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The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has decried the shoot-on-sight order giving to police against agitators for secession the in South East by the acting Inspector General of police, Usman Alkali Baba.
The coalition in a joint statement signed by the coordinators of the 16 CSOs, berated Baba for the order, stating that the brute force approach to tackling insecurity has resulted to heavy civilian casualties in the region.
Members of the coalition includes: Rule of law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Spaces for Change, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), Orlu Security Peace Holders Initiative, Initiative for Public Safety, Security and Educational Development in Nigeria Centre Against Injustice and Domestic Violence (CAIDOV) and others.
The statement reads in part:
‘We are more urgently concerned by the Inspector General of Police’s directive to police officers to enforce the President’s unconstitutional shoot at sight order and his further explicit directive that they should go after IPOB members and kill them. He also expressly asked them to ignore the rules of engagement, including observing the principle of proportionality in the use of force and firearms, with assurances that nothing will happen to them if they abuse human rights.
‘Following the said IGP’s reckless, unprofessional and dangerous directive, the police in Imo State have gone all out on indiscriminate mass raids, arresting, parading and killing people labelling them IPOB without evidence. We have received disturbing reports about invasion of markets and other public places by police officers who engage in sporadic shooting, indiscriminate arrest of young men some of whom are stabbed with daggers and taking away in police vehicles to undisclosed destinations.
‘This brute force approach to tackling insecurity has resulted to heavy civilian casualties as we saw earlier this week in Imo State where innocent citizens were shot dead by security agencies who arrived about half an hour after hoodlums had attacked a police station in Orji, Owerri and disappeared.
‘No less than three persons including a young man and two women- one of whom was a petty trader- were shot dead by security forces who arrived and started shooting sporadically and teargassed the whole area.
‘Five young men were arrested and paraded without evidence that they were involved in the attack.’
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