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Insecurity In SouthEast: ESN In Focus – By Johnpaul Anih

The current global security environment is increasingly becoming complex and dynamic due to the activities of non-state actors who have become the major source of conflict all over the world. Adding to this is the upsurge in intra-state crisis and conflicts as well as the entanglement between domestic and international threats which have compounded the security challenges.

Nigeria is currently facing multiple security challenges that are spread across the major regions of the country. None of the regions in Nigeria is insulated from one crisis or the other.

For instance, there are lingering challenges of terrorism, armed banditry, kidnappings, proliferation of firearms, armed robbery in the North East Region amongst others.

There are also the threats of armed robbery, insurgency, ethnoreligious disturbances, cattle rustling, kidnappings and political crisis among other menaces in the North Western part of Nigeria.

Incidences of militancy, arms proliferation, illegal oil bunkering, sea piracy, oil thefts, kidnappings and pipeline vandalisation & sabotage, armed robbery, cultism and political violence are serious security challenges in the South-South Zone.

Here in the South Eastern Region, we have security threats such as kidnappings, armed robbery, communal crisis, cultism, Fulani bandits, herdsmen-farmers clashes amongst other political disturbances.

Recently, we are witnesses to the emerging trend of the use of Improvised Explosive Devices in pursuit of political objectives.

It is appauling that the Nigerian Army has not done enough to containing these complex security threats in Igboland.

In the South East Region, Exercise PYTHON DANCE was initially carried out from 27 November – 27 December 2016.

We may recall that despite the initial Exercise PYTHON DANCE in 2016 and Exercise EGWU EKE 11 in 2017, one may begin to wonder if these exercises recorded any achievement.

There is intense patrols, roadblocks, raids and other activities in the Military Line of Operation in the SouthEast but despite all these, it is obvious that the South East Zone is the most peaceful region in Nigeria.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on December 2020 floated a security outfit for the South East and South-South regions.

IPOB said it was moved to establish Eastern Security Network (ESN) by the failure of governments of the two regions to set up regional security outfits like their counterparts in other regions to include Amotekun in Southwest, despite the worsening insecurity in the country.

ESN is expected to ensure safety in every forest and farmland in the old eastern region against rampaging criminal activities.

The group could no longer continue to wait endlessly while women were continually raped and slaughtered by terrorists.

According to the IPOB’S Media and Publicity secretary Emma Powerful, the intention of the outfit was not for the forceful declaration of Biafra, stressing that it would continue to ask for restoration of Biafra in accordance with international laws.

He stated that the outfit, which is a vigilante group like the Amotekun in the South West and the Hisbah Police in the North, will ensure the safety of forests and farmlands, which terrorists have converted into slaughter grounds and raping fields.

He therefore, advised every robber, kidnapper, and other criminals to steer clear of Biafraland or brace up for the worst insisting that they must defend Biafraland, no matter the price.

The truth is, Ndigbo should be in support of whatever could be done by any group to secure the people, as long as such followed due process because nowhere is safe in the country while SouthEast Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo must step up to it’s core responsibility on that regard.

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