Police authorities have warned state governments against deployment of the South East Security Network (ESN), codenamed Ebubeagu, during the forthcoming general elections.

Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, who reiterated this yesterday, said Ebubeagu are remanded in Abakaliki Correctional Centre for various offences.

Aliyu spoke during a joint security meeting with the leadership of various political parties, and security chiefs, at the police headquarters, Abakaliki, over the increasing politically motivated violence in the state, which has claimed several lives in recent times.

The Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, had  declared that the Ebubeagu operatives have no role to play in the elections and, as such, should not participate in electoral activities.

The Commissioner tasked the chairmen of the 13 local government areas of the state to desist from engaging Ebubeagu operatives in the activities of the forthcoming general election in the state. He also warned against the recruitment of thugs by politicians to cause a crisis during the election period in the state, stressing that such will not be tolerated.

He vowed to arrest and prosecute any offender who violates the electoral process.

He warned: “Therefore, no LG chairman or political party stakeholders should engage the Ebubeagu or bear arms of whatever calibre for whatsoever reason, as Ebubeagu are not created for their political aggrandisement, [but] rather to strengthen the security of the state as non-state actors.

“Therefore, anyone found wanting will be dealt with accordingly. As such, the LG chairmen and all political stakeholders, including aspirants are, hereby, warned and reminded that no one is above the law, and anyone who goes contrary to the provision of the extant laws shall be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.”