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Ohaneze decries army arrest, killing of Igbo youth in South East

By Maureen Ikpeama


 Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Ndigbo, on Thursday  disclosed the Nigeria Army was allegedly arresting   Igbo youths, and secretly profiling them.


The group which condemned the alleged act, said the secret arrest and killing members of Indigenous People of Biafra, and its Eastern Security Network without evidence of arms, violence or crime was cowardly and unacceptable.


National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, in a statement said, “Such action runs contrary to every sense of natural justice and rights of citizenship for the army to invade some Igbo communities in search of youths; most of whom are brilliant university graduates whose society has denied employment and sense of belonging.”


The Igbo apex body queried why the military could not go after gun wielding criminal herdsmen invading Igbo communities, kidnapping for ransom, killing, raping and destroying farmlands instead of abducting Igbo youths from their villages, profiling them as IPOB, ESN and taken to unknown destinations.


It said what the army was doing was a calculated attempt to subdue South-East by a military dominated by one section of the country for Fulani herdsmen to overrun Igbo communities.


The statement read in part: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to ongoing massive arrests of Igbo youths by the Nigerian Army.


“The report indicates that the military personnel, suspected to be led by the 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri, since Sunday have been arresting male residents and youths, particularly in Oguta and Ohaji communities and clamping them into vans and taking them to unknown destinations.”


It added, “For the armed forces to arrest the Igbo youths without evidence of arms, means of violence or crime is cowardly, uncivilized and mostly unacceptable to Ohanaeze Ndigbo.


“We stand on a firm wicket that it is ruthless to arrest any Igbo in the guise of membership of a terrorist organization unless there is sufficient evidence of crime or unlawful possession of fire arms.


“We call on the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru to urgently stop the wave of arrests before it gives impetus to the proposal by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigrationto offer asylum to person who actively and openly supports IPOB and likely to be at risk of arrest or detention, and ill-treatment which is likely to amount to persecution.”


The Army failed to respond to inquiries on Ohanaeze ‘s allegation on Thursday

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