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Group cries out to IGP, DSS boss over alleged extra -judicial killings in Ebonyi communities

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A group, Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu and the Director-General of the Department of State Security Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Magaji Bichi to wade into politically motivated killings in Asaga Owutu Edda in Afikpo South local council of Ebonyi state.

AESID also called on the Ebonyi state government to institute an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe into the issue to find a lasting solution to the problem.”

AESID Chairman, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, in a statement made available to The Guardian in Abuja, condemned what he described as “the acts of banditry, terrorism and killings which have been imposed on Edda clan since the current democratic/political dispensation in the state.”

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The group claimed that the denigration of Edda politics to this level of outright and shameless political criminality dates back to sometime around the year 2007 when people of doubtful character entered into Edda/Ebonyi political horizon as political adventurers and merchants of death.

On the recent killings in the area, the group claimed: “On the 27th March 2020, a 19- year old boy, Chidi Oji Arua was killed at Nguzu Edda. It was alleged that some officials of the Afikpo South Local Government COVID-19 Task Force went to Nguzu to enforce the Government policy banning the burial of corpses as part of the COVID-19 lockdown.

” Some villagers resisted and the Personal Assistant to the Council Chairman, Keneth Agha Okoro (aka Mukoro) was rough-handled. He was said to have gone back to base to alert his group who went to Nguzu Edda to unleash mayhem and Chidi was found lying dead after sporadic gunshots.

“From Sunday, 3rd May 2020 to Wednesday, 6th May 2020, three young men from Owutu Edda were murdered in cold blood. The first boy, Onu Chima Ukpai, was shot dead by an alleged member of a rival cult group.

“Then on Tuesday, 5th May 2020, one of the boys, Chinedu Offor Ufere, who was wounded during the Sunday attack and was hospitalized, died. Then again, on Wednesday, 6th May 2020, one Jarun, the elder brother of the boy who was killed on Sunday, went on a revenge mission and killed one Raphael Okereke.

“The recent killings in Edda reflect the brutal and crude political culture of violence and blood-bath which has been used as an instrument of political domination of the area. It is an extension of the regime of terror, thuggery, intimidation and gangsterism. It is aimed at conquering the people by instilling fear into them for political imposition and exclusion,” the association said.

“The Governor should immediately institute an independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe the causes of the killings in Edda if he is sincere about finding a lasting solution to the problem.

“We will also wish to call on the Federal Government and the Human Rights Organizations in Nigeria to wade into Ebonyi state and engage the government of Umahi to forestall further bloodshed in the area.”

The group traced the sharing of political offices in the LGA in 2019, the conduct of the 2020 Chairmanship and Councillorship primaries and the composition of the COVID-19 Implementation/Enforcement Task Force in the LGA as the genesis of the bloody crisis in the area.

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