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Ohanaeze moves to probe Enugu bloodshed, state government summons security meeting

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Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (fourth right); Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, Martin Oke (third right), representative of Oshodi/Isolo Federal Constituency, Bashiru Dawudu (second right) and other members of the committee, during a visit to Enugu… yesterday.

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said yesterday that it was prepared to unravel the root of the Sunday clash between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and a combined team of security operatives in Eneme, Enugu State.

Both the DSS and IPOB are claiming different numbers of casualties in the incident, with the Biafran agitators saying that 21 members of its group were killed.

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The secret police are also claiming that two of their operatives were killed by IPOB during the incident, which is already generating a lot of concerns amongst vested interests.

But in a statement in Enugu, Ohanaeze, which expressed sadness over what it termed “grave fatalities caused by the development”, also condoled families of those who lost their lives.

President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, stated that since the incident happened, the group had been involved in getting to its root cause, even as he counseled members of the public to discountenance some releases on the incident being attributed to him.

Nwodo, whose statement was signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Emeka Attamah, stated that he had not made any comment on the incident until now.

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He added: “This evening after an exhaustive meeting with Enugu State Governor, who by law is the Chief Security Officer of the state, Ohanaeze was briefed on efforts by the state government to unravel the cause, extent of fatalities and those responsible for them in a State Security Council meeting scheduled to hear and evaluate the accounts of all concerned in this sad development.

“We await the outcome of the Enugu State Security Council inquisition and advise all and sundry to discountenance all false releases attributed to Nwodo.

Apparently perturbed by the unfortunate incident, Governor Ugwuanyi has summoned an emergency State Security Council meeting for September 1.

The meeting, according to a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, will involve “all security agencies in the state are expected to brief the governor fully on the immediate and remote causes of the clashes, as well as advance measures to avert such occurrences in the future.”

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Meanwhile, the World Igbo Congress (WIC) said the bloody incident was a deliberate attempt to reduce the population of Igbo Christian youths. It stated that there was no truth in the claims by the security agents that the assemblage was that of members of IPOB, even as it called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Enugu governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to explain to the world why the lives of Christians in their domain were never protected.

A statement by WIC’s Public Relations Officer, Basil Onwukwe, alleged that the FG had resolved to intimidate and scare indigenes from protesting for the abysmally failed economy and the absurdness of failed leadership.

“Thus, the freedom of assembly becomes a crime while the cronies continue to run the nation to the ground. The same Nigerian security agencies watch in acquiescence, the daylight mayhem unleashed by Boko Haram terrorists and their agents without combating them; but carelessly, the peaceful assembly of Christians on a Sunday morning attracted joint military assault.”

“The gruesome killings are unacceptable. If the region’s state governors decide to abandon the basic responsibility of protecting the lives and property of our people, we must demand that everyone start to protect themselves and overcome the present siege in our homeland. Self-protection, anywhere in the world, is not a crime,” the statement added.

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