By Emmanuel Afonne
Igbo people in the United Kingdom (UK) under the auspices of Ogbako Ndi Igbo, have urged the South-East governors to double their effort at ensuring the protection of lives and property of people of the region.
The group made the demand in a statement signed by Dr Jude Eze, Chairman, Ogbako Ndi Igbo UK, and 16 others, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Thursday.
“We ask that our governors do more to protect our people before things escalate out of control, and to apply wisdom in managing hot spots of insecurity rather than fuelling it as was the recent case in Orlu,” they said.
The group was particular about the disruption of farming activities in various communities in the South-East region due to the activities of bandits who rape women and commit other atrocities against farmers in different communities in the zone.
“Over the past few years, there has been a gradual but sustained erosion of security in Nigeria and particularly in the South East region.
“We have seen kidnappings on the rise as well as incessant vandalism of farmlands of our people by herdsmen.
“Most shocking is the rape of our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters by these criminal elements with impunity whilst sometimes filming these nefarious acts and posting them on social media to further denigrate us and aggravate our pain.
“These bandits who move around freely with AK-47 rifles have been reported to use these firearms on our defenceless people when challenged during these abhorrent acts thus resulting in loss of lives,” the statement said.
The group wondered why such unlawful and evil actors should go unpunished when there is rule of law.
It also regretted that security which ought to be the primary responsibilities of the government had been politicised.
“It is, therefore, sad to say at this moment that the authorities are failing the people of Nigeria and South-East in particular.
“In a previous letter to the Executive Governors of the South-East states, Ogbako Ndi Igbo UK had solicited concerted efforts by the governors to tackle these security challenges facing our people.
“It is with sadness that we note that our plea and suggestions towards improvement of security in Igboland like the formation of a regional security outfit have not been heeded to.
“In the past months, Ogbako Ndi Igbo UK has noted the commendable response from autonomous communities across the length and breadth of Igboland which, left with no other choice, have chosen to protect themselves.
“They have also gone at length to curtail the menace of the herdsmen and their cows.
“These responses have been achieved through the formation of vigilance groups and other neighbourhood-watch outfits,” it added. (NAN)