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A rights group, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Southeast zone has condemned the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma for inviting the military to invade the state, over unrest that occurred in the state recently.
The group also condemned the Southeast governors for maintaining silence after the state was taken over by the military, with serious psychological effect on the people of the state.
Persons suspected to be members of Eastern Security Network, ESN, the security arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had been involved in a clash with security operatives, leading to the invitation of the military by the governor
But CLO in a press release by its Southeast chairman, Mr Aloysius Attah condemned the military invasion and occupation of Orlu and some parts of the southeast.
The group said the militarisation of Igbo land when no part of the zone is at war either with itself or their neighbours would have long term consequences which if not nipped in the bud will most likely swallow many with its attendant casualties.
Part of the release read, ‘The owning up of Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State of his tacit approval for such unwarranted military operation is a clear sign of a leader who doesn’t feel the pulse of his people to know their feelings and needs.’
‘It also smacks of a foisted leader who came to deal with his people instead of leading them and attending to their welfare.’
‘Since this unfortunate military operation, several casualties have been recorded while the people whose places have been invaded with military hardware, weapons and men have been traumatized on a daily basis.’
The group added that, ‘The silence of the governors of the states in the southeast geopolitical zone is not only condemnable but goes a long way to prove the disconnect between them and the people who actually hold the sovereignty of the offices they occupy and the input legitimacy from which their government derives acceptability and powers to govern.’
‘We are incensed over the recent parade of a so-called 20 (16 males and 4 female suspects said to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) arrested by troops under 82 division Nigerian Army, Enugu.’
‘Anyone who saw the images of the paraded suspects doesn’t need any forensic expert to decipher that some innocent people have been arrested and labelled threat elements just to prove that the army is working,’ the group said.
The group expressed unhappiness that a government that negotiates with bandits, treats killer herders as untouchables and brands Igbo self-determination group as terrorists.
It warned that such an attitude can only breed violence and accompanied state-sponsored repression if not redressed.
It called on the military to quickly release the suspects and look for a better way to engage with the people, with a view to amending the already broken trust the government has left the people with.
THE EASTERN UPDATES