South-South governors have yet to make any moves for a joint security outfit like Operation Amotekun in the region, says the Chairman of South-South Governors’ Forum, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
Amotekun was set up by South-West governors to check insecurity in the zone.
But Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Delta states have yet to meet to consider a joint security outfit in the South-South.
The Delta State Governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Olise Ifeajika, said on Friday the South-South governors were in favour of community policing.
He said, “No move has been made to set up such an outfit in the region. If any move has been made, I’m not aware of it. But to the best of my knowledge no move has been made.
“As I said before, community policing is the answer to the criminal.”
A group in the North recently launched Shege-Ka-Fasa aimed at complementing the efforts of the police and other statutory security agencies to tackle insecurity in the region.
However, northern governors have since dissociated themselves from the initiative.
Meanwhile, Cross River State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Asu Okang, said he was not aware if South-South governors were planning a regional security outfit.
Okang, however, said the establishment of such an outfit was a welcome development in view of the prevailing security challenges facing the country.
He said, “I am not aware of any such plans yet. I am not aware if South-South governors will attempt to duplicate what South-West governors have done.
“Operation Amotekun is a welcome development by all judgment and standards because it has got to a point in this country where zonal governments, even state governments and local governments, should be able to attempt and institute a security apparatus to be able to ensure that they protect their own people.
“The original intent of government or what the constitution says about the primary responsibility of government is to provide security and welfare for its citizenry. Where you find the contrary, it is important that people rise up to find cooperative means of protecting themselves.
“You cannot sit in your house and wait for somebody to kill you first. A dead man doesn’t talk. So, I think that Amotekun is a welcome development and I speak as Asu Okang. I am not speaking as Cross River. I speak as an individual. The position of the state might be different, which I do not see being different.
Although Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike made efforts to establish the Neighbourhood Watch for the state, it is not clear if he is planning to mobilise his colleagues in the South-South on the way forward as far as security of the region is concerned.
In Edo State, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, could not speak on the matter as a text message sent to him was ignored after he failed to answer several calls put across to him.
By Chukwudi Akasike, Matthew Ochei and Ada Wodu