Groups seek Buhari’s intervention over insecurity in Ebonyi

Governor Umahi

Ahead of the March 11 governorship election, a network of civil society organizations under the umbrella of the Civil Society Committee For Anti-Fraud Election Security (CISCAES) has expressed concerns over the rising insecurity in Ebonyi State.

The groups also raised the alarm over plans to intimidate residents into voting against their choice by the outlawed state security outfit, Ebubeagu, during the governorship election.

The CSOs appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the international community, including the European Union (EU) and all lovers of democracy to beam a searchlight on the happenings in Ebonyi State.

Addressing a press conference on the worrisome state of insecurity in Ebonyi and its dangerous consequences before, during and after the 2023 general elections in Enugu, coordinator of CISCAES, Kennedy Iyere said that people now lived in fear of “Ebubeagu thugs and militias”.

Recall that a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki disbanded the Ebube Agu, a security outfit in the State, following allegations of gross violation of human rights, extortions and use of firearms.

Three days after the court’s declaration, the State governor, David Umahi, approved two new security outfits, including the Ebonyi State neighborhood watch and Ebonyi State Vigilante Corps.

Announcing the formation of the outfits during a State Security Council meeting in Abakaliki, the state capital, Umahi said that Ebubeagu would only function in the state once a stay of execution is granted.But, in his reaction, Iyere claimed that despite the court’s declaration, the group have continued to carry out their unlawful activities.

He further claimed that the State Governor, Dave Umahi wants to impose himself and his successor on the people of Ebonyi State so that he can continue to wield influence.”Now, he is using Ebubeagu to force people against their wishes, he said.

“They exist as a lawful vigilante group and continue to terrorize and intimidate the people,”.

Speaking further, he said, “Election is not a do or die affair, everyone must be allowed to make their choices of who leads them.

But Umahi has made himself an emperor and a supreme leader who wants to ensure that he appoints a successor”

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