A socio-cultural association of Igbo professionals and patriots, Nzuko Umunna, has called on the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to rescind his shoot-on-sight order to his men in the South-East.
The group said authorising police officers to shoot suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra at sight was unconstitutional and violated human rights protections guaranteed by the constitution.
The chairman of the group’s Legal Committee, Dr. Sam Amadi, made its position known at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
Amadi said the order suggested a declaration of war on the people of the region.
He added that effective policing could be done without violating human rights.
Amadi said, “We are more surprised that the head of the Nigerian Police will make such an outrageous statement authorizing state violence in a region that, for long, has been seething with anger at police brutality and extortion and a region whose youths have been extra-judicially killed by security agents in large numbers.
“This statement sends shivers down the spines of residents of the South-East because it suggests a declaration of war against them by the Nigerian state, and conjure images of gruesome murders as we saw during the infamous Python Dance in the South-East.
“Already, there are credible reports of numerous extrajudicial killings of people in the south-East. How many more will be killed if soldiers and police officers believe that there will be no accountability for all forms of impunity and atrocity in the South-East.
“We consider this statement horrifying, frightening, and unutterable in a democracy with entrenched constitutional rights to life and due process.”
Amadi, who condemned the spate of attacks against law enforcement personnel and rising insecurity in the country said the group would only support measures in tandem with constitutional norms and global standards of law enforcement.