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Group faults withdrawal of escorts from South East, South South PEPs

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Says insecurity is nationwide

Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) has faulted the directive to withdraw escorts from Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) in the South East and South-South geo-political zones of the country.

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In a statement yesterday by the Executive Director, Nelson Nwafor, and Head, Litigation and Legal Matters, Olusegun Bambose, FENRAD also condemned the recent attacks on security and other facilities in parts of the country.

The statement read in part: “FENRAD, a pro-democracy and human rights advocacy group, received with displeasure the news on the recent release from the police issuing an order to all state commands within the five states in South-East geopolitical zone and Rivers State in the South-South to withdraw all police personnel attached to governors, senators and other PEPs within the South East and South-South.

“While FENRAD totally condemns the recent attacks on security agencies in the South East, mostly on the police, by Unknown Gunmen, the foundation does not think it appropriate or in the national interest for the police to issue such an order at a time all the geo-political zones are facing security threat, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as Northern and Middle Belt states where Governors Babagana Zulum, Samuel Ortom and others had been targeted by gunmen.”

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The group argued that the South-East was not the only region experiencing an attack on law enforcement personnel and facilities, as other regions were also being attacked.

“Police and military formations had been attacked in the past and are still being attacked in other parts of the nation. Is it a strategic or merely retaliatory move on the part of the police to withdraw its personnel on essential duty for the said governors and senators who, by constitutional provisions of the land, have no iota of control over state security command, let alone national security?

“What, given the present security structure of Nigeria, did the police expect the governors and senators to do when they are not the commander-in-chief in whom national security solely lies?” the pro-democracy group posited.

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According to FENRAD, this draconian decree of the police lends credence to the fact that the police are treating a serious issue as national security in isolation.

“So sad it is, that such an order followed from a resolve of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, as some sources claimed. Given what has panned and played out across the length and breadth of the nation lately, national security requires a holistic approach rather than being given an ethnic or regional colour.

“This order, having been issued, reinforces the debate for state and community policing and total restructuring of the national security architecture on the basis of true federalism, which allows the governors some level of control in both the security and internal affairs of their states legitimately as chief security officers.”

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AbujaFCTSouth East
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