Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), recently claimed the Eastern Security Network (ESN) was formed by governors in the south-east.
The presidential candidate made the claim on Monday, October 15, 2022, at an interactive session organised by Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna.
In the video of the event, a member of the audience had asked “why should the north trust you, when you have never for once, to my hearing, condemned the sit-at-home on Mondays in the south-east?”
“Why should the north trust you, when, even recently, your campaign council that you constituted, for Sokoto and several states in the north, the chairman of your campaign organizations were Igbo men?
“Why should the north trust you, when I’ve not heard you, perhaps you’ve said it somewhere but I’ve not heard you categorically condemn IPOB, Eastern Security Network (ESN) and their activities?” the member of the audience asked.
In response to the question, Obi said there was no way he could condemn the activities of the ESN since it was formed by the government of the eastern states.
“You’ve not been following my campaign. The Eastern Security Network was formed by the government of eastern states. The governors formed the security team, how can I go and condemn them? I’ve spoken about sit-at-home and I can tell you there was even a place they mentioned me. Everything I say, go and verify…”
But how true is the claim about the formation of the ESN?
Checks by TheCable revealed that the Eastern Security Network was actually formed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in December 2020.
IPOB, established in 2012 by Kanu, had continually pushed for the establishment of a sovereign state for the people of the south-east extraction, over claims of marginalisation.
On December 13, 2020, Kanu announced the launch of the security outfit. He had said its primary responsibility is to protect the south-east from terrorists and other criminal elements.
Prior to this, there had been reports of invasion of farmlands by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen in the region.
Meanwhile, in his announcement, Kanu likened the outfit to Amotekun in the Southwest and Miyetti-Allah in the northern region.
He further noted that the failure of the south-east governors to secure the lives and property of the Igbo people led to the formation of the security network.
Also, recall that in 2021, governors of the southeast region established a joint security outfit codenamed Ebube Agu, “to tackle insecurity in the region”.
Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, who spoke on behalf of the other governors said the establishment of the outfit was owing to the worsening security crisis in the region.
“The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the south-east otherwise known as Ebube Agu. The meeting appreciated the formation of south-east joint security outfit codenamed ‘Ebube Agu’ — headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the south-east,” Umahi said.
Obi’s claim that ESN was formed by the governors of eastern states is false. The security outfit was formed by IPOB. The LP presidential candidate confused Eastern Security Network with Ebube Agu.
Source: Fact Check
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