The governors announced this in a communique issued after a meeting held in Owerri, the Imo state capital, on Sunday.

Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state, who addressed journalists on behalf of the governors after the meeting, said the establishment of the outfit is part of efforts to tackle insecurity in the region

The governors condemned the recent attacks on residents and security facilities in the region, and urged the inspector-general of police to meet with stakeholders to address the situation.

The political leadership in the south-east has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone,” Umahi said.

“The summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the south-east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five south-east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.

“The heads of all the security agencies in the south-east have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone. To fast track crime-busting in the south-east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the south-east.

The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the south-east otherwise known as Ebube Agu. The meeting appreciated the formation of south-east joint security outfit codeamed ‘Ebube Agu’ — headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the south-east.”

Umahi added that the governors also asked the acting IGP to “stop the influx of IGP monitory units”, and allow police commissioners and state and zonal commands to “handle their cases”.

“Meeting approved that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the south-east,” he added.

The governors also insisted that open grazing remains banned in the region, and called for peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders in the south-east.