Awka – The leadership of Igbo Youths in Southeastern Nigeria, under aegis of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Youth Wing, has proposed the establishment of State Police as an effective approach to addressing the growing insecurity in the regions.
At its emergency meeting held over the weekend in Awka, the group expressed deep concern over the spate of farmers-herders clashes, incessant kidnapping and raping, cultism and attacks on security agents by the unknown gunmen.
Recent times have seen heightened insecurity in the region, with security agents as major targets.
Addressing newsmen, the Chairman, State Youth Leaders’ Forum and Anambra Ohaneze Youth Leader, Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, said the development has severely hindered food security, claimed lives and property and continues to pose great danger to economic activities in the region.
“There is need to holistically address this issue in order to preserve the unity and strength of this country. It is very unfortunate that farmers have lived in peace for decades with herders, until recently when the killer herders infiltrated the system. On this note, we urge the Governors of Southeast to gird their loins and decisively enforce the ban on open grazing in the region.
“Aside the emerged farmers and herders crisis, other worrisome developments are the incessant kidnapping, raping and killings going on in the country by the alleged killer Herdsmen. It is obvious that the Federal Government cannot address this problem after several failed efforts.
“We therefore propose the establishment of State Police as an effective approach to many of these security challenges stirring us in the face. We cannot persist on same approach and miraculously expect a different result,” Okpalaezeukwu said.
The group aligned itself with ‘EBUBEAGU’, the recent regional Security outfit launched by Igbo Governors, to fight and check insecurity, crime and other related human right abuses in the region.
According to the group, they are willing to actively participate and passionately champion the ‘Ebubeagu’ initiative, in order to maximize impact and yield visible results.
“All hands must be on deck. We hereby call on Igbo Youths in Southeast to rise in solidarity and support to the efforts of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, South East Governors’ Forum and other pro Igbo groups. Together, we are stronger and better,” said.
Mazi Okpalaezeukwu who read the communiqué on behalf of all the youth leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in all the five Southeast states, bemoaned the serial killings in some states in Southeast, attributed to the violent activities of cultists.
“Most disturbing is the rampage killings and beheading of Igbo youths in Anambra. In very strong terms, we condemn these gruesome cult killings. The bond that keeps us together as Ndi Igbo is much stronger than whatever that divides us as cultists. We commend the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Sir. Willie M. Obiano for the proactive measures, promptly activated, that immediately extinguished the violence and restored stability in Awka and also admonish Igbo youths to desist from cultism, as it has no benefit but gross regret and destruction,” he noted.
Condemning the attacks on security agents in the region, Mazi Okpalaezeukwu however urged the security agents to also shun unprofessional behaviours that make them targets.
“We cannot fathom the agenda or purpose of the attacks on security agents in Southeast by the unknown gunmen. Killing the security operatives and carting away with their firearms, is very worrisome as it tends to expose our people to more danger and insecurity.
“Most of these people shot and killed are people from this region, who are only working to feed their family just like everyone of us.
“Truth be told, there are many good security officers out there, and we can never ignore their importance in the society.
“On the same hand, we must admonish the Police and other security agencies to diligently serve the people more and molest us less.
“Most Worrisome is the alleged secret arresting and killing of Igbo youths by Nigerian Army.
“We are calling on the Nigerian Army to immediately stop the random arrest and unjust killing of Igbo Youths in the guise of IPOB and/or ESN members. It is unfortunate that a revered organisation like the Nigerian Army, no longer apply the tenets professionalism and respect for human rights while discharging their duties.
“This is one of the obvious reasons why the security agencies have lost the confidence and support of the masses,” the Ohanaeze youths observed.