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Igbo elders condemn killings in Imo, other states

By Kanayo Umeh, Abuja
15 August 2022   |   3:46 am
Concerned Igbo elders have condemned cases of criminality in Imo State and other parts of the South East, resulting in death of innocent citizens, calling on perpetrators to desist from wicked tendencies ...

Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

…Criticise position of Northern elders

Concerned Igbo elders have condemned cases of criminality in Imo State and other parts of the South East, resulting in death of innocent citizens, calling on perpetrators to desist from wicked tendencies or face the wrath of God and the people.

The elders, under the aegis of Conference of Igbo Elders for Peace and Development (CIEPD), noted that while collaboration with security agencies on ways to address incessant killings in Imo, in particular, and South East, in general, was ongoing, their attention was drawn to a statement issued by the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) suggesting ethnic agenda in the condemnable acts.

Recall that the NEF, through its spokesperson, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, had expressed concerns over what it said was alleged ‘profiling’ of Northerners in parts of the South.

The statement reads in part: “We are deeply concerned over rising cases of profiling, targeting and killing of Northerners in parts of the South. The recent murder of Nigerians in Imo, apparently on suspicion that they were Northerners, is one incident among many recent ones that involve harassment, illegal arrests, attacks, and killing of Nigerians from the North.

“The impression that Northerners are fair game for groups and organisations in the South is forcing them to exercise their rights to travel and live peacefully in any part of Nigeria only under great danger and fear. This is unacceptable.

“The forum demands that governments, communities and law enforcement agencies protect Northerners living in the South.”

In response, the Igbo elders expressed regrets that their counterparts in the North could descend to such level as to make claims of targeted killing of their kith and kin.

“While conceding the right to freedom of expression, especially as it concerns the interest of individuals and groups, we hasten to advise people of goodwill to, at all time, be circumspect and patriotic on sensitive issues such as the subject-matter of the press statement,” CIEPD said.