By Innocent Anaba
Edda Intervention and Rescue Initiative, a group pressing for the rights of the people of Edda clan in Afikpo South Local Government Area of Eboyin State, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, complaining of about 22 cases of murder, torture, assault, rape and other crimes on the people.
The letter, received at the office of the IGP on May 20, complained that the situation boiled over between May 2 and 6, when three cases of murder by alleged cult groups linked to politicians occurred in Owutu Edda.
The Edda group said as if the siege on the people of Edda was not enough, another incident occurred on May 10 at Ogwuma Edda, where a man of 20 years, Oji Sunday, who later spoke to the police and the media after his recovery from cuts and beating, recounted that he was about being buried alive when rescue came his way.
Also, on March 27, at Nguzu Edda, another young man of 19, Chidi Oji, was gunned down and his body taken away by the alleged killers.
The people live in fear as they do not know the next victim, but they accused the police in the council and state of not doing much to investigate or arrest anybody.
The report said: “Our complaint is about the death of four persons between March 27 and May 6, and not a single arrest has been made.
“Even when arrests are made, the accused persons who walk free are left out, while people unconnected with the incident are apprehended and later released to send the impression that something was done.
“The government at the state is aware of these incidents and after Governor Dave Umahi had addressed the state and called on the police and Department of State Services, DSS, to do their work at the last killings, not a single person has been arrested.
“The tardiness emboldened the same persons to embark on the torture and said burying alive of another person four days after.
“Almost all the cases have been linked to members of a group, serving the interest of a politician in Edda.
“Some of the incidents not linked to them are still politically motivated and we want answers to all these if there is still law and order in Nigeria, Ebonyi State and Edda.
“We have lived in this anarchy, fear and intimidation for too long and we call for your intervention. We have written the IGP, the DG of DSS, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and the Chief of Army Staff to come to our rescue. We can’t bear the terror any more otherwise we will all be dead.
“A lot of members of the said group fronting for some politicians have been fingered in the past and we want the police and all agents of state to investigate, arrest and prosecute people involved in these.
“We want the allegations proven and justice served because the silence of the past is what made their instrumentality of carnage so potent. There should be a stop now.
“As helpless people who had already ceded their rights to self-protect to the state, we seek immediate and sufficient protection of the state before all of us are murdered and gone.
“In the past years, Edda drips blood of the innocent and political opponents tagged enemies, and also the blood of misguided young people who are deceived into cultism.”