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Igbo think tank flays shoot-on-sight order against IPOB members

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A leading Igbo Think-Tank, Nzuko Umuna, has urged an end to state violence and siege against the South-East, warning that resort to terror by the Nigerian state is not the way to stabilise the country in the current crisis.

The group flayed the Inspector-General of Police for allegedly authorising shoot-on-sight order against members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) without minding human rights protection fully guaranteed by the constitution.

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Chairman, Legal Committee of the Igbo Think Tank, Dr. Sam Amadi, while addressing a press conference, yesterday, in Abuja, said that the group understood the exasperation of the government about the insecurity crisis in the country and the spate of attacks against law enforcement personnel and state security institutions, infrastructure and assets.

He said that Nzuko Umunna fully supported efforts to protect the lives and property of Nigerians in the South-East and elsewhere in Nigeria and condemned attacks against police officers and other law enforcement agents in the regions, urging the Nigeria Police to painstakingly find out and prosecute those who are guilty of such nefarious and criminal actions against law and order; and to use all legitimate force to prevent such attacks.

Amadi, however, stated that the painful loss of men and officers is not a justification for an indiscriminate and vicious resort to state violence against Nigerian citizens in the South-East by the head of the Nigerian police, saying that such statement by the head of the Nigeria police betrays a determination to punish Nigerian citizens in the region and deprive them of the due process and protection under the constitution.

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He insisted that the resort to state violence against Nigerian citizens in the South-East contravenes the President’s oath of office to protect the lives and well-being of all Nigerians without regard to ethnic, religious and other identities.

Amadi stressed that Nigeria has descended into depth of insecurity partly because of the failure of governance across the country and particularly because of inequities and injustices of political leadership in Nigeria.

He said that the group considers the IGP’s statement as horrifying, frightening and unutterable in a democracy with entrenched constitutional rights to life and due process, stressing that it is more surprising that the head of the Nigerian Police will make such an outrageous statement authorising state violence in a region that, for long, has been seething with anger at police brutality and extortion and a region whose youths have been extra-judicially killed by security agents in large numbers.

According to him, the statement sends shivers down the spines of residents of South-East because it suggests a declaration of war against the people by the Nigerian state; and conjure images of gruesome murders as we saw during the infamous Python Dance in the South-East.”

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