CSOs, Stakeholders Condemn Killings, Destruction in Ebonyi

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) yesterday condemned the killings and destruction of property in Ekoli Edda Community of Ebonyi State.

It said killings of innocent members of the community by thugs, misguided youth groups claimed many lives over the years without commensurate action by the state government and law enforcement agencies.

The groups also called on the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Ebonyi State government to look into the circumstances surrounding the campaign of violence in the community, to expedite action on the matter and ensure justice and compensation for the victims of violence in the community.

A statement issued in Abuja by the groups, Society for Good Governance, Peace and Justice Forum and Campaign against Violence, said the wanton killing of innocent indigenes and destruction of property by thugs attached to politically exposed persons, rival unions and youth groups had continued unchecked in spite of the presence of many security agencies in the state.

It cited the deadly attack on the State APC Chairman, Chief Stanley Okoro Emegha and his convoy on 26th December, 2022 at Ekenta Ekoli Edda Community of Afikpo Local Government Area allegedly by Ekoli Youth Vanguard which later ended up as a horrifying experience that claimed three lives,  including an Inspector of Police and loss of property worth millions of naira.

The statement signed by Bob Elekere and Chinyere Ogbuagu said killings in the area have continued without severe sanctions applied to perpetrators.

“We have recorded many killings in the community without the known  perpetrators being brought to justice.

“Thugs attached to politically exposed persons and misguided youth groups have wreaked havoc in the community”, it said.

“Innocent people have been caught in the crossfire between political gladiators. This community should not become a killing field.

“We are urging the state government to be firm this time in dealing with the perpetrators. Do we no longer have the fear of God? Is there no more value placed on the lives of our brothers?

“We call on the Commission of Inquiry set up by the state government to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done and pay compensation to the victims of this endless and ruinous campaign of violence,” it said.

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