PDP Condemns Killings at Owerri Market

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• Ihedioha: Hold Okorocha accountable

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the alleged extra-judicial murder of three persons including a 10-year-old boy with several others injured at Eke Ukwu Market in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, PDP called for an immediate investigation of the incident and said the culprits should be brought to book. 

“We condemn the forceful demolition of the popular Eke Ukwu Market and violent eviction of traders in Owerri by the Imo State Government using men of the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies during which three people including a 10-year-old boy were extra-judicially murdered and several other people were injured.

PDP said the violent eviction of the occupants of the market was even more condemnable because it was carried out in violation of a pending order granted by the state high Court restraining the state government from demolishing the market and evicting the traders. 

It accused the APC-led state government of promoting and pursuing anti-people policies.

“This action, sadly, follows a pattern of the use of the apparatus of state security to forcefully and violently carry out evictions of ordinary Nigerians from valuable property in blatant violation of court orders. 

“Not very long ago, the Lagos State government ordered the forceful eviction of indigent Nigerians from waterfront properties to enable it enter into joint venture agreements for the construction of luxury apartments. Like the Owerri incident, this eviction led to the deaths of at least two people and the injury of several others, including women and children.

“As much as we acknowledge the deals of development and the construction of critical infrastructure, these ideals must be pursued within the confines of respect for the rule of law as well as in a humane manner that preserves the dignity of indigent Nigerians while giving them viable and affordable alternatives regarding where to live, grow and trade.

“We call for the immediate investigation of these extra-judicial murders and for the culprits to be brought to book. Only such an action will give justice to the dead and discourage the use of the police and other security agencies as tools for further oppression of ordinary Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, has condemned the alleged invasion of the Owerri market.

In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the former Deputy Speaker faulted the deployment of men of the armed forces in matters relating to the internal security of the state. 

Ihedioha regretted that the action which was taken in spite of a subsisting restraining court order is not only provocative but an  orchestrated action to cow, intimidate and forcibly take over Ekeukwu market for obviously selfish objectives.