From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and that of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), have condemned the killing of three Igbo traders on Tuesday, July 13, at Ladipo market, Lagos state by a military officer.
It was gathered that the military officer who was dressed on mufti, had misunderstandings on the rules governing the market with the traders which degenerated into a scuffle.
With a feel of humiliation, the Soldier went to the barracks, reinforced himself and returned to shoot the traders. At the long run, he gunned down three of the traders, who died instantly.
In a press statement made available to The AUTHORITY, Ohanaeze Ndigbo stressed that their investigations revealed that the said military officer (name withheld) came to the market to return a motor part he bought previously but dressed on mufti, and never cared to reveal his true identity to the gate men who insisted he should keep to the rules guiding the market
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo press statement signed by its National publicity secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia read in parts,
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has interviewed several persons to ascertain the accurate circumstance that led to the death of three Igbo traders by the Nigerian Military on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at the Aguiyi Ironsi International Trade Centre, in the Paramo area of Ladipo Market, Lagos State.
The most auspicious account states”: “What happened was that a military man came with his orderly in the morning to change a spare part that he bought from a trader in the market since last week. He came to change it because it did not work, but the military man did not wear his uniform when he came into the market. When he was leaving, the union boys at the entrance of the gate told him to pay N200 for gate pass. But because he refused to pay, it turned into a fight and the boys beat the military man and his orderly. So, he went back to his base, returned with three other boys and everywhere scattered as they started shooting.”
“From the foregoing few things are discernible.1. The military officer entered the market without military uniform but wanted to display a military bravado to the civilians. 2. The union boys were carrying out their normal civic duties characteristic of most markets and parking lots in Nigeria. 3. The military officer knew the market operatives were Igbos. 4. The military officer felt humiliated and invited his boys for a brutal reprisal. 5. Commodore Gabkwet admitted that they moblised to site because there “was a fight between a soldier and a civilian” 6. The killing of the Igbo traders was premeditated.”
Chief Ogbonnia said that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor condemns the incident as most cruel, brutish, barbaric, cowardly and premeditated.
“This incident is unacceptable to the Igbo. Let it be known that this is the last straw that will break the camel’s back. This will surely serve as a lesson to anybody, military or civilian that trifles with the Igbo blood”
He called for justice from all quaters forbthe slain lamenting that the Igbos are always targets of unjust actions amidst the fact that they have paid the price for the nations unity.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on the Okaiwu Lagos, Igbo Lagos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos and indeed all the Igbo associations and activists in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to leave no stone unturned in pursuing this matter to its logical conclusion; bearing in mind that the killing of three Igbo traders is a dot in an Igbo circle”
“In sympathizing with one of the decent detribalized governors in Nigeria, His Excellency Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, we call on the legendary distinctive leader to use this awful incident to reshape the civilian-military relations in Lagos State. We also call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the bad eggs in the Nigerian military are isolated and adequately punished as deterrence to others”
In its own reaction, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) said it is horrified by the ugly incident,describing the action if the military officer and his colleagues as brutal display of impunity.
A press statement signed by the spokesman if ADF, Hon, Abia Onyike made available to The AUTHORITY reads: “An unnamed Military Officer was said to have gone to the market to return a spare-part which he bought but could not work. As he and his boys were about leaving the market, the gatemen demanded the payment of #200 gate pass. The soldiers, who were in mufti refused to pay and a quarrel between them and the traders, resulted into a fight.
“The army officer, having felt humiliated went for reinforcement and brought armed military personnel to the scene who started shooting at the traders and three of them were instantly murdered”.
“ADF condemns the killings and the brutal display of naked impunity which led to the ugly incident”.
ADF called for a thorough investigation into the ugly incident by the federal government
“We urge the Nigerian Government to investigate the dastardly killings and bring the erring Military Officer and his personnel to face the law of the land”
“We see this brutal killing of innocent Igbo citizens as a continuation of the Igbo genocide which always targets Ndigbo and subjects them to gradual annihilation by Nigeria’s trigger happy security operatives or recruited vagabonds, miscreants, bandits or terrorists”