Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
Youths numbering about 200, under the auspices of Ezza Ezekuna Youth Association Thursday, staged a peaceful protest in front of the Ebonyi State Government House over the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman in Ezza North Local Government Area of the state, Mr. Ernest Oduu.
The youths were aggrieved over what they described as the delay by the Enugu State Police Command to unravel the cause of the death of the APC chieftain who died in a hotel in Enugu State on August 17, 2018.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions like: “IGP, please investigate the death of our son”, “Ezza Youth mourns Barr. Ernest”, “We don’t want the death of our brother swept under the carpet” and “The cause of his death must be made public and must not be carried out secretly”, among others.
The leader of the group, Mr. Leonard Alegu, said that they were at the Government House to protest the delay by the Enugu Police Command in unravelling the death of the deceased and urged the Ebonyi State Government to liaise with the Commissioner for Police, Enugu State, to commence investigation into the cause of the death.
Elegu stated that: “Since Saturday, 17th of August that our brother was said to have slumped and died in a hotel in Enugu, where he went to attend a political meeting, nothing has been heard about his death. We are worried that the police command in Enugu State has not commenced investigation and we are calling for justice.
“We are here to make a passionate appeal to the Ebonyi State government to please liaise with the Enugu State Police Command not just to investigate the cause of the death but to unravel the cause of his death because, justice will not be achieved if the cause of his death is not unraveled.”
Receiving the protesters, the Chief of Staff, Ebonyi State Government House, Chief Ofor Okorie, thanked the protesting Ezza youths for embarking on a peaceful protest rather than taking laws into their hands, adding that their action is most commendable and shows a high level of maturity and civility.
Okorie assured the youths that the state government, having received their complaint, would liaise with the Enugu Police Command through the Ebonyi State Command to ensure that the death of the deceased is properly investigated.
He urged them to return to their different houses and not to allow miscreants hijack the protest as that would not go down well with the state government.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Tony Olofu, said that the state police command will collaborate with its Enugu State command to look into the matter.
He further assured them that everything contained in the letter submitted to the police command would get to the appropriate authorities, adding that whatever their grievances were would be addressed.
He urged them to go back to their businesses and remain law abiding citizens, pointing out that the Ebonyi State Command of the police will continue to ensure the security of lives and properties of its citizenry.