By Deji Elumoye
The South-east Caucus of the Senate and the South-east Zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, and heads of other security agencies to fish out those responsible for the recent killing of 16 people in Ebonyi State communities.
They warned that the crime must not go unsolved and unpunished like others before it.
The Senate Caucus in a statement yesterday by its Leader and former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, described the act as unfeeling.
“This act is most unfeeling and gruesome; and we condemn it in totality. But more importantly, this must not go unpunished like others before it.
“It is imperative to warn that the Nigerian state is fast delegitimising itself by its failure to discharge the primary purpose of government, which is security and welfare of the people, as clearly prescribed in Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution,” it said.
The statement said widespread killings and other violent crimes had continued to worsen nationwide because the perpetrators were never arrested or prosecuted.
“Therefore, this is particularly a call on the Inspector General of Police and the heads of security agencies to bring the perpetrators of the Ebonyi killing to book expeditiously. To do otherwise will amount to further loss of government’s exclusive power of coercion to non-state actors and brigands, leaving citizens and constituent parts of the country with no option than to further resort to self-help” it said.
The Caucus also condoled with the government and people of Ebonyi State on the incident.
CAN also described as “gruesome and unwarranted” the murder of no fewer than 16 indigenes of three communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State by attackers suspected to be herdsmen.
Rising from its emergency meeting in Enugu, the CAN South-east zone said it was stricken with grief over the murder.
In a communiqué signed by the Chairman of CAN in South-East, Bishop Goddy Okafor, the association expressed shock at the level of carnage in Ebonyi State.
“We are indeed in deep grief that lives of innocent people were terminated in such a gruesome manner without any form of intervention from security agencies.
“This came at a time we were yet to recover from a similar report from Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“We are drenched in tears and sorrow and that is why we are demanding that the perpetrators must be brought to book.
“We read in the media that Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State says he knows those behind the dastardly act, so the government should go after them with every force of law to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Wherever these people are, whoever they are, security agencies must fish them out and have them face the consequences of their actions. These two incidents must not be swept under the carpet like previous ones,” it added.
It described the latest killings as a wake-up call to the South-east governors as “it now appears that the zone is indeed under siege as no day passes by without one form of similar incident or the other.”