Estimated Reading Time: 2
The Igbo Elders Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Friday accused security agencies of indiscriminately killing Igbo youths in the South-East, in the guise of fighting IPOB and ESN, two separatist groups.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier this month threatened to deal with IPOB “in the language they understand”, a statement that sparked angry reactions from many Nigerians as it referenced Nigeria’s bloody civil war.
Millions of Igbos died during the civil war.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja, Chairman of the group, a former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife who read the communique, said dozens of young people, mostly male, are being extrajudicially executed on a daily basis by security operatives in the region.
The communique reads, “The list is endless; so far, over 5000 Igbo youths have been killed in the South East, while more than 10,000 others are languishing in horrible detention camps in different parts of the country under questionable circumstances.
“Yet, none of these victims was a member of IPOB and ESN…. Both IPOB and ESN have severally distanced themselves from the current terror and tension in the South East, yet countless innocent citizens are killed in the name of fishing out presumed members of IPOB, ESN and unknown gunmen.”
“We condemn without any reservation the destruction of public properties in the South-East, because it is not in our character to indulge in arson, brigandage,” Ezeife said.
“We believe however that it is not fair and just to use a sledge hammer to kill harmless flies.
“Security agencies now indiscriminately invade private homes at odd hours, in the same guise of fishing out presumed IPOB and ESN members.
“They arrest men and sometimes shoot innocent and hapless youths.
“We therefore call on President Muhamamdu Buhari, the United Nations, the European Union, African Union, ECOWAS, to take urgent and necessary action to stop the current genocide against the Igbos in the South-East and parts of the South-South.”
The communique read, “They arrest, maim, and, sometimes shoot innocent and hapless youths, and cart away their corpses to unknown destinations, thus denying them the opportunity of burial. The Igbo tradition values burial rites for the repose of the soul of the dead, yet our young victims of the military onslaught are denied that opportunity.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a Biafran separatist organization in Nigeria. Its main aim is to restore an independent state of Biafra in the South East of Nigeria through an independence referendum.