ABIA, Nigeria – Alex Otti, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has blown hot over increasing rates of extra judicial killings by the security agents mostly attached to Abia Government Enforcement committee on COVID-19 lockdown.
Otti, in a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Ferdinand Ekeoma and made available to newsmen in Umuahia on Sunday, expressed utmost sadness and disappointment on the latest report of extrajudicial killing of a young man at Ebem Ohafia, in Ohafia Local Government Area, LGA, of Abia State.
The incident, according to him (Otti), has added to the growing number of extra-judicial killings involving security agents since government ordered a lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
The APGA chieftain described the excesses of the men of police as an avoidable invitation to anarchy, calling on government to ensure that the affected families got justice.
According to the statement, “Otti views the latest killing and others before it as vicious, humiliating, senseless and highly provocative, and therefore states the following: That it’s disgraceful and a clear manifestation of incompetence and unprofessionalism for security agents to have wasted five innocent lives of promising youths in different parts of Abia, even when no single case of Coronavirus has been officially recorded in the state.
“That unlike what is obtainable in some parts of the country where youths are generally violent, majority of Abia youths are artisans and business men and women who go about their legitimate businesses very peacefully, just as Abia does not have history or culture of violence and militancy that should warrant the level of extreme violence being unleashed on Abia youths by extortionist security agents who seem to have found the state as a fertile ground to make quick money.
“That the incessant killing of Abia youths has the propensity to ignite umcontrollable violence and general breakdown of law and order as witnessed in Ohafia LGA where spontaneous protest and violence erupted following the death of the 17 year old boy who was gruesomely murdered by a policeman.
“That since the Abia State police command has officially stated that the policemen, including the one that pulled the trigger that killed the boy were on an illegal operation and acted under the influence of alcohol, there’s need for a decisive action to be taken against these policemen whose actions have brought unbearable sorrow and agony to the boy’s family, his community and Abia as a whole.
“That since the Abia police command appears helpless in the face of the daily extrajudicial killings, against the expectations of the citizenry, Abia state government should without further delay officially engage the national hierarchy of the security agencies to directly intervene in a bid to halt the ongoing senseless killing of innocent Abians. Dr. Otti will also assist in intervening to quickly halt the unprovoked killings”.
He condoled with the families of all victims of the recent extrajudicial killings in the state and prayed God to grant their souls eternal repose.
DAILY POST recalls that the youths of Ebem Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State, Saturday morning, took to the streets and major roads in the community to protest the wanton killing of their son, a middle-aged man identified as Friday Arunsi by a happy-trigger police officer.
This is coming barely after a policeman on escort duty from one of the neighbouring states killed a resident of Aba on the Uratta axis of the Enugu-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway.
While reports have it that the protesting members of the community set ablaze a Police Patrol Van belonging to the Ohafia Division, an unconfirmed report has it that another set of protesters also set ablaze the Ohafia Police Division building and released all the detained suspects in the police cell.