Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe yesterday flayed the killing of six youth by security agencies in the Southeast during the lockdown ordered by states in the region in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic.
Abaribe, thus, called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to stop the rising rate of extra- judicial killing of innocent Nigerians in the Southeast by trigger happy policemen hiding under the cover of enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown.
He made the allegation in a statement yesterday, tasking the inspector-general to explain to Nigerians why his men have found the entire Southeast as most vulnerable in the circumstance to deploy such level of maximum force on the citizens.
He said at the last count, no fewer than six Igbo youth had met their untimely death in the hands of trigger happy policemen, purportedly enforcing the stay-at-home order.
Abaribe said: “Why the concentration in the South East? In Aba, Abia State, precisely in Uratta junction, one youth was allegedly gunned down, while another was heavily brutalised with gun butts to a point of coma on Friday.
“This came a day after another young man was killed in Umuikaa junction for no just cause. It could be recalled that two weeks ago a petrol attendant in one of the petrol stations in Ogbor Hill was also shot and killed while on duty by a policeman who claimed stray bullet.
“There are also reports of protests in Ohafia, in Abia State today (Saturday) over alleged killing of some youth in the community by the same police. Again we have not forgotten the alleged killing of another young man in Nkpor near Onitsha in Anambra State.
“There may be some other unreported cases in this region involving the officers of the Nigeria Police, yet in all of these we have not heard of any decisive action taken by the police high command to stem this ugly tide,” the Senate minority leader said.
According to him, the entire South East, which has not recorded up to three deaths as a result of the pandemic, has lost more of her people in such brutal but avoidable circumstances in the hands of people that are statutorily empowered to protect them.
He said the inspector- general, should as a matter of urgency call his men to order, halt these brazen brutality against the people, carry out a thorough investigation in these killings and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.
He said: “The killings have the propensity of being given sinister interpretations. It is the responsibility of the police high command embodied by the IGP, to rein in his men and prevent the people from relapsing into total state of hopelessness. It is not acceptable to our people, to watch our youths being killed in such brazen manner.”