By Vincent Ujumadu
THE League of Anambra Professionals, LAP, has condemned the growing insecurity in the state, warning that the violence and killings must stop in the interest of the state.
In a statement in Awka, the president of the league, Mr. Chijioke Okoli, SAN, lamented that the bewildering large scale bloodletting and arson, which had left Anambra State tethering on the brink of anarchy for some months, had descended to a new low in the past couple of weeks.
According to him, this banality of evil had etched in its infernal scorecard extremities, like the beheading of Dr. Okey Okoye, the legislator representing Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s constituency in the state House of Assembly and Hajira Jubril, the pregnant young lady murdered with her four children.
Okoli said: “We condemn in very strong terms the widespread grievous criminality which has gripped Anambra State and the South East in general in the guise of agitations.
” We warned of the dire consequences when criminal elements started their systematic de-legitimization of the law enforcement agencies with the murder of policemen and burning of their stations.
“Similarly, in an obvious threat against holding last year’s gubernatorial election in Anambra State, the bloodthirsty miscreants attacked a political gathering by then Candidate Soludo, the acknowledged front-runner, and killed three policemen providing security there. In condemning that dastardly act then, we had called on all the gubernatorial aspirants to condemn it publicly, but none of them heeded the call.
“We use this opportunity to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of all the victims of the present unrest in Anambra State.
“With particular reference to the late Hajira, we hasten to remind ourselves of the very cosmopolitan nature of Anambra State and its people. Anambrarians readily make home of far flung and most challenging places, even as they readily accept strangers in their homeland.
“In the predominant Christian faith of the populace and indeed in Igbo cosmology, accommodation of the peaceable stranger is an article of faith.
“The show of ownership of the problem by the Anambra State government by full participation in the burial of late Hajira, commitment to apprehension of the murderers and due assurances to non-indigenes, especially those from the Northern states, is commendable”.
Okoli further observed that Anambra State indigenes had borne much greater brunt of the murderous activities of the criminal gangs running amok in the state, including killing high-profile Anambrarians, such as Chief Gab Ofoma, one of Nigeria’s foremost estate surveyors and an Nnewi High Chief and the 88-year-old Professor emeritus I. O. Onyemelukwe who was killed in his car and in the presence of his wife, as well as the case of Dr. Chike Akunyili last year. These killings, he added, arrested national attention just as the current ones.
He called on the Federal Government, which is the primary controller of instruments and agencies of law enforcement, to do much more than it has been doing without further traumatizing the populace.
He said further: “Anambra State has the second to the last land mass in Nigeria; it is also the second most urbanized state in the country. The challenges of Sambisa forest and the swampy Niger Delta creeks are largely absent. Therefore, routing the bloodthirsty criminal gangs – of whatever hue or description – should not be extra-ordinarily difficult if there is the will. It must however be stated that this is not an invitation to unbridled abuse of the human rights of an already traumatized populace”.