Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has raised the alarm over the frightening rate of extra-judicial killing of innocent Nigerians, particularly in the South East by trigger-happy policemen in the guise of enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown.
Abaribe at a press release in Abuja by his media adviser, Uchenna Awom, also tasked the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu to explain to Nigerians why his men have found the entire South East as most vulnerable in the circumstance to deploy such level of maximum force on the citizens.
Abaribe said at the last count, about six Igbo youths had been sent to their early grave, courtesy of the trigger-happy policemen, purporting to be enforcing the stay-at-home order.
“Why the concentration in the South East? In Aba, Abia State, precisely in Uratta junction, one youth was allegedly gunned down, while another was heavily brutalised with gun butts to a point of coma on Friday. This came a day after another young man was killed in Umuikaa junction for no just cause. It could be recalled that two weeks ago a petrol attendant in one of the petrol stations in Ogbor Hill was also shot and killed while on duty by a policeman who claimed stray bullet.
“There are also reports of protests in Ohafia, in Abia State today (Saturday) over alleged killing of some youths in the community by the same police. Again we have not forgotten the alleged killing of another young man in Nkpor near Onitsha in Anambra State.
“There maybe some other unreported cases in this region involving the officers of the Nigeria Police, yet in all of these we have not heard of any decisive action taken by the police high command to stem this ugly tide,” Abaribe said.
According to him, it is ironical that the entire South East, which has not recorded up to three deaths as a result of the pandemic, has lost more of her people in such brutal but avoidable circumstances in the hands of people that are statutorily empowered to protect them.
The Inspector-General of Police, Abaribe added must as a matter of urgency call his men to order, halt these brazen brutality against the people, carry out a thorough investigation in these killings and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.
“The killings have the propensity of being given sinister interpretations. It is the responsibility of the police high command embodied by the IGP, to rein in his men and prevent the people from relapsing into total state of hopelessness. It is not acceptable to our people, to watch our youths being killed in such brazen manner,” he stated.