By Ogenyi Ogenyi,Uyo
Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network, has thrown it weighs behind the move by the Akwa Ibom government to establish a state security outfit, Ibom Community Watch
State Director of the group, Mr Franklin Isong told newsmen in Uyo, on Tuesday that the security outfit was a welcome development, as it would tackle internal security challenges in the state.
Isong said the outfit would also help in intelligence gathering for the regular security agencies and create more than 4,000 employment opportunities especially in the rural areas.
He described security challenges in the country as worrisome and disturbing, adding that it should no longer be left in the hands of the federal government even though such issues are in the exclusive legislative list.
“We received an invitation from the Akwa Ibom State House inviting us to a public hearing on a law called Ibom Peace Corp and some connected purposes
“In the course of the public hearing, the Commissioner of Internal Security and Water Ways, and the State Attorney general said that the name should be changed to Ibom Community Whatch.
“We want to commend Akwa Ibom State government for considering it necessary that Akwa Ibom should have a security outfit to combat internal security challenges like we have Amotekun in the South West
Ebubeagu in the East
“We are aware that insecurity in the country has become too worrisome and disturbing, Some Youth corps members traveling to Sokoto to answer a national call were kidnapped in Zamfara, and up till today, they are still in captivity.
“So security issues can no longer be left in the hands of federal government even though there are arguments that security issues are covered in the exclusive legislative list of our constitution.
“So, having a security outfit to tackle internal security challenges will help in getting intelligence for security agencies like the police, the Army, Navy and others including the DSS and NDLEA.” The Director said.
While noting that security outfit would covered all the 31 local governments areas of the state Isong dismissed insinuations that such an outfit could be manipulated by the state governor for selfish consideration.
“There are two bills; one is the Ibom Community Watch and another is seeking to establish security Trust Fund. This Bill is talking about how to fund and not only that if you look at the membership of the board ‘ the board shall comprised of the chairman and three appointed from the private sector.” He said.