Ohanaeze wants military personnel who killed three Igbo traders face justice

July 17, 2021
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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide has condemned the killing of three Igbo traders at the Aguiyi Ironsi International Trade Centre, in the Paramo area of Ladipo Market, Lagos State by Nigerian military.

While describing the killing of Igbo traders as most cruel, brutish, barbaric, cowardly and premeditated, warned that this would be the last straw that “will break the camel’s back”. 

Ohanaeze in statement on Friday, titled: “The killing of three Igbos at Ladipo, Lagos”, signed by its spokesman Chief Alex Ogbonnia, said the Igbo have paid the supreme prize of keeping Nigeria one with fortitude and equanimity, in various circumstances even beyond the degrees of their daily activities.

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The apex Igbo body warned that the killing would not be swept under the carpet like previous ones, adding “this will surely serve as a lesson to anybody, military or civilian that trifles with the Igbo blood.”

Ohanaeze said that it has investigated what happened and came to the conclusion that the killing of the three Igbo traders was premeditated and the soldiers must be brought to book.

The statement partly read: “the military officer entered the market without military uniform but wanted to display a military bravado to the civilians. 

“The union boys were carrying out their normal civic duties characteristic of most markets and parking lots in Nigeria. 

“The military officer knew the market operatives were Igbos. The military officer felt humiliated and invited his boys for a brutal reprisal. 

“Commodore Gabkwet admitted that they moblised to site because there “was a fight between a soldier and a civilian”. The killing of the Igbo traders was premeditated.”

It added, “Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Amb. George Obiozor condemns the incident and it is unacceptable to the Igbo. Let it be known that this is the last straw that will break the camel’s back. 

“Most of the time, the culprits or perpetrators are not identified; but in this case, the timid military officer that mobilized his boys for a massacre is known. This is the end of the road for the blood-thirsty officer that knows little or nothing about military professionalism and acceptable rules of engagement with the civilians.

“It is very strange that the cruel blood thirsty group among the soldiers have left the members of the Boko Haram, bandits, abductors and kidnappers to brutalize the very civilians they are paid to defend and protect.”

The Igbo apex body, however, called on the Okaiwu Lagos, Igbo Lagos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos and indeed all the Igbo associations and activists in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to leave no stone unturned in pursuing the matter to its logical conclusion; “bearing in mind that the killing of three Igbo traders is a dot in an Igbo circle.”

While commending Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, as detribalised Nigerian leader, appealed to him to use this awful incident to reshape the civilian-military relations in Lagos State. 

“We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the bad eggs in the Nigerian military are isolated and adequately punished as a deterrence to others.”

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