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Enugu Massacre: Ohaneze Warns Against Retaliation, awaits Action from State Governor

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•Abaribe calls for judicial panel of inquiry

Ohanaeze and the 2019 presidential election

Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri and Fred Itua, Abuja

The youth wing of the Igbo social cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has appealed to Igbo youths as well as groups hurt by the clash between Nigeria security agents and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at Emene, Enugu State, not to retaliate.

The group, which equally urged South East governors and other notable Igbo leaders to intervene in the crisis, described the role played by security agents on August 23 as a “provocative scenario attempted to instigate civil unrest and disobedience in Igboland.”

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Chief Osmond Nkeoma and Deputy National President, Kingsley Dozie  in Owerri said, “on our  intelligence investigation, some of brothers that  were  killed  were all Igbos in both sides of DSS and IPOB. We must stop now. We condemn vehemently the spilling of innocent Igbo bloods in Igboland under any guise, but definitely will not tolerate any form of intimidation from any quarters. We urge Igbo governors and every well meaning Igbo to intervene immediately as there might be reprisal attacks from both sides if there’s no quick intervention.

“We equally appeal to our brothers to resist any temptation to fight back, there are traps from enemies of Ndigbo to cash in on these unfortunate demise of Igbo youths from this Enugu fracas to instigate  chaos, civil disobedience and violence and heat up Igboland. We commiserate and mourn with all those killed in these horrific attacks. We call on all Biafran agitators to call off any reprisal attacks, and warn all  security agents to stop further actions capable of causing mayhem in any part of Igboland.”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said the frequent killings in Igboland have given room for widespread suspicion of a sinister motive. He also warned that the labelling of every Igbo group as terrorists and incessant killing of its youths by security operatives, has become one too many and was no longer acceptable.

Abaribe, in a statement in Abuja by his media adviser, Uchenna Awom, joined other groups to demand for the setting up of a judicial panel of inquiry by the Enugu Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

He said the judicial panel would unravel the truth in the assertions of both the security and other groups on what really happened.

Abaribe said it was disheartening that security operatives appeared to derive pleasure at any slight whim to unleash mayhem using the most lethal weapons against unarmed Igbo youths at every turn.

Such unsavoury, brutal and hateful resort to extreme repression, he said, demean Nigeria’s democratic ethos and even question her unity.

“We are in a democracy where every agency of government, particularly the security apparatchik must adhere strictly to rules of engagement with regard to dealings with the civil populace in such a manner that will be in conformity with international best practices. The last time I checked, Nigerians still enjoy freedom to associate. Nobody has told us that the Igbo youths meeting last Sunday was a gathering meant to launch attack on anybody. Who will they attack and for what? What Intel informed the police and DSS deployment to the venue of the meeting?

“Incontrovertible reports suggest very strongly that the killings were ignited when the security operatives stormed the venue of that peaceful meeting, not that the youths marched to anywhere to attack anybody. These are the issues that should be addressed at the panel,” Abaribe said.

The Minority Leader further said it is even most worrisome that the people would no longer gather peacefully in their own country without being dispersed forcefully or be branded terrorists for no just cause.

The lawmaker said he would not want to believe that the wide card labelling of every Igbo youth group as terrorists is a cover to achieve a predetermined plot.

“Let it not be that we now have an army of occupation in South East, working clandestinely to create fears and state of anomie in a region that has remained perhaps the most peaceful in the country,” he said.

He, however, advised the youths to remain calm and not to resort to any form of reprisals, or succumb to provocations that could tempt them to take laws into their own hands, while “we await the official reaction of the Enugu State governor on the matter.”

NGstudents Team Cares….. 

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