Group tasks government on insecurity, calls for proactive action
The Credible Igbo Women Initiative (CIWI) has raised serious concern about the spate of insecurity in the southeast and different parts of the country.
The spokesperson of CIWI, Onyeka Onwenu, in a statement said insecurity in Igboland and in Nigeria, generally, has resulted in lives being wasted daily.
Onwenu said: "The fact that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 14(2) states unequivocally that, 'The security and welfare of the citizens shall be the primary function of the government.'
"We, the women of Igboland (Alaigbo) do hereby declare that the Federal Government has the duty to protect the people of this country, especially Igboland, which is currently under heavily armed attack by air and land, daily. We vehemently condemn activities in Igboland by unknown gunmen, arsonists, and brigands whose actions are clearly calculated to create an atmosphere of civil unrest.
"For the avoidance of doubt, these are not our children, and they are not acting under the authority of Ndigbo (Igbo people). The sustained instability in Igboland has resulted in our children being dragged out of their houses, cars and even pedestrian walks, captured, arbitrarily branded IPOB members and often summarily executed with impunity and without a trial. Those captives that survive the ordeal are subsequently displayed to the press as proof of the security forces’ success. Our children are thus daily dehumanised to the extent that concerned citizens such as Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese have raised the alarm on unidentified corpses in the morgues."
Onwenu said that such concerns have been reiterated by corporate bodies, including the Nigeria Bar Association, which has decried the grossly overcrowded detention centres in Igboland.
"We state that having lost our means of livelihood because of the invasion and destruction of our farms by ruthless herdsmen, our hope lies in government to ameliorate our heart-breaking circumstances, including providing security generally and compensation for the death and destruction of our children and property.
"We note that the systematic neglect of our youths over the years through lack of social and financial incentives, scholarships and skills acquisition support, have resulted in mass unemployment and distortion of the social fabric," she said.
Also, Nollywood veteran, Clarion Chukwura, who is worried about the situation, said the organisation observed with deep concern that market men and women continue to suffer greatly at the hands of security forces in Igboland with the result that markets and shops are often under lock and key and are constantly looted with impunity.
She called on the Federal Government to take urgent action to restore the confidence of the people in the security forces.
Chukwura said: "Men and women whose children met their untimely death in the hands of the gunmen, both known, and unknown should be consoled and compensated. Similarly, widows and widowers whose spouses have met their untimely death should be consoled and compensated."
She added that financial and social incentives should be provided to create a fresh beginning for Igbo youths.
She said: "A level playing field should be provided for our children. No more discrimination. No more favouritism.
"The Federal Government should systematically and transparently embrace diversity and inclusion so that every citizen can aspire to achieve their fullest potential whether in the public or private sector, irrespective of tribe, creed or association.
"As mothers, we bear the brunt of avoidable loss of lives and property. We are broken and tired of burying our children. Therefore, we cry to the Federal Government to save our souls and let peace reign in our land again.”
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