Posted by News Express | 25 January 2021 | 363 times
A group of concerned Imo citizens have raised concerns over the recent outbreak of violent clashes between security forces and a militant group in the Orlu areas of Imo State, resulting to deaths and arson.
The group noted that the current situation in Orlu has put the lives, property and livelihoods of innocent families and residents of the affected communities at great risk and inconveniences.
A statement signed by the eight-member group noted that people have been forced to flee their homes with many displaced, including poor families who depend on daily income for their livelihoods.
According to the statement, “Considering the outcomes of similar reprisal military attacks in the past: from the Odi massacre, to Zakibiam, and recently the military onslaught on residents of Oyigbo Rivers State, where several innocent people, including passers-by, were killed and many others abducted and transported to Abuja where they were detained incommunicado and tortured, we fear that similar fate may befall innocent residents of Orlu.
“Just last October, a reprisal attack by officers of the 34 Artillery Brigade of Nigerian Army during the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protests left five persons dead and others injured in Nwaorieubi, Mbaitolu in Imo State. The dead and the injured are yet to get justice. The current massacre in Orlu adds to the list of extrajudicial killings in Imo perpetrated by military forces, without anybody held to account. Imo communities are crying for justice.
“We call on the Imo State government and military authorities to exercise restraint in their rhetoric and actions and to immediately withdraw soldiers back to barrack while the Governor engages both sides in civil process just as we saw in the South-West.
“The state government must demonstrate leadership, prioritise the rights and safety of helpless innocent people who are caught in the crossfire and avoid belligerent and fire-for-fire approach to the crisis,” the statement added.
Signatories to the statement include Okechukwu Nwanguma, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Dr. Sam Amadi, Fabian Okoye, Stanley Ibe, Dr. Walter Duru, Tony Opara, Chidi Igwe, Ogechi Ikeh.
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