Following media reports of the violent face-off between security agencies and members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leading to death of unarmed civilians and security agents at Emene, Enugu state last week Sunday, the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, has called on the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi to as a matter of urgency institute a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the truth around the incident.
In a statement made available to Tribune Online in Awka on Friday, Chidoka said he has contacted senior security officers and lawyers of IPOB.
According to Chidoka, in my interaction with the security agencies facts emerged that the State Department lost two officers and automatic rifles during the fracas while two members of IPOB were killed and about five injured at the time of our conversation 5 members of IPOB were in Police custody. I requested the Police to grant them bail or charge them to court.
Chidoka also reveal that his discussion with IPOB lawyers emerged that the members were meeting peacefully and did not constitute any threat to public peace when some security agents infiltrated their meeting leading to the fracas.
Chidoka said security agencies must continue to respect fundamental right of peaceful assembly in a democracy and be guided by rules of engagement in dealing with unarmed civilians. Use of force in delicate situations is a by product of the militarization of our society and must be avoided.
It is also important that the identity of those who killed the security agents and took their guns are ascertained to be sure that criminal elements did not cash in on the mayhem.
I condemn the use of violence by any group whether security agents or private groups. I will continue to engage with all sides for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. I commend current efforts to de-escalate the tension.
I was also assure by IPOB representatives that they remain a non violent organization, Chidoka added.
Chidoka condoles with all those who lost their lives during the fracas. IPOB