In a desperate move to stop killing of people by bandits, Southeast governors have banned AK-47 rifles and other lethal weapons among herdsmen in the five states just as their counterparts in the Southwest are meeting in Ibadan on Monday on a new security architecture.
The Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi State, disclosed this move at the end of their meeting attended by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Service Chiefs in the zone, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other stakeholders.
The governors also restated their commitment to the continuous joint air operation in the zone to flush out bandits from the forests.
Among others, the governors outlawed movement of herdsmen from state to state and urged security forces to implement their decisions.
Umahi said: “We also agreed that we have to put measures in place to restrain movement of herdsmen and their cattle from one state to another, which is a source and point of conflict with the natives and farmers.
“We also restrain the movement of cattle and herdsmen from coming to communities across farmland. We commend Enugu State governor in the establishment of Forest Guards which was a decision of Southeast Governors.
“We encourage the remaining Southeast governors to launch theirs. Southeast governors have banned herdsmen who move about with AK 47 guns and cutlasses and we want our security agencies to implement same.’’
They further pledged their commitment to the safety and convenience of the people in the zone.
“In the next one week, we will totally roll out our palliative measures and we assure our people of their safety.”
On the claim by IPOB that the governors endorsed “Operation Python Dance of 2017’’ in which the country home of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was raided, the governors denied the allegations, saying they never gave their support for the measure.
“Southeast governors never invited the army nor were Southeast governors informed of any of their operations on Python Dance until the operations were already started in the states.
“Southeast governors would like to write to Mr. President to request for a meeting with him and all the security chiefs on security to douse tension in the region,” Umahi said.
Meanwhile, Southwest governors, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and other service chiefs will meet in Ibadan today (Monday) to find a lasting solution to the security challenges facing the zone.
The meeting will discuss issues and strategies to be adopted in addressing security challenges in the geo-political zone.
Royal fathers, elder statesmen, leaders of socio-cultural groups and other key stakeholders are expected at the summit.
The governors are already floating a joint security patrol and surveillance of the zone under the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission (DAWN).