The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), umbrella body of Igbo town unions in the five South East states, has backed the rejection of the proposal by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) to establish vigilance groups in the region.
The National President, Chief Emeka Diwe, said the body was determined to deploy its grassroots structure to provide adequate security of lives and property throughout Igboland.
The pan-Igbo body urged the governors to resist any pressure from Abuja or elsewhere to alter their position, which he said, represented the general position of Igbo.
“The mischievous proposal to invade the South East under the guise of vigilance groups is the latest in the series of provocative utterances and acts by these herdsmen and their sponsors. Since our governors have roundly rejected it, we are pleased to identify with their position,” Diwe said.
Diwe admonished the herders to “first remove the log in your eyes before worrying about the spec in thy brother’s eye” noting that there were more security challenges in the North by way of Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed banditry and robbery than in the South East.
He also added that it had become imperative for South East governors to intervene and assist the town unions in their self-help community security initiatives.
“The unfolding realities have made it inescapable for the governors to partner with town unions to ensure security throughout the length and breadth of the South East. This is what we have consistently canvassed for. This same fact was the substance of the first South East Town Unions summit convoked in 2018. Security is basically a local affair, and the town union, which is the closest level of administration to the people; is very pivotal in attaining it.
“This publicly declared position of the governors has doused our anxiety in respect of so many rumours and speculations about the position of different political interest groups and institutions.”