From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The youths wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has expressed rage over the brutality of the security operatives enforcing the coronavirus lockdown against citizens and residents in the various states of South East zone .
Ohanaeze Youths Council, OYC challenged South East Governors to , as a matter of urgency, prevail on the federal government to call the over zealous security operatives to order, or be held liable as the Chief Security Officers of their respective states.
OYC in a press statement by its National President, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, noted with dismay, reports of molestation, brutalisation and extortion in some instances, of citizens of the zone by the law enforcement agents, warning it will no longer tolerate such absurdity.
The statement which was signed by the Media Aide to the President, Chukwuemeka Chimerue, said while it would not support the flouting of the order on restriction of movement, however called for a review of the order.
According to the statement, the lockdown order “lacks human face” as no adequate provisions were made for stimulus package for the people.
” The policy lacks human face, the people would not stay hungry at their homes to comply to such directives,” OYC argued.
OYC said that if the government failed to adopt the earlier proposal made by the Council to establish State Welfare Technical Committee, all efforts to implement the stay-at-home directive for the prevention of COVID-19 would be in vain.
The Igbo youths body re-emphasized that instituting State Welfare Technical Committee would be the most appropriate way to cushion the devastating effects of the lockdown, and ultimately elicit willful compliance of the people without any form of coercion.
The statement read in part : ” We have offered a means that has a human face to fight hunger virus at this period of COVID-19 pandemic. Failure to take this approach will compel the masses out of their homes to the streets in search of what to eat.
” The masses may be forced to resist the restriction of security agencies, leading to crisis. Similar resistance against military restriction on people’s movement took place at Warri which claimed the lives of innocent people.”
OYC vowed to revenge the killing of any person in South East by security operatives enforcing covid -19 lockdown.
“We want to ask the governors of Igbo extraction to warn the army and police to discharge their duties with high sense of professionalism, otherwise any death of any Igbo person by trigger -happy security personnel will be revenged in equal proportion.
” This warning, coming at a time when there is no causality, will be an evidence that we warned our governors.
“The high increase in hunger this sit-at-home order with no provision to cushion the effect has caused our people to undermine the fear of gun or bullet. Our men and women due to lack of palliatives will insist to go out to hustle for food for their children.”