Pan-Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has raised the alarm over alleged indiscriminate arrest of Igbo youths by the Nigerian military in Imo State.
A statement released to journalists in Enugu on Thursday and signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, the apex Igbo body said it was uncivilized and cowardly for the military to engage in mass arrest of unarmed youths.
He said the development was more provocative considering the fact that Fulani herders carry guns including AK-47s without being arrested by the military or other security agencies.
“The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to on-going massive arrests of Igbo youths by the Nigerian Army. The report indicates that ‘the military personnel’, suspected to be led by the 34 Artillery Brigade, Owerri, since Sunday have been arresting male residents and youths, particularly in Oguta and Ohaji communities and clamping them into vans and taking them to unknown destinations.
“The report adds that the army is ‘busy, carrying out raids, discreet searches and arrests of youths and residents who are suspected to be linked to the Indigenous People of Biafra and its security arm, the Eastern Security Network.’
“For the avoidance of doubt, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by Ambassador Prof. George Obiozor, is unequivocal about the use of fire arms by the unauthorized persons, bodies or groups. Democracy, all over the world vests the absolute authority for the legitimate use of force in government.
“We had admonished that the exclusive indulgence of AK-47s to the Fulani herdsmen as canvassed by Governor Bala Mohammed is antithetical to the ethos of a decent society.”