Dave Umahi, the Ebonyi State governor has set up two new security outfits following the disbandment of the Ebubeagu outfit by a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki.
Umahi said Ebubeagu would only function in the state once a Stay of Execution is granted.
Residents have accused the governor of using Ebubeagu as a personal militia to target political opponents.
Speaking on Friday, February 17 during a State Security Council meeting in Abakaliki, the state capital, the governor disclosed that the state now has two new security outfits, Ebonyi State Neighbourhood Watch and Ebonyi State Vigilante Corps.
“However, let me thank the House of Assembly for passing into law another two sets of vigilante outfits for Ebonyi State, which process started in 2021, but they graciously passed it a few days ago, and that is Ebonyi State Neighbourhood Watch.
“Let me say that we have had this Neighbourhood Watch even before now, as far back as 2015, and they did tremendously very well, so the law is back, and they are empowered to function.
“Another vigilante that has come into effect is the Ebonyi State Vigilante Corps, and this will also function in the state. I am hereby inaugurating these new outfits officially today, and by the laws of the state, they are empowered to function. However, when Ebubeagu comes back to do their jobs and these two vigilante outfits, my directive is that they must not infringe on the rights of anybody,” Umahi said.
The governor encouraged all the state’s security chiefs to deal with any member of political parties, vigilante groups or Ebonyi citizens who attempted to violate people’s rights or instigate them to commit acts of violence.