By Isaac Ojo
*mourns COAS, others
*cautions police on shoot at sight order
Anambra, like many other states in the South-East and the South-South, has, of late, come under attacks from people often referred to as “unknown gunmen.” The latest attack in Anambra was the Sunday night incursions on Police B-Division and INEC State Office, both in the state’s capital, Awka.
A frontline governorship aspirant in the November 6, Anambra State guber election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe said armed confrontations cannot bring about the kind of progress the south-east needs at this time.
“I am aware of prevailing challenges, unmet needs and related issues that need to be discussed. But the solutions we seek cannot be realized by the force of arms and violence. I am conscious of the disconnect between the political elite and the masses, including disenfranchised and unemployed youths. Yet the questions confronting the south-east calls for dialogue.
“Those of us at the upper echelons of power need to work doubly hard to regain the confidence of our people. Should we continue to speak and act in manners that further deplete that badly-damaged trust, then the south-east could be in for a serious decline as the loss of confidence, resort-to-arms and self-help will only prove destructive.” She said.
Lady Onyemelukwe, 2017 deputy governorship candidate of the party and former Board Chairman, Federal Housing Authority, on the other hand expressed worry that Police High Command’s shoot-at-sight order in Enugu falls short of both international and broadly acceptable policing standards.
According to her, “Police, must not, in a bid to restore normalcy, resort to high-handed and extra-judicial engagements. That will only exacerbate the situation and further alienate the police from the public they serve.”
“Nigeria has gone through this before. The essence of having the hindsight early days of Boko Haram offers is to better instruct today’s policymakers on options that work and those that don’t. There are several stressors and contributors to the problems at hand. Addressing them will require placing all the cards on the table. We can’t simply shoot our way out of situations like this.”
Onyemelukwe further expressed her condolences to the families of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and the military officers who lost their lives in last week’s Kaduna air mishap. She also mourned police, naval, military, vigilantes, and other citizens who lost their lives during repeated attacks on Police and other paramilitary formations in the South-East and South-South.