Why Nothing Meaningful Will Come Out Of The South-East Govs’ “Security And Economic Summit”
By Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, and Obianuju Joy Igboeli
…outcome of the Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election as a litmus test for addressing South-East insecurity
…challenging South-East Govs to publicly condemn armed Jihadist Herdsmen and their atrocities in the Region
…challenging South-East Govs to insist on making inputs in the posting of senior security chiefs, others to S/East
…challenging South-East Govs to publicly condemn military and police roadblock extortions and brutalities in S/E
…old order reliance on gun-culture security must give way to ‘human security’ and its seven dimensions in S/E
…for successful development in the Region, those behind killings and burnings outside the law must be uprooted
…UN investigations and its referral to ICC the best way to tracking down those killing and burning in South-East
Several research and investigative reports by Intersociety on insecurity and other unsafe conditions and those fanning them in the South-East have clearly indicated that nothing meaningful is most likely to come out of the South-East Governors’ “Security and Economic Summit” fixed for Sept 28, 2023 in Owerri, Imo State. The choice of Owerri and the Chief Host of the “Summit” is also integrity and morally questionable. Like that of 2021 that culminated to launching of the “Ebubeagu Security Arrangement” in April 202 which turned to be “friendly to the South-East enemies” and “unfriendly to the defenseless citizens and properties of the Region”; the outcome of the “2023 South-East Governors’ Security and Economic Summit” will most likely end up being a mere ‘talk-show’ or ‘grammar blowing arena’ or ‘an effort in futility and another wasting of public funds’. The above position of ours (International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law) is derived from several observations contained in our 33-Page Report on Imo Mass Atrocities, dated May 21, 2023 (https://intersociety-ng.org/armed-state-actors-and-armed-non-state-actors-killed-1600-unarmed-citizens-in-29-months-in-imo-state/) and another 15-Page Report of ours: “Who Is Killing Who Outside The Law In Igbo Land”, dated August 28, 2023 (https://intersociety-ng.org/who-is-killing-who-outside-the-law-in-igbo-land/)
South-East Inches Away From Collapsing Into Hobbesian “State Of Nature”
Apart from the fact that no meaningful economic growth and development will take place under an atmosphere of grisly and egregious insecurity and other unsafe conditions as in the case of the present South-East particularly Imo State; there are no semblances of accountable governance. The fundamental essences of limited Government (services to the people) in the Region have been disappeared. As a matter of fact, the Region is inches away from collapsing into ‘the Hobbesian State of Nature’ “where life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” (See the ‘Leviathan 1660’). That is to say that in the South-East, all the fundamental essences of Limited Governance have been uprooted and services meant to be rendered to the original owners of the civil limited government and governance bastardized and pushed back to them. The South-East peoples’ self-development ingenuities have also been bastardized and uprooted by those in charge of their public governances.
South-East Still Under The Clutches Of Primitive Security And Development
Apart from public governances having been reduced to squander-mania, sycophancy, propaganda, falsehood, corruption and brigandage at individual State level; there are no iotas of ‘collective or joint regional development plans or policies and actions by the South-East Governors’. Such ambitious regional development would have seen the construction of the likes of the “South-East Mega Expressway” with capacity of linking all the five South-East States and exits and entrances into and out of the Region connected thereto. It is saddening and mocking that the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen know the shortest routes connecting the five South-East States than the five South-East Governors since 2015. The Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen have for long remotely identified shortest bush and footpath routes through which they abduct, hold captive and move their South-East non Muslim captives around the five South-East States in less than four days and return their captives to the South-East Triangle where Enugu, Abia, Imo and Anambra meet from where they are killed or raped alive or raped to death (if non menopausal women); or extorted and left alive with bruises or in a state of half dead.
S/East Marred By Zero Visionary Projects, Direct Labor And Foreign Direct Investments
The elusive joint South-East mega projects include shortening and reducing the distance between traveling from Awka to Enugu’s Ninth Mile/Capital City to less 20 kilometers with a new dual carriageway between Amansea/Ebenebe and Olo/Eke (Nigerian Breweries/Ninth Mile); or shortening the route between South-East State of Anambra and Rivers Wharf (less than 2 hours journey) through a Bridge and dualization of Atani-Ogwuikpere Road to link Ogbaru and Ndoni in Rivers State; or shortening the route between the South-East State of Anambra and Kogi/FCT with a dualized Road Anam River Bridge and Kogi/FCT; or a railway project linking the five South-East States with a major terminal at the South-East Triangle; or a “South-East Unity International Airport” to be cited or located around the South-East Triangle where Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi meet.
With the level of self-development ingenuities in the South-East Region or Igbo Land, the South-East Governors, individually and collectively, are long expected to have undertaken millennium projects such as flyovers and underground roadway and railway tunnel projects, towers, botanic gardens and forest reserves, state-of-art amusement parks, stadia, seaports, freedom squares, mega markets, artisans’ corners and skill acquisition centers with free interest loans. Others are the likes of unity hospitals, unity schools including a state-of-art South-East University and unity water schemes including dams and lakes with state-of-art hotels and recreational facilities attached. In ensuring all of the above, possible defense of “lack of available public funds” is indefensible because the Governors have been wasting billions on frivolities and irrelevancies including wasteful lifestyles and maddening acquisition of moveable and immoveable private properties. The billions wasted on “monthly security votes” for six months by the Govs, for instance, can build a “Unity Expressway” linking the five South-East States.
Direct Labor Construction Of “The Great People’s Hall Of China” As A Case In Point
Republic of China was so broke in the 1950s yet it was able to construct and complete “The Great Hall of the People” through direct labor guided by building designing and construction experts including architects and civil engineers. The decision to build the “World Largest Parliamentary Building” was made by the China’s “politburo” in August 1958 and the project was completed in ten months (June 1959), involving 7,785 assembled workers. The “Great People’s Hall” was opened in Sept 1959 and used for the country’s 10th Revolutionary Anniversary (1949-1959). The “Great People’s Hall” was also one of the China’s “10 Great Constructions” for its 10th Revolutionary Anniversary; with a slogan: “the People are the Masters of the Country”. The “Great People’s Hall of China” also marked the turning point in the country’s development strides till date.
S/E Eluded By FDIs, Public-Private-Partnership And Counterpart Funding
Today, “paucity of public funds for critical infrastructural development” is no longer a legitimate defense for publicly elected and appointed executives. Such defense is dead on arrival because ‘direct foreign investments (FDIs)’, ‘public-private-partnership (PPPs)’ and ‘Counterpart Funding’ are modern development mechanisms used by serious minded democratic leaders at national and sub-national institutional levels to drive their economic growth and development. Under the present South-East Governors, innovative and visionary developments are at the lowest ebb. Despite the hyper increases in human population and motorization, for instance, the Region is still battling with road networks carved out or paved in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. It is not only that the kilometers of road networks in the Region (Trunk A, B and C) are grossly inadequate when compared to the size of the population and number of automobiles, motorbikes, tri-cycles and bicycles making use of them but also deeply saddening is the fact that average of 65% of Trunk B roads, 90% of Trunk C roads and 80% of Trunk A roads in the Region have failed and become death traps for passengers.
South-East Governors’ Old Order Approaches To Security Matters In The Region
The old order and primitive approaches by South-East Governors to insecurity and other unsafe conditions have been responsible for escalation and worsening of security situations in the Region. The present South-East Govs have also been found to be so fearful that it looks as if they collectively or individually have skeletons in their cupboards or collective hidden agenda against their people. They are so afraid to publicly condemn the jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and their atrocities in the Region that it looks as if they are collectively or individually a party to the so called “MACABAN/Fulani Loyalty Agreement” as possible preconditions for them to become Governors of their States. In our recent 15-Page Special Report, dated August 28, 2023 and titled: “Who Is Killing Who Outside The Law In Igbo Land” (https://intersociety-ng.org/who-is-killing-who-outside-the-law-in-igbo-land/), it was very difficult to exonerate them from the linkages and atrocities of armed non state criminal entities wrecking havoc in the Region since Jan 2021. The Govs are also vicariously responsible for grisly rights abuses and violations by the drafted security agents and their chiefs in the Region. These, they have been doing by refusing to openly condemn the killings and burnings outside the law and by allocating public funds to security chiefs in aid of such atrocious acts. It is deeply saddening to note that while serious minded elected and appointed public executives in economically and democratically advancing national and sub-national entities have long moved away from ‘gun-culture’ driven physical security to “human security and its seven key dimensions” of economic security, health security, food security, environmental security, community security, personal security and physical security”; the South-East Governors have remained stuck in “cork-and-shoot” security; squandering billons of funds belonging to taxpayers with little or nothing to show for it.
Highlighting The Concept Of ‘Human Security’ And Its Seven Key Dimensions For S/E Govs
For the record, the modern concept of Human Security and its Seven Key Dimensions are expertly cited as follows: “The concept of security has for too long been interpreted narrowly: as security of the territory from external aggression, or as protection of national interests in foreign policy or as global security from the threat of a nuclear holocaust. It has been related more to nation-state than people….forgotten were the legitimate concerns of ordinary people….for many of them, security symbolized protection from the threat of disease, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression and environmental hazards” . Source: UNDP Human Development Report; 1994: 22. “Security is an all-encompassing condition in which individual citizens live in freedom, peace and safety; to participate fully in the process of governance; enjoy the protection of the fundamental human rights; have access to resources and the basic necessities of life; and inhabit an environment which is not detrimental to their health and well-being”. Source: South African Department of Defense 1996.
Seven Key Grounds For Finding Lasting Solutions To Insecurity In The South-East
The outcome of the Nov 11, 2023 Imo Governorship Election is a litmus test for addressing South-East insecurity
Challenge is given to South-East Govs to publicly condemn armed Jihadist Herdsmen and their atrocities in S/E
South-East Govs must insist on making inputs in the posting of senior policy, spy police and military chiefs to S/East
South-East Govs must publicly condemn military and police roadblock extortions and brutalities on the roads in S/E For successful development in the Region, those behind killings and burnings outside the law must be uprooted
UN must investigate and make referrals to ICC to track down and prosecute state and non state actors involved
The old order reliance on gun-culture security must give way to ‘human security’ and its seven dimensions in S/E
▪︎ By Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman; Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy and Good Governance; and Obianuju Joy Igboeli,
Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law