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The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma has moved to exonerate Ebubeagu of murder in the state.
In 2021 Ebubegu was established by governors of the five South-eastern states to aid in the battle against insurgency in the region. Presently, residents in the region have been experiencing unrest and lethal assaults believed to be caused by Indigenous People of Biafra.
However, the security group has been alleged to carry out mass killings, like the unfortunate case in July where several youths were fatally shot; they were said to be returning from a wedding.
The Ebubeagu outfit was allegedly accountable for the killing of those youths
In response to the July killing, Amnesty International Nigeria stated that it had records of Ebubeagu’s involvement in mass killings, torture, extortion, and other crimes and they have taken undue advantage of the power vested on them.
‘It is horrifying that unarmed young men who clearly posed no threat to anyone were gunned down, in utter disdain for the right to life,’ Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, stated this in a statement.
He further said, ‘Such killings cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever.’
Governor Uzodinma, maintained that Ebubeagu operatives don’t go around with guns, talk more of attacking people, he made the statement as he defended the security outfit.
‘Ebubeagu has no sophistication, like the kind of rifles that the bandits are carrying all along. Ebubeagu are not armed,’ Mr. Uzodinma noted on Tuesday, as he was invited to Channels TV programme, Politics Today.
Gov. Uzodinma alleged that crime in the state has “political undertone”, he further said that those charging Ebubeagu do not want a “peaceful atmosphere” in Imo state.
‘Some of these bandits are now operating as Ebubeagu. Of late, we discovered bandits would attack a particular place, and the next thing because they have their syndicates, they would come up with a propaganda that Ebubeagu has attacked.’
‘But between me and those who are in charge of Ebubeagu, and the security agencies, they know that Ebubeagu doesn’t have the capacity to attack with sophisticated arms,’ he stated.
The governor said criminality in Imo State has “political undertone”, and that those criticising Ebubeagu are not interested in the “peaceful atmosphere” in the state.
He said that the Ebubeagu operatives” duty is to look out for suspicious activities communities and inform security agencies. ‘It is not a security force that goes to war,’ he added.
Governor Uzodinma replied to a question saying that the Imo state government prefers Ebubeagu working in partnership with security agencies rather than patrolling with guns.
‘You know the provision of security like the police, the army, the navy, and the air force is under the exclusive list. So as a federating unit, I don’t know where I will get the mandate that will enable me to procure sophisticated arms to give to local people like the Ebubeagu members who have not been trained,’ Gov, Uzodinma said.