Attacks: Female Aspirant, Onyemelukwe Says Arson Dangerous To South East Progress
Mrs Chidi Onyemelukwe, a female gubernatorial aspirant in Anambra has called on youths in the South East to cease attacks on security personnel and public property in the region.
Onyemelukwe who is the first daughter of Late Alex Ekwueme, former Vice President of Nigeria (1979-1983) made the call while reacting to twin attacks on B Division Police station and Anambra State Office of Independence National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) both in Awka, Sunday night.
Police Commissioner in Anambra, Mr Chris Owolabi had described the arsonists as ‘armed hoodlums’.
Onyemelukwe who is contesting for the ticket of People’s Democratic Party regretted the latest attack saying armed confrontations would not bring about the kind of progress the Southeast needed at this time.
She said that though there were unmet leadership needs which had denied youths some of their democratic rights and privileges, it should not be a justification for the wanton destruction that was being witnessed in the region.
“I am aware of prevailing challenges, unmet needs and related issues that need to be discussed, the solutions we seek cannot be realised by the force of arms and violence.
“I am conscious of the disconnect between the political elite and the masses, including disenfranchised and unemployed youths, yet the questions confronting the Southeast calls for dialogue.
“For us the political class,we must work hard to regain the confidence of our people, we should continue to speak and act in manners that further deplete that badly-damaged trust, loss of confidence.
“The resort-to-arms and self-help will only prove destructive,” she said.
Onyemelukwe expressed worry that Police High Command’s shout on sight order saying that Police should apply rules of engagement at all time.
According to her, “Police should not, in a bid to restore normalcy, resort to high-handed and extra-judicial engagements.
“That will only exacerbate the situation and further alienate the Police from the public they serve.”
“There are several stressors and contributors to the problems at hand, addressing them will require placing all the cards on the table.
“We can’t simply shoot our way out of situations like this,” she said.
She expressed her condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the line of duties as well as those of late Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and the military officers who lost their lives in last week’s Kaduna air mishap.