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OPINION: Worrisome spate of insecurity in Southeast

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The spate of insecurity in the Southeast region is something that should worry not just the state governors in the region, the Federal Government, but every right thinking Igbo. It beats my imagination how once most peaceful region in Nigeria is today riddled with insecurity, and people living in fear.

No few than 136 lives were lost while more than 500 people were arrested by the police in the first six months of this year, according to Amnesty International. Police formations and units have been attacked, and properties worth millions destroyed. Dr. Chike Akunyili, widower of former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili, was on Wednesday killed by unknown gunmen at Nkpor, Anambra State. And one begins to ask what is really going on in the Southeast.

Igbo are a people that value life, acephalous in nature, egalitarian, and entrepreneurial. These are age-long definition of Ndigbo, but the current reign of terror in the region is redefining what people know Ndigbo for.

The issuing of a weekly sit-at-home order, which took effect on August 9, but was later suspended, by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is an unfortunate decision that should not have taken place in the first place. This singular action by the separatist group has cost the region economic losses running into billions of naira. Since the order was given, lives have been lost, and businesses destroyed, as suspected IPOB members try to enforce the order every Monday, even though, the group claimed the sit-at-order has been suspended.

On Monday, a bus said to be carrying tomatoes, vegetables and other foodstuffs to Enugu was set ablaze by suspected IPOB members enforcing the suspended sit-at-home order at Edem junction, Ibeagwa, Nike, in the Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State around 5:45 am, for allegedly violating the suspended every Monday sit-at-home order.

Even more worrisome is the recent threat by IPOB that there will be a one month sit-at-home if the delay in the prosecution of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government continues.

“If the federal government refuses to bring him to court in his next court appearance on October 21, 2021, the entire Biafra land will be on total lockdown for one month,” IPOB said in a statement.

“The federal government will know that they cannot take us for granted any more. Our peaceful disposition as a people should not be misconstrued as weakness.

READ ALSO: South-East govs meet in Owerri over increasing insecurity

“Nigeria cannot incarcerate our leader illegally and expect things to be normal again. If by October 21, Kanu is not brought to court, Nigeria will know that Kanu commands the unflinching loyalty of over 60 million Biafrans at home and in Diaspora.”

IPOB must tread with caution, and not take the sympathy it enjoys from the people for granted. The group, which claims to be fighting for the interest of Ndigbo, cannot turnaround and become a scourge to those it says it is fighting for.

Kanu’s case is already in court, and any delay in his prosecution should be done through legal process, not by shutting down people’s businesses and means of livelihood in the name of a sit-at-home order.

The people of Southeast are already devastated by the current spate of insecurity in the region. I am appalled by the lukewarmness of the Southeast governors towards addressing the rising insecurity in the region. They have to show leadership and diligently work with security agencies to finish out these criminal elements causing mayhem in the region. They need to restore the people’s confidence by putting an end to the current anarchism going on in the region.

Also, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, other Igbo socio-cultural groups, and all Igbo sons and daughters must come together, to fight against these common enemies of ours who are hell bent on destroying Igboland for their own selfish interest. The Igbo interest in Nigeria is at stake and we must work together to protect it.

AUTHOR: Ikenna Omeje


Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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