By Chimezie Anaso
Awka, Aug. 27, 2020 Chief Osita Chidoka, former minister of aviation, has called on the Enugu State Government to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the shooting and killings in Emene, a suburbs of Enugu on Aug.23.
It will be recalled that there was a clash between some suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and security agencies which resulted to loss of lives and injuries.
Chidoka, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who expressed the regret on Thursday in Awka noted that two operatives of the Department of State Services were confirmed to have lost their lives in the clash.
In a statement, the ex-minister said it was unfortunate that unarmed civilians also lost their lives in the shooting, adding that the use of force was no longer in tune with modern day policing.
He said those who were directly responsible for the death of DSS officers and stealing of their arms should be fished out and their identities unmasked to ensure that criminal elements did not take advantage of the situation.
Chidoka urged that those who were arrested and were in police custody in relation to the clash should be granted bail or be charged to court.
“Following media reports of the violent face-off between security agencies and members of IPOB leading to death of unarmed civilians and security agents.
“In my interaction with the security agencies, facts emerged that the DSS lost two officers and automatic rifles during the fracas while two members of IPOB were killed and about five injured.
“I condole with the families of all those who lost their lives and ask the government of Enugu State to institute a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the truth around the incident that led to the death of unarmed civilians and security agents.
“Security agencies must continue to respect the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly in a democracy and be guided by rules of engagement in dealing with unarmed civilians,” he said.
He added: “Use of force in delicate situations is a bye-product of the militarisation of our society and must be avoided.
“I condemn the use of violence by any group whether security agents or private groups, I will continue to engage with all sides for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
“I commend the current efforts to de-escalate the tension, IPOB representatives assured me that they remain a non-violent organisation,” he said.