The ongoing discreet search and mass arrest by the millitary in Ohaji and Oguta communities in Imo state, has been totally disapproved by Ohaneze Ndigbo as “uncivilized and unacceptable”.
The socio-cultural organization raised concern over the daily arrest of Igbo youths, who bear no arms, but allow Fulani herdsmen to move around with AK-47 rifles.
It called on the Chief of Army Staff to immediately stop the unwarranted arrest.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Ohaneze spokesperson, Alex Ogbonna, stating that, “The attention of Ohaneze Ndigbo worldwide has been drawn to the ongoing massive arrest of Igbo Youths by the Nigerian Army.
“Military personnels suspected to be led by the Artillery Brigade, Owerri, since on Sunday, have been arresting male residents and youths; particularly, in Oguta and Ohaji communities, clamping them into vans and taking them to unknown destinations.
“The army are (sic) busy carrying out raids, discreet searches and arrests of youths and residents, who are suspected to be linked to the Indigenous People of Biafra, and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network.
“For avoidance of doubt, Ohaneze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Prof. George Obiozor is unequivocal about the use of firearms by unauthorized persons, bodies or groups. Democracy all over the world vests absolute authority for the legitimate use of force in government. We had admonished that exclusive indulgence of AK47 to the Fulani herdsmen as canvassed by Governor Bala Mohammed is antithetical to the ethos of a decent society.
“For the armed forces to arrest Igbo youths without evidence of arms, means of violence or crimes is cowardly, uncivilized, and mostly unacceptable to Ohaneze Ndigbo. It runs contrary to every sense of natural justice and rights of citizenship for the army to invade some Igbo communities, in search of youths, most of whom are brilliant university graduates, whose society has denied employment and sense of belonging. This is adding salt to festering injury.
“Ohaneze Ndigbo does not just wax lyrical about Igbo youths of all categories or dispositions.
“We condemn crime irrespective of the source; on the other hand, we stand a firm wicket, that it is ruthless to arrest any Igbo in the guise of membership of a terrorist organization, unless there is sufficient evidence of crime or unlawful possession of firearms.
“We call on the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Attahiru Ibrahim, to urgently stop the wave of arrest before it gives impetus to the proposal of the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to offer asylum to person who actively and openly supports IPOB and likely to beat risk of arrest or detention and ill treatment, which will likely amount to persecution.”
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News