Imo Reps decry growing insecurity, extrajudicial killings
Written by freshadmin3 on June 3, 2021
Some members of the House of Representatives from Imo State have decried the alleged extrajudicial killings, rights violation and destruction of property by security operatives following the murder of Ahmed Gulak, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Sunday by gunmen on his way to the airport in Owerri, the state capital.
The lawmaker representing Ahiazu/Ezinitte Federal Constituency, Chinedu Martins; and Bede Eke, who is representing Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala Federal Constituency, both in Imo State, raised the alarm separately on Thursday.
Martins, in a statement titled ‘A Call for Peace in Imo State’, noted that whole mistake, which is a natural phenomenon, might have been made, “it is still painful and unacceptable to be witnessing through the media, such wanton destruction and gruesome killings, especially the gory sights of lifeless bodies of our beloved ones.”
The lawmaker cited the cases of “such as the young and promising Chidiebere Emereuwa of the Nigeria Air Force, a native of Obizi in my constituency who was reportedly killed at a check-point near Akachi Junction; another ugly incident of a Germany-based Unachukwu who allegedly died after being shot on the head at a military check-point near Sam Mbakwe Airport while trying to catch a flight; and of course, the wicked and gruesome murder of an APC chieftain, Dr Ahmed Gulak, who was reportedly in the state a national assignment.”
The statement partly read, “I am deeply pained with the recent happenings in our dear Imo State, where the unthinkable is happening with innocent lives being decimated, business activities crumbling and properties worth billions in naira destroyed with reckless abandon.
“It is not only regrettable that such unfortunate development ensued, but our inability to nip it in the bud before it escalates beyond human control, which is attributable to the confusion in the body-politics that made it extremely difficult for individuals with genuine concern to step-in.
“Such situation always calls for restraint in order not to be misquoted by our motley and overzealous politicians who are always in a haste to wrongly decorate every action including things as sacrosanct as human lives, with partisan coloration.
“However, as a bona-fide citizen of Imo State who is not only in shock but deeply worried, and in my capacity as a representative of the people whose lives are being cut short, I have no other choice than to speak up.”
Martins said it must be expressly stated that the killings “from both angles must stop forthwith,” especially as Imo must be rescued and recovered to its original state of peace and tranquility.
Eke, who also addressed journalists, alleged that soldiers allegedly killed Noel Chigbu Nzeribe and Tochi Ekwe while Ekwe’s kinsmen were missing. He decried that his constituents could no longer stay in their homes for fear of being harassed by security operatives.
He said, “Recently in Imo State, so many issues and security challenges have been on and I want to tell you that we have had casualties; some of my constituents killed and we expect the police and the military to unravel the killers of these people. These are innocent citizens, I am aware that the family of these constituents of mine has written a petition to the Nigerian Army. We lost a young man who until his death owned a Shawarma shop just to make ends meet. He was shot by the Army. The reason was that he did not obey the rules at a checkpoint.
“As a representative of my people, for us, I want to make it known to the world that we are waiting for the outcome of that petition. And as a representative of the people, I am giving the Nigerian Army 14 days to respond to the killing of that gentleman who left a pregnant and expectant mother and two children – three and two. What will become of those children, even the one that is yet unborn?
“I have photos and videos of people being killed. Our people can no longer sleep in their houses. My constituents called me to speak for the world to hold the security agents responsible if my people are killed. There is nothing wrong with arresting people; there is nothing wrong with investigation; there is nothing wrong in unravelling the killers and sponsors of these heinous crimes. But the issue is that, let the innocent people be free; it is enshrined in the Constitution – freedom of movement.”
The lawmaker asked a security agent to trace Gulak’s killers in Owerri where the former presidential aide was and not his constituency.
Eke said, “Gulak left Owerri. If you want to arrest my people, the meaning is that you have to start that arrest from the hotel in Owerri where he left. I can no longer keep quiet. These people elected me to speak for them. Please, I beg the security agents; I beg the authorities to please allow my people in peace.
“If you have arrested and killed some people (who killed Gulak) as a result of this crime, why are you still haunting my constituents? Why are these people (constituents) not allowed to stay in their houses?”