The Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has condemned, in the strongest terms, the alleged killing of Igbo youths in Emene, Enugu State on Sunday by security operatives, describing it as “unsavoury, brutal and hateful resort to extreme repression.”
Abaribe stated this on Tuesday in a statement in Abuja by his Media Adviser, Uchenna Awom, titled ‘Abaribe condemns Igbo youths’ killings in Enugu’.
He said the killings of the Igbo have given room to wide suspicion of a sinister motive, noting that such demean “Nigeria’s democratic ethos and even question her unity.”
The senator warned against the labelling of every Igbo group as terrorists, adding that the incessant killings of their youths by the security operatives has become one too many and is no longer acceptable to his people.
He therefore called on the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to set up a judicial panel of Inquiry to to help find out what really happened.
The statement said it is “disheartening that security operatives seem to derive pleasure at any slight whim to unleash mayhem, using the most lethal weapons against unarmed Igbo youths at every turn.
“We are in a democracy where every agency of government, particularly the security apparatchik must adhere strictly to rules of engagement with regards to dealings with the civil populace in such a manner that will be in conformity with international best practices.
“The last time I checked, Nigerians still enjoy the freedom to associate freely. Nobody has told us that the Igbo youths meeting last Sunday was a gathering meant to launch an attack on anybody.
“Who will they attack and for what? What informed the police and DSS deployment to the venue of the meeting?
“Incontrovertible reports suggest very strongly that the killings were ignited when the security operatives stormed the venue of that peaceful meeting, not that the youths marched to anywhere to attack anybody.
“These are the issues that should be addressed at the panel.”
The Minority Leader added that he would not want to believe that the wide card labeling of every Igbo youth group as terrorists is a cover to achieve a predetermined plot.
“Let it not be that we now have an army of occupation in South East, working clandestinely to create fears and state of anomie in a region that has remained perhaps the most peaceful in the country.”
He, however, advised the youths to remain calm and not to resort to any form of reprisals, or succumb to provocations that could tempt them to take laws into their own hands.”