Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State deserves commendation for fulfilling his promise to set up the Ebubeagu security outfit to protect lives and property, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji, has said.
According to him, the story of the leadership actualisations of Governor Umahi could best be appreciated when juxtaposed with similar promises he made during his inaugural addresses for both the first and second terms of his administration in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
Orji explained that despite attempts by disgruntled elements to politicise the issue of security in the state, Umahi rode on the resolutions of the five South East state governors to establish the Ebonyi State Command of the Ebubeagu security outfit.
It would be recalled that while inaugurating the security outfit last year, Umahi disclosed that the state command comprises eight commanders and 120 officers, stressing that the Ebubeagu personnel would be remunerated even as he declared their appointment would be pensionable.
The governor noted that though the various state governments in South East had vigilantes and neighbourhood watches, the governors came together after several meetings in Enugu to set up the joint security outfit.
He said: “We brainstormed and set up a committee headed by General Obi Umahi (rtd), which had since rounded off their assignment. We appreciate the wonderful cooperation they offered. Ebonyi was the second to sign into law the bill for the establishment of Ebubeagu after Imo State.
“Its function is to assist the police in carrying out lawful activities. It is not an alternate police force. They are to operate in utter obedience to the police force. No altercation. Don’t fight or disobey the police.”
In an interaction with The Guardian, Orji asserted that contrary to insinuations in some quarters, Umahi made it clear that the establishment of the Ebubeagu security outfit was not politically motivated.
“The governor went the extra mile to enjoin those kicking against the security outfit to feel free to challenge the law in court,” the Information Commissioner said.
While maintaining that Umahi abides by promises and keeps covenants, Orji declared: “He does not forget or forego any social contract he has with the electorate or any policy direction he is committed to. He is committed to the cause of South East geopolitical zone and the nation.
“Umahi, who is also Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum inaugurated South East Ebubeagu Security Outfit Ebonyi, State Command. Recall that recently in Enugu, South East Governors and South East leaders agreed to launch Ebubeagu Security Outfit in all the states of the zone before the end of 2021.
“Our dear performing governor did not fail in his promise. He set up thousands of officials of Ebubeagu Security Outfit, who were trained by the conventional security outfits. Today, Ebonyi State is a safe haven for businesses.”