The leadership of Abia State Elders Forum (ASEF) has asked the Nigerian Army to make a public presentation of Mazi Eze Awurum whom they claimed to have arrested in Aba, the commercial nerve of Abia State.
This is even as the Abia Elders have warned the leadership of the Nigerian Army to desist forthwith, the erroneous arrest and labeling of youths and men of the southeast, members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which they capitalized upon to “kill men and youths like chicken without prosecution before a competent court of law in our land, Nigeria.”
The group in a statement signed by its National President, Arch. Bishop, Dr. Princewill Ariwodo and its National Secretary, Rev. Dr. Joseph Chidiadi Adiele after rising from a meeting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital claimed that information available to them has it that Awurum has been extra-judicially killed by the military days after his arrest in Aba.
They asked the military to release the body for burial if they have killed him or brought him to a court of competent jurisdiction for trial to dispel the rumours that they (army) has killed Awurum.
ASEF, while expressing worry over the spate of killing of innocent Igbo men and youths stated that an independent investigation conducted by the group has it that Awurum was setup and tagged an IPOB member by a traditional ruler who was having issues with him (Late Awurum).
The Abia Elders while frowning at the militarization of the southeast with soldiers especially from “core North”, accused the presidency of planned ethnic cleansing.
“As a pre-condition for the swift execution of the ethnic cleansing, the Presidency had embarked on ill motivated redeployment, which has witnessed the recent postings of core Northern Muslim Military Commanders to man the southeast military formations as a grand conspiracy to wipe out the entire Igbo race, and this points to the long plot of ethnic cleansing and annihilation of Igbos.
“The use of core Northern military commanders to man the southeast military formations is to conceal any evidence of extra-judicial massacre of Igbos to the Nigerian public and the International community. This barbaric and unbelievable act, unavoidable calls for Igbo leaders vehement reactions.”
They went further to charge the Presidency to immediately rescind divisive and inciting orders of “shoot Igbo youth protesters at sight, and the evil motivated postings of the core Muslim Military Commanders to the Southeast without any further delay.
“That youths arrested should henceforth be charged and given fair trial at a court of competent jurisdiction, while others who met their untimely death through this gruesome assassinations and extra-judicial killings by the Buhari administration should be accounted for and the perpetrators punished in line with the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
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“Finally, we have also declared that we, the Elders of Abia State are in full support and so adopt the pragmatic efforts of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in championing the cause of Ndigbo.”