking about community policing when the people you don’t understand the language of the people you want to supervise,” he said.
“Your legal architecture does not take into account that our governors, in line with the constitution, are the chief security officers of their various states.
“And this gives them the responsibility to protect the lives and property of their citizens. Therefore, when you begin to talk about recruitment, with the commander and control, and you do not share with the governors and representatives at the local areas this command and control and recruitment? This exercise is dead on arrival,” he concluded.