…COVID-19 lock down extra judicial killing of Ndi Igbo: When silence is not golden

Your Excellencies,

POSER is a South East region-wide network of people with shared ideals, values and committed to authentic Igbo renaissance, socio-economic, political and infrastructural development of the Igbo homeland.

As an Igbocentric multi-stakeholder Coalition, addressing socio-economic and political issues confronting the Igbo nation, POSER has a strong membership strength across the South East states.

Your Excellencies, following the global outbreak of the novel Corona Virus (Covid-19) Nigeria’s leadership responded swiftly announcing drastic measures including territorial lock downs to curtail and combat the spread of the pandemic.

State governments (including South East States) across the country responded with equal statewide measures aimed at combating community spread of the pandemic in their respective States.

Part of the measures by states and the federal government is the restrictions on people’s movement. These restrictions became necessary since it is believed that the virus is spread through droplets from infected persons which when it comes in contact with a person, such person becomes infected.

Your Excellencies, it is on record that at this time, security agents have killed more people in South Eastern Nigeria than in any other region of the country with the pretentious excuse of enforcing the lockdown against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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To Your Excellencies, it is now obvious that overzealous security agents consistently brutalize and kill young Ndi Igbo at the flimsiest of excuses under the watch of Igbo leaders.

For a long time Ndi Igbo have concentrated their animosity against external elements while ignoring leadership in Igbo land.

We believe that it is misplaced aggression for Ndi Igbo to continue to fight external forces while our political and traditional leaders constitute a more dangerous danger to Ndi Igbo.

As Governors of South Eastern states, the security and welfare of Ndi Igbo ought to and should be the topmost priority to Your Excellencies.

In strong terms we decry Your Excellencies silence in the face of constant and consistent brutalization and killing of your people.

Governors from other federating units of Nigeria will never condone this kind of regular killings of their citizens, and we ask, “why do Your Excellencies accept and condone this bloodletting in our homeland?”.

Why this conspiracy of silence against your own people?

Your Excellencies, this open letter is to assure you that Ndi Igbo are no longer at ease.

TAKE NOTE, Ndi Igbo are redirecting their animosities away from their perceived external detractors to its political leaders, who have showed signs of being more dangerous to the continued existence of our people.

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Our question is simple, why do Your Excellencies allow Ndi Igbo to bear the brunt of overzealous security agents?

South West Governors do not allow their people to suffer such degrading and inhuman treatment from the Nigerian state.

It is sad to note that even with the widespread activities of hoodlums, harassing and robbing people in Ogun and Lagos areas, we have not heard of trigger-happy security operatives shooting and killing people in the South West.

We view this as a failure of leadership in the South East and must be addressed immediately.

The new thinking is Igbocentric leadership.

We can no longer stand aside and watch while leadership in Igbo land fails Ndi Igbo.

By this open letter we strongly urge Your Excellencies:

1. To take proactive steps to arrest the decline in the security and safety of Ndi Igbo across South East States.

2. To take proactive steps to ward off the excessive use of maximum force and indiscriminate arrest of Igbo youths in our Homeland.

3. Take immediate steps in mobilizing South East resources to address infrastructural deficits across Igbo land

4. To begin immediate mobilization of Ndi Igbo towards the actualization of the Igbo Homeland Project.

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While we pledge our continued support to the political leadership across Igboland, however we will not hesitate to withdraw such support if Your Excellencies fail, neglect or utterly refuse to protect our people.

Signed:

Amb. Obuesi Phillips – Global Leader, People Of South East Region (POSER)

Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka (Oyi) – Intl Coordinator, Igbo Renaissance Forum (IRF)

Hon. Samuel Obodo – National Chairman, People Of South East Region (POSER)

Mr. Silas Uzoma – Chairman, South East Mandate Monitoring Group (SEMMG)

Mr. Obi Kachi Nzedigwe – Coordinator, Anambra Grassroot Movement (AGM)

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