*Obiano Government not sensitive
Our Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reviewed the clash between demonstrators from the group- Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB)
and Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) on one hand.
And security Agencies deployed in Anambra State as part of the larger South East.
To the extent of information so far available, and wish to condole the yet unidentified families of those who lost their lives in that incident.
We further posit as follows:
1- The level of casualties which by the account of the Nigerian Army is seven dead, 11 injured and nine (9) arrested is nominally high.
It is clearly avoidable with greater determination on the part of all citizens to obey and work within the law.
Even in the struggle for self-determination, and adjustment of strategies by the security agencies to preserve life.
2- We reassert that EVERY GROUP in the Nigerian polity is by the expressed guarantee of the 1999 Constitution entitled to celebrate and to protest PEACEFULLY respecting the right of others not to disagree with their pursuit.
2- We rely on the provisions also specified within the constitution on right to hold that the casualty figures to our mind was avoidable.
Noting with utmost responsibility that demobilizing or causing arrest of offending citizens does not in all honesty amount to shooting to kill.
4- In this wise, we call on the security agencies to review their mode of operation, paying heed to the casualty figures just recorded in the May 30, 2016 which surprisingly was peculiarly high in Anambra State.
5- We are disturbed by reports that some persons had to travel out of their states to convert Anambra State into a theatre of conflict.
Granted the veracity of this report, we would have better understood a situation where each demonstrator did his or her thing on home location, rather than importing additional security issues to Anambra State.
6- We are equally worried by the report of invasion of a church in Nkpor Agu for purposes of ‘shooting’ potential demonstrators.
If the initial checks we have of the concerned church, confirming that it has a fenced premises, counts, we do not see why the place could not have been cordoned off for security checks.
Rather than to record casualties hence we urge the Anambra State Police Command to investigate this isolated incident.
As a first step to avoid overzealousness in performing an important duty.
7- Having held in Paragraph 2 above that each group can hold peaceful match by the tenets of our constitution, acknowledge the initial statement that they filed out ‘to ensure that the demonstration was peaceful’ and urge them to raise the success bar in future to ensure that their target is met.
8- In the same vein, we precipitately condemn the statement released by Anambra State Government through the Commissioner for Information Mr. Tony Nnacheta to the effect that the demonstration was illegal.
The demonstrators not having sought and obtained a Police permit.
This idea from Agu Awka is an antiquated one, coming from a tottering government that has lost touch with reality.
The need for Police permit has been proactively overruled by superior courts.
And was on Monday aptly contradicted by the quest of the Nigerian Police Anambra State Police Command to ‘ensure that the demonstration was peaceful.’
9- It is our considered view that the Anambra State Government failed on its responsibility to fill a dialogue and care vacuum that led to the avoidable carnage.
Particularly in the light of the fact that the head of Anambra State Government and Governor, is also the Chief Security Officer of the state.
We recall with pain, that this is not the first time.
And that such similar failures and lack of respect for life of Anambra State citizens led in the past to demolition of suspects’ properties ahead of trial and in some cases no trial afterwards.
10- We will NEVER subscribe to a situation where a sitting state government dismisses issues around the lives of its citizens and residents with a three paragraph misstatement.
When duties and obligations require that that every life is important and should be cared for.
Such to us demonstrated lack of sensitivity and responsibility.
11- Consequently, we call on the Anambra State Police Command, the State Directorate of the DSS and the army authorities involved IN THE OPERATIONS OF May 30, 2016.
To release the names of casualties in that incident within Anambra State, including the dead and injured.
As well as persons in their custody for proper stock taking and calm frayed nerves on the incident.
12- We urge all youth of Anambra State and their counterpart outside the state to embark on the peaceful path of trading ideas.
Not coercion on why they think Nigeria should be discussing Biafra now, instead of the expansive agriculture, rapid industrialization.
Taking advantage of technology policies and strides to turn the South East into a self-sufficient economy, exploits in the tourism potentials of the zone.
And make investments in and out of the zone in solid minerals and other economic enterprises in one prosperous Nigeria.
13- Since ideas rule the world, particularly democratic world.
We expect the adoption of the persuasive mode, complimented with the will to accept that others can hold different views and therefore are guaranteed equal protection under the constitution.
14- We very strongly advise against picking up arms against the state.
As such beaten path belongs to the distant past.
But insist that grievances must be brought to the fore through a more responsive representation in Awka and Abuja to be squarely addressed, particularly as it affects the structures of the current federation.
15- Consequently, we urge IPOB or any other group for that matter to desist from barricading public roads.
And Interference with any public facility as such does not in any way guarantee further mileage of the message being projected.
Rather such acts create resentment, in many quarters.
16- In the light of the expected acceptance of this piece of advice, we urge security agencies to demobilize threats in civil mode.
That they arrest and bring to book those who in future, utterly will disregard the constitutional and legal provisions to disrupt the live of other citizens without summarily taking life, as Nigeria is not at war with the South East.
We call on Anambra State Government to WAKE UP FROM ITS SLUMBER.
And apologise for its putrid and insensitive statement on the foregoing.
Set up a judicial panel of enquiry into the immediate and remote circumstances leading to the poor management of the crisis.
That resulted in high casualty with a view to avoiding a reoccurrence in future.
Once again our party, without preempting the report of the proposed panel recognizes the role unemployment plays in the saga as the May 30, 2016 incident under review.
And assure Ndi Anambra that the youth unemployment programmes of the federal government which will soon impact Anambra State.
Through such projects as construction of the Second Niger Bridge, Enugwu-Onitsha Express Way and the Oji River Power Plant among others.
We further assure that such programmes as post-NYSC entrepreneurship programme, direct employment of teachers and monthly transfer to the poor and vulnerable citizens.
Small and medium scale empowerment of youth and women and industrial incentives for those so gifted will fill some wonderful void for our dear state.
For: All Progressives Congress (APC), Anambra State Chapter
State Publicity Secretary.