Anambra non-indigenes condemn criminality tag, neglect
Non-indigenes living in Anambra State have said that the attribution of crimes, violence and social restiveness by successive state governments, including the current Prof. Chukwuma Soludo administration, is part of the reasons for petitioning the Truth, Justice and Peace Commission (TJPC), led by Prof. Chidi Odinkalu and Iyom Biancah Odumegwu-Ojukwu as Chairman and Secretary, respectively.
Soludo had, on June 6, 2022, constituted the TJPC to identify the remote and immediate causes of agitation, restiveness, violence and armed struggle in the South East since 1999. The Commission was also asked to document victims, circumstances of deaths, brutality and incarceration, identifying stakeholders and groups, who have played critical roles in the agitations and conflicts.
In an interview with The Guardian in Awka, the state capital, yesterday, the President General of Anambra Non-indigenes Stakeholders Association (ANISA), Ikechukwu Ugwuoke, disclosed that the group filed the petition chronicling acts of commission and/or omission by or against non-indigenes, including breach of fundamental human rights, such as lack of fair hearing.
Ugwuoke added that the seeming sustained misrepresentation of facts at police stations, illegal arrests without prior police records, unfair trial, intimidation, victimisation, assaults, injustice and lack of political patronage informed the move to seek redress at the Commission.
The ANISA boss explained that the petition before TJPC is to give expression to ill-feeling towards negative tags given to members so as to improve their reputation, making them respecters of law and order, as well as ensuring that they can be seen to be more productive and co-nation builders.
Ugwuoke, however, admitted that it would amount to being economical with the truth to give all non-indigenes a clean bill of health, contending that a minimal percentage of the negative reports on misconduct are mainly from one of the states in the South East.
He pointed out that the culture of crime and violence is not limited to a set of people, but generic, saying his group could check non-indigenes, whether registered or not, if the government recognises and appreciates its vital role and includes its members in policy planning and implementation.
According to him, ANISA can check crimes and social vices if the government gives it necessary recognition and support to document and identify the states of origin, residences/landlords and occupation of non-indigenes in the state. He said ANISA members have 90 per cent of their investments and/or business operations in the state.
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