A Regional security outfit has been formed to protect lives and properties in the Southeast, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi said on Wednesday.
Umahi broke the news in his capacity as the Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum (SGF).
The Forum said the need for total re-evaluation of the security architecture in the region informed the formation of the joint security to ensure adequate security.
Umahi spoke when he hosted the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Lasisi Adegboye at the Government House, Abakaliki.
According to the governor, Southeast governors have written to the Federal Government on the joint security taskforce in the zone and that they are putting things together on the outfits launched to strengthen security in the region.
He called for synergy among the Southeast states to tackle security.
The governor said there is great synergy between the security agencies in Ebonyi State and the state security outfit – Neighbourhood Security Watch, a development he noted, has made Ebonyi one of the most secured states in the country.
Umahi said: “One of our major challenges here in Ebonyi state is our problem with Cross River people, but we bless God for the initiatives of the youths. The deputy governor and the speaker of the House of Assembly had to arrange a joint youth committee on Cross River and Ebonyi people to pay a courtesy visit to the GOC.
“Probably, who knows if you are the one that will make both states to sign a lasting agreement for a lasting peace? Here in Ebonyi, I thank the police, the army, the Department of State Services (DSS). It has been a union of brotherhood and working together with our Neighbourhood Watch.
“Every region has their own peculiarities and we have formed our own joint security taskforce and we have written to Federal Government and we are putting things together because we had a joint meeting with all the Service chiefs and the GOC.
“So, we discussed and agreed on what we need to do to continue to give safety to our people in Southeast.
“No one will say that he will not be part of the joint security because when people are kidnapped, for example, in Anambra State, they could be found in Ebonyi. So, we need that synergy to work together to give protection to everybody and here in Ebonyi, we are among the first in the federation to start our law on internal security and that is the Neighbouhood Watch and they have fantastically done very well.
“I am happy that the police, the army, the DSS are not ashamed to proclaim that our Neighbouhood Security Watch have done very well.
“And so, we can say we are the safest state in the country and there is no joke about that. So, it is important we reevaluate our security architecture and then, see how we can assure our people of their safety.
“These days, it is not very easy to travel from one state to the other. We have to evaluate all these things. But, in the Southeast, I can say that God has really defeated violence, armed robbery and kidnapping.”
The GOC assured the region of adequate security.
He said: “Your Excellency, it is our duty to continue doing what we are doing while you sleep with your two eyes closed. We are ready to work round the clock to ensure peace and security in the zone.”