Abia: We’re under siege, our subjects turned to IDPs, Ohafia monarchs cry out
Posted by News Express | 16 June 2021 | 71 times
•Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu
Last week’s clash between unknown gunmen and soldiers at Ohafia, Abia State, is still causing ripples as the traditional rulers in Ohafia clan and Town Union Executives have raised the alarm that the ancient town is under military siege.
The stakeholders who said business and economic activities in the town have been completely paralyzed since the siege began also said their subjects have been turned to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.
They decried the dehumanization of the locals by security operatives and called on the Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade Ohafia to call his men to order.
This is coming a day after the Army High Command denied media reports that troops were on a revenge mission in Ohafia following the alleged killing of six soldiers by unknown gunmen, a claim the Army also said was false.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Mohammed Yerima, had in a release said the Army was only on a clearance operation in the area, assuring residents of their security.
The Ohafia monarchs and stakeholders in a strong-worded communique after a security meeting called on the security agents to stop treating everybody in Ohafia as a suspect. They insisted that their youths are law-abiding and deserve protection and not intimidation by security agents.
Some of the signatories of the communique include: His Royal Paramountcy, Professor. E U L Imaga(Udumeze Ohafia/Ezieogo Elu); HRM Ezieogo Emmanuel Kalu Kalu Onugu (Ezieogo Asaga); HRM, Ezieogo Mba Odo Okereke (Ezieogo Akanu); HRM Ezieogo Awa Nwankwo (Ezieogo Amaekpu); and HRM Ezieogo Mmecha Ugbu Mmecha (Ezieogo Amangwu).
The communique read in part: “Council of Ohafia Monarchs, leading members of Ohafia Improvement Union, OIU, and Ohafia leaders of thoughts view with utmost concern the insecurity situation in Ohafia, resulting in series of harassment and intimidation of law-abiding residents of Ohafia by security agencies in the area.
“We wish to state unequivocally that Ndi Ohafia and residents of Ohafia are law-abiding citizens of Nigeria who deserve protections from Nigerian law enforcement agencies instead of intimidation and harassment.
“We do not know any “Un-known Gunmen” in Ohafia. The security agencies know the characters and personality profiles of deviant elements in the community. They should devise means of arresting such personalities rather than stigmatising all youths and residents of Ohafia.
“The Council of Ohafia Monarchs have used various traditional instruments of authority (Imomo, Ogele, Akpan, etc) to advise and counsel Ohafia Youths and persons to be law-abiding and responsible citizens.
” The continuous lock-down of commercial and social activities in Ohafia Community has completely paralyzed economic activities and well-being of Ndi Ohafia.
“The siege at Amangwu Ohafia has turned the people of Amangwu into internally displaced persons (IDPs)in their land. This situation has created fears and trepidation in other neighbouring Ohafia communities.
” We appreciate the presence, services, and comradeship of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in Ohafia, and hope it will so remain cordial to all concerned. We however condemn the continuous harassment and intimidation of well-meaning and law-abiding sons and daughters/residents of Ohafia.
“And we hereby request the Brigade Commander to reconsider their strategies and tactics of maintaining peace and harmony in Ohafia communities without dehumanizing and intimidating of peace-loving persons in Ohafia land.
” We ask for a return of economic and social activities in Ohafia.”
This is as a civil society group known as Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, has urged Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu to speak up over the reported confrontation between the army and some locals at Ohafia.
The group in a press release jointly signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor; and Head, Legal Team, Mr. Olusegun Bamgbose, expressed deep worry over the sad development and the attendant inconveniences to innocent citizens.”
Attack bandits coming to burn police formations in Imo —Uzodimma
But in Imo State, Governor, Hope Uzodimma, on Monday, ordered Police officers to attack bandits who come to attack or burn police formations in Imo.
The governor spoke in Owerri when he visited the Imo Police Headquarters to commiserate with the command and members of the families who lost their loved ones during the insecurity period in the state.
Uzodimma said it pained him that the bandits come to attack, kill police officers just to steal arms and cause mayhem in the communities in the state.
“With very deep sadness, I am here to commiserate with the families of those officers who lost their lives during the insecurity in the state. My prayer is that God will protect the police who are still alive to protect us. The Nigeria Police Force is the last hope of the common man. If the police are challenged, Nigeria is challenged.”
“As a government, we will partner with you, supply all the logistics needed for the police to perform. Your job is a critical one in society. The police commissioner, I commend you for deploying new techniques that drove away all the murderers from our state.
“I want to extend my condolences to the immediate families that lost their loved ones. Government is putting together programmes to empower the wife children, of those who lost their loved ones. The government is going to put up an insurance policy to take care of the police officers.”
“Don’t allow the bandits to kill you again, kill them before they kill you. How can you allow the idiots, bandits to come to kill you and carry away arms and ammunition? All the suspects arrested will be charged to court.
“We have gotten the information that all the criminals who ran away from the prison go into the villages in Imo state are now causing problems.
“I urge the Divisional Police Officers, to go after them get them, and charge them to court. I also want to condemn the politicians who are parading themselves as politicians and are interested in murdering lives to repent,” Uzodimma said. (Vanguard)
Source: News Express
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