SOME Igbo socio-cultural organisations, including town unions, have expressed dissatisfaction over the killing of members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra by security agencies.
The Department of State Security, Nigeria police force and the Indigenous People of Biafra clashed on Sunday..
The incident, which led to the death of some IPOB members, was said to have happened while they were in a prayer meeting in Emene area of Enugu State.
Ten persons were reportedly killed, but the casualty figures had been controversial as the police said only four persons were killed while IPOB group said 21 of their members were killed during the incident while 47 were arrested.
The DSS also said two of its operatives were killed.
Condemning the killings, the Association of South-East Town Unions on Monday said it was wrong for security operatives to open fire on unarmed civilians.
ASETU, in statement on Monday by its National President and Secretary, Chief Emeka Diwe and Chief Gideon Adikwuru respectively, called on the Federal Government to set up a judicial panel to unearth the immediate and remote causes of the incident.
The statement was titled, ‘We condemn the killing of unarmed civilians on Sunday in Enugu; security forces must observe rules of engagement.’
It read in part, “We are deeply worried over the gory images and videos of the bodies of unarmed civilians alleged to be members of pro-Biafra groups, reportedly shot dead by security agencies and littering the streets of Emene in Enugu State.
“It is further perplexing that despite the deafening hues and cries from our people over the killings, rape, destruction and havoc against us by Fulani herdsmen, there has never been any clash between the herdsmen and security agencies, neither have the agencies demonstrated any seriousness in tackling the problem.
“No progressive nation thrives on double standards and injustice. We reject completely the killing of Igbo people, no matter the pretext or guise under which it occurs.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to promptly set up a judicial panel of inquiry to ascertain the causes of the massacre in Enugu, and urge both the pro-Biafra agitators and security agencies to apply restraint, civility, professionalism and respect for human lives in all their activities.”
Another group, the Nzuko Umunna, also called for a coroner inquest into the killing
In a statement on Monday by its Coordinator, Ngozi Odumuko, Nzuko Umunna said it noted “with grave concern the constant killing of unarmed Igbo youths by security operatives. This is unacceptable and must stop.”
In the statement titled, ‘Press Statement by Nzuko Umunna on Extrajudicial Killings at Emene, Enugu State,’ the group called on Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to set up a judicial panel of inquiry “to unravel the immediate and remote causes of these wanton killings, including the exact number of victims, with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Commercial drivers protest killing
Meanwhile, commercial bus drivers in Enugu State on Monday withdrew their services in protest against the killing of their members’.
The situation interrupted commercial activities in the state as residents were seeing stranded at various locations in the state capital, while some other business premises were locked up.
Some of the routes affected include buses plying ESBS – New Layout road, Ogui -Obiagu road, Obiagu – New Haven road, Emene – Old Park road, among other routes.
However, combined security operatives, made-up of police, the DSS, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps conducted a show of force around state capital and suburbs.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, said he was in a meeting and promised to find out the reason behind the protest.
“I am currently in a meeting and will get back to you,” he said, but never got back to our correspondent as of the time of filing this report.
However, the National Director of Information for the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, Mr. Sunday Okereafor, said he would not comment on the killing of IPOB members.
Okreafor said, “They (those killed) are IPOB members. But I don’t want to speak on IPOB. IPOB has a spokesman; so, I don’t want to speak on their issue. Let them (IPOB) carry their cross; we are carrying our own cross.”
Army, police worse than B’Haram, says IPOB
Reacting to Sunday’s clash, IPOB said on Monday that security agencies in Nigeria were worse than the dreaded Boko Haram and ISWAP.
The group, which was referring particularly to the army and the police, said the way the security outfits had been killing its members without provocation showed they (army and police) were terrorist organisations.
This is coming as the Enugu State Police Command said members of the separatist group arrested during the bloody clash on Sunday would be charged to court after its investigation.
The state police spokesman, Daniel Ndukwe, who stated this on Monday, explained that investigation into the incident had begun, adding that five persons arrested on Sunday were in their custody.
But IPOB, in a statement on Monday, signed by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said, “When it comes to killing Biafrans, they are infinitely worse than Boko Haram and ISWAP put together.”
The statement reads in part: “Oduduwa’s Amotekun are armed, Fulani Miyetti Allah are armed, Fulani terror herdsmen are armed, Fulani funded bandits are armed, Fulani Ansaru Brigade are armed.
“They all gather in public without any military interference. But as soon as Biafran youths congregate in any location to pray, every Nigerian military formation, including police, DSS, Army, Air Force stationed in Biafraland, will descend on them, firing indiscriminately with the intention of killing as many innocent people as possible because IPOB is a peaceful movement.”
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