Stop killings, withdraw soldiers from Nko, NBA tells Ayade
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has appealed to Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, to withdraw his directive to the Army in Nko community to avoid more loss of innocent lives.
NBA, Calabar branch, made the call, yesterday, in a statement signed and made available to newsmen by the Chairman, Attah Ochinke, and Secretary, Eno Edet.
They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff to order soldiers in the warring community to end what they described as reprisal attacks on Nko residents.
Following recent alleged attack by Nko youths on soldiers deployed to restore peace and order to the warring communities, Ayade reportedly ordered army operation in Nko.
The statement read: “The attention of the Nigerian Bar Association, Calabar branch, has been drawn to the directive issued to the Nigerian Army by the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, in respect of the army’s operations currently being conducted in Nko and Oyadama communities.
“Urging the army to continue is to condemn more innocent citizens to brutal deaths by soldiers extracting revenge for their fallen colleagues.
“We urge commanders of the military units involved, the GOC of 82 Division, Enugu, the Chief of Army Staff, and ultimately, President Muhammadu Buhari, our Commander in Chief, to call the soldiers to bring the situation under control.”
The statement further stated: “While we join the governor in condemning the embarrassing and seemingly intractable communal clashes between these neighbouring communities, we view the directive of the governor to the army to sustain its operations in Nko community as appalling and ill-advised.
“The reprisal attacks are raw vengeance and not an investigation. The law of armed conflicts, even in international scenarios, view attack on peacekeepers as a heinous crime. However, we are appalled that the governor, with a mandate for law and order in the state, responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of all Cross Riverians, will urge the sustenance of reprisal attacks on hapless villagers.”