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Army indiscriminately arresting Igbo youths over links with IPOB, ESN – Group

By Ifeanyi Okaro

A socio-political group in the Southeast Nigeria, Igbo National Council, INC, has raised alarm over what it termed as the arbitrary and unprovoked arrest of Igbo youths and women in some communities in Ohaji-Egbema and Oguta local government areas of Imo state respectively by the Nigerian Army, Daily Post revealed.

The Igbo group claimed that the Nigerian Army has continued to raid some communities in Imo State to effect the arrest of youths and women who the Army suspects of being members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, and having links with the Eastern Security Network ESN.

The INC in a statement signed by its President, Chilos Godsent and on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, called on Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma and President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to quickly intervene and stop the Army from further raiding and arresting youths and women of these communities over allegation of being members of IPOB.

The group said, “Information reaching our us indicated that the clandestine neo-Mafia Gestapo style of the arrest of Igbo Youths and Women started on Sunday, 18th April 2021 and communities in Agwa Clan and Izombe in Oguta LGA of Imo State are heavily affected.

“We would not want the repeat of the Oyigbo saga in Rivers State where over five hundred Igbo Youths and Women were arrested, adopted and taken to a secret detention base in the North region of Nigeria where some of them have alleged to have died out of trauma and torture and till now many had not returned.

“We note that the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended, Chapter Four (Fundamental Rights) gives citizens of Nigeria certain inalienable Rights which the Nigeria President and Imo State Governor has sworn to defend and protect”.

The Igbo socio-cultural organization further called on well-meaning people of Imo State, Igbo nation and Nigeria, in general, to quickly rise to condemn the ongoing extra-judiciary killings of Igbo youths and women, allegedly being carried out by the Nigerian Army.

In another development, a sociopolitical organization, Nigeria Unity Forum, NUF, has called on Nigerians to come together as a family and build a united and prosperous nation.

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The group in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Barrister Musa Maigoro, and issued to newsmen on Wednesday, noted that Nigeria is a God’s gift to blacks and Africans and must not be allowed to break up.

NUF called on all stakeholders to put their acts together to achieve the aim of nation-building.

The group also noted that the labours of our heroes past should never be in vain, disclosing that it will be organising a Nigeria Peace and Unity Summit in Abuja, Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos States aimed at fostering national peace and integration.

The sociopolitical pressure group called for brotherhood at all levels in the country.

It further reads, “we are not challenging the rationale behind this particular operation but want it to follow every ethos of the law so that innocent youths of Orlu zone are not prosecuted unjustly.

“As partners in progress in the fight against insecurity, we will do everything within our powers to eradicate our zone of miscreants as security is everybody’s business.

“We urge the military to hand the suspects to the police and let thorough investigation be carried out to unravel the mystery behind various attacks in the zone rather than arresting and prosecuting innocent civilians.

“We also urge the government at all levels to find a means of reaching out to the agitators in a bid to proffer a lasting solution to their problems, because peace remains the most effective means of societal growth”.

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