We won’t recognise ex-militant group as security outfit – Ibom Community Watch

Akwa Ibom state government-owned security outfit, Ibom Community Watch (ICW) has denounced a certain group of repentant militants claiming to be securing the state.

Coordinator/Commander of ICW, Kenneth Okon, who  stated this at  a press conference weekend in Uyo  said the state government has not authorised any ex-militant group to act as security outfit on its behalf. 

A group of ex-agitators had recently claimed that it would protect the state’s waterways from sea pirates and tackle all forms of criminality on behalf of the governnment.

But Okon said only the ICW has the mandate and backing of the government to work with regular security agencies to secure communities in the state as well as its waters from sea pirates. 

“The state government has not authorised any group of former agitators or ex-militants to act as a security outfit on its behalf. At least I am not aware of that and I believe none of you is aware.

“The only security body set up by the by the government through a bill passed into law by the state House of Assembly and assented to by Governor Umo Eno is Ibom Community Watch (ICW).

“Of course, most of you witnessed the inauguration of the ICW at the Uyo township stadium where the governor himself attended. Every unit in the 31 local government areas of the state is well represented in ICW.

“The ICW is under the state ministry of internal security and waterways and a retired general is heading that ministry. It is modeled after Amotekun in the South-west and Ebube Agwu in the South-east.

“It is purely playing supportive roles to the regular security agencies. We don’t carry arms but use intelligence gathering and dissemination of information as basic tools to aid in crime fighting,” he said.

On the allegation that ICW  was populated by cultists, Okon  said, “ICW is not a cult group and is not affiliated to any cult group. During the process of screening for recruitment of our personnel, we screened out persons with criminal records.”