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South East town union leaders oppose FG’s community policing

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Town Unions in the South East have, again, opposed the community policing arrangement being implemented by the Federal Government in the zone, arguing that it would not make any meaningful impact “when community leaders have been deliberately excluded from it.”

They, therefore, sought a regional security outfit that guarantees “full security of life and property in Igboland.”

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Rising from a two-day emergency retreat in Enugu, the stakeholders, under the aegis of Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), insisted that Ndigbo was interested in homegrown security arrangements.

Presenting a communiqué reached the meeting, the National President of ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe, also lamented killings, rape, and destruction of farmlands in the region by herdsmen, stressing that the development had created food insecurity in the five states that make up the area.

He regretted that governor in the region had allegedly “refused to grant their earlier demand for the enactment of anti-open grazing law”, which according to him, would proscribe free movement of herders and cattle to check the dangers such itinerary portends.

“We, therefore, reiterate our position that the only panacea to the ongoing atrocities of the herdsmen is the enactment of anti-open grazing laws, and we request the governors and the respective Houses of Assembly once again to immediately pass legislation to that effect. Our governments should also quickly enact laws to make ranching of cattle the only acceptable modality for cattle business in the South East.

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“We are also not pleased that despite our letters and entreaties to southeast governors to enact forest guard and neighborhood watch laws, most of them have lent deaf ears to our requests. We need these legislations with the urgency of now,” the association added.

It stated that there was no disincentive to agricultural productivity that could be worse than “over-running defenceless farmers and their crops on a daily basis in the zone.”

ASETU, which also rejected the current security arrangement in the country, stated that the “exclusion of Igbo from the security leadership cannot be rationalised on any grounds”, adding that the development was a threat to national unity.

It continued: “The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is in itself an encumbrance to the progress of Nigeria. It is a unitary document that ensures that backwardness, insecurity, and agony subsist at the local level, while all the affluence of the country is placed under the control of a few in Abuja. It is a fraud, which does not have the consent of the people, and it does not reflect our aspirations as a nation. The 1999 Constitution must be discarded in the interest of peace, unity, and prosperity of the country.”

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