Chidoka demands inquiry into Enugu killings
Chief Osita Chidoka, a former minister of aviation in Nigeria has condemned use of raw force on unarmed civilians by security agencies which led to the loss of lives during a clash in Emene, Enugu state, Aug.23.
Chidoka in a statement issued on Thursday called on the Enugu state government to constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate the cause of the shooting and killings.
Some youths suspected to be members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were a meeting in a school in Emene when some security operatives said to be acting on intelligence moved in to disperse them.
This resulted to a clash that made the security officers including personnel of Department of state Services and Police to use lethal weapon on them killing yet to be identified numbers of persons on both side.
The DSS had said two of its officials were killed while IPOB claimed that 21 of its members were killed with scores injured.
Chidoka a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regretted that two operatives of the DSS died in the courses of the clash with some rifles missing.
Chidoka described the use of force on unarmed civilians as a hangover of the military era and a gross violation of the fundamental rights of citizens to live.
He said those directly responsible for the death of DSS officers and stealing of their arms be isolated and their identities made known.
Chidoka urged that those who were arrested and in police custody in relation to the clash should be granted bail or be charged to court.
He said “Following media reports of the violent face-off between security agencies and members of IPOB leading to death of unarmed civilians and security agents.
“In my interaction with the security agencies facts emerged that the DSS lost two officers and automatic rifles during the fracas while two members of IPOB were killed and about five injured.
“I condole with all those who lost their lives and ask the government of Enugu state to institute a commission of Inquiry to ascertain the truth around the incident that led to the death of unarmed civilians and security agents.
“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 militarisation of our society and must be avoided.
“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, IPOB representatives assured me that they remain a non violent organisation,” he stated.