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Igbo Leaders Demand Release Of Bodies Of Killed ‘IPOB’ Members For Burial

Igbo Leaders Demand Release Of Bodies Of Killed ‘IPOB’ Members For Burial June 12, 2021 | EASTERN PILOT   Prominent South east leaders under...

Igbo Leaders Demand Release Of Bodies Of Killed ‘IPOB’ Members For Burial

June 12, 2021 | EASTERN PILOT 

Prominent South east leaders under the aegis of Igbo Elders Council, IEC have demanded the release of the bodies of those killed by police and soldiers in the ongoing Security clean up in the south east, to their families for burial.

They alleged that security agencies, indiscriminately, invade private homes at odd hours in the guise of fishing out presumed IPOB and ESN members, arrest, maim, and, sometimes shoot innocent and hapless youths, and cart away their corpses to unknown destinations, thus denying them the opportunity of burial.

“The Igbo tradition values burial rites for the repose of the soul of the dead, yet our young victims of the military onslaught are denied that opportunity,” the Elders said in a communique released in Abuja on Thursday.

They alleged that 5000 youths have been killed, and close to 10, 000 others arrested in the on going security exercise to deal with IPOB elements.

Those arrested, the IEC which includes former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife said, have been locked up in unknown detention centres by soldiers and police.

According to the elders, some external forces are the ones fueling problem in the region with a view of blaming it on IPOB. They noted that there is a diabolical plan to distabilise the zone, in order to frustrate agitation by an Igbo man to become president in 2023.

The elders said: “The current military onslaught against the Igbos will not bring the much needed peace and stability in the South East in particular and Nigeria in general. Rather, dialogue, consultations, conferences , respect for one another, rule of law and fundamental human rights, democracy, accountability, transparency and good governance, as well as immediate restructuring of the country, resource control, equity, justice and fairness in all government policies, programmes, projects and appointments in the public service are the most feasible path to sanity, peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.

“We, therefore, call on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, the United Nations, the European Union, African Union, ECOWAS, United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, China and the entire international community to take urgent and necessary actions to stop the current genocide against the Igbos in the South East and other parts of the South South in the interest of peace, stability and unity of Nigeria.

“The use of military force has never restored peace anywhere, hence the need to explore dialogue and other effective strategies that have worked elsewhere. The Igbo Elders Council are available and ready to be part of this process if given the opportunity to participate. ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ is a utilitarian adage in this context and at this time.”

The Elders, however, insisted that current militarization and wide spread carnage in the South East have precipitated unprecedented fear, tension and untold hardships on the people in the zone, thereby aggravating the security challenges in the land.

“We condemn without any reservation the destruction of public property in the South East because it’s not in our character to indulge in arson and brigandage. We believe, however, that it’s unfair and unjust to use a sledge hammer to kill harmless flies as many victims of this joint security agencies onslaught are innocent Igbo youths and other citizens, who have become victims of circumstances.”

The Elders said available information to them had indicated that despite the recent directive of the National Security Adviser, NSA Gen Baba Gana Mungono (Rtd) to dismantle all check points throughout the federation, the security agencies in the South East still stop motorists at illegal checkpoints, search them in most dehumanizing manner in the guise of fishing out presumed members of IPOB and ESN, arrest youths, especially boys and march them to unknown destinations, most of whom never return alive.

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