Youths flay police killings in South East
A group under the aegis of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders has condemned the recent killings in the South East by police and other security agents.
In a statement at the weekend, the President General of the coalition, Goodluck Ibem, and Secretary General, Comrade Kanice Igwe, lamented that the restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus in region had negatively impacted residents.
The statement read in part, “The coalition observed that since the imposition and subsequent enforcement of the lockdown, many police and other law enforcement agencies have reportedly shot dead Nigerian citizens of the region against the rules of engagement or even the lockdown protocol itself. For example, on April 16, 2020 at Umuika Junction at Isialangwa North Local Government Area of Abia State, an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps shot dead one Amobi Igwe, a motorist said to be on essential duty.
Also, before the killing of Igwe, a police officer at Ururuka in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia state shot dead Chibuisi, a tragic event that left many mourning. There was also the killing of Mr Friday Arunsi at Ebem Ohafia on April 17, 2020, leading to a riot in which properties including a court building were destroyed.
“While all these and more happened during the lockdown, the coalition condemns the killings.”
The group added, “ On July 8, 2020, Mr Ifeanyi Kalu, a revenue official working with Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, was reportedly shot dead by a police officer attached to Crunchies Fried Chicken Limited when the company’s vehicle got impounded allegedly on the grounds of revenue offence whereupon the company’s salesperson in protest against the impoundment invited the police officer. The officer shot indiscriminately, and a (stray) bullet hit the revenue agent, leading to his untimely death.
“At Banana Junction in Orlu, Imo State, a police inspector also killed a motorcyclist (okada rider) allegedly for not wearing a face mask.”
COSEYL said security officials should tackle the threat posed by bandits, herdsmen and other criminal elements rather than harassing and exploiting motorists and residents.
“COSEYL regrets to state that these killings which are now becoming an enterprise for our security officials, especially the police, seem to be repeating itself because at no point have the suspected killers been brought to book or made to face justice.
“We demand a shutdown of Crunchies Fried Chicken Limited, Aba, until the killing of Mr Ifeanyi Kalu by a police officer is resolved. We will sue the company and the police officer.”
The group called on the five states in the region to investigate the killings.
It said, “COSEYL believes that the inherent porosity in the system has fattened this impunity and lawlessness. The five commissioners of police in the region must caution their men as the war is against the virus and not against Nigerians of South-East region.”
In another development, the Ohafia Progressive Assembly has slammed those responsible for unemployment in Abia State.
In a statement by its President, Chief Sunday Onwuka, and Secretary, Ndukwe Kalu, the group regretted that some politicians were using some youths in the area for illegals activities rather than creating jobs for them.
The statement read: “It is very unfortunate that some politically ambitious persons whose eyes are set on Abia governorship job are busy creating statewide unemployment and hardship in their ambition to rid and weed others out of the system just for selfish desires. The only thing that makes these self-serving elements happy is when their interests, usually narrow, are met, even at others’ expense.”
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