Fredrick Nwabufo, journalist and columnist, says the Eastern Security Network (ESN) set up by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) could become a militia.
During a BBC Igbo programme on Monday, some of those featured also said the formation of the security outfit is illegal as IPOB has no constitutional backing.
TheCable had reported how IPOB — which had been proscribed by south-east governors — launched the outfit to protect the south-east and south-south regions from “criminal activity”.
While some have welcomed the development, it was kicked against by other stakeholders including the South-East Governors Forum.
David Umahi, Ebonyi state governor and chairman of the forum, said the leaders have no hand in the move which he described as “very laughable and should be totally ignored”.
During a BBC Igbo interview session on Facebook, Nwabufo likened the group to a militia whose operation could go out of hand.
“The security network can go out of control; it could become a militia,” Nwabufo said.
“Some may argue that it will be used to protect the south-east from attacks by various groups, including herdsmen, but it has the potential of being used to wage war against our people.
“So, it is not something to be endorsed. This is exactly how Boko Haram started gradually.”
His views aligned with that of Ozioma Izuora, a lawyer, who said while the security of lives is important, any measure in that regard must follow due process.
“Considering the laws of Nigeria, it is illegal because IPOB is a mere group with no constitutional backing,” she said.
“Usually, in the creation of such outfits, there is often a backing for it in the constitution. If not, who is going to check their powers? If they err tomorrow, how can you prosecute them and under which law can you do so? Whatever is good must be done well.”
Charles Oputa, Nigerian singer and activist better known as Charly Boy, however, disagreed that the formation of the security outfit is a wrong move.
He said it is high time such an outfit was formed to help secure residents in the south-east and south-south.
“Igbo sons and daughters, we must not sleep. We cannot afford to sleep because we are surrounded by the enemy. So, the security outfit is a commendable move,” Oputa said.
SaharaReporters, New York