Pan-Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday condemned an alleged threat by Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Burarai to declare a state of emergency in South-East should the governors refuse to prevent attack and killing of security personnel by unknown gunmen. Acting National Secretary and National Publicity Secretary Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, in a statement released to journalists in Enugu wondered why Buratai should single out South-East for state of emergency when the entire country was embroiled in insecurity.
No fewer than three policemen had lost their lives and their gun stolen in separate attacks by gunmen in Enugu,Imo and Abia States. But Ohanaeze Scribe said that whereas the group condemned the killing of security personnel in South-East or any part of the country, it would amount to selective injustice against South-East should Buratai declare state of emergency in the zone. Achi-Okpaga said: “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to a statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, threatening to impose a state of emergency in the South East if Governors of the states allowed any further attack on security forces in the states, a statement he has not denied. “While Ohanaeze Ndigbo decries violence in any form in the states, it takes particular exception to an open threat and warning to South East governors who by the country’s constitution are chief security officers of their states but are lame ducks in practice as all security commands come from Abuja.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo finds it particularly provocative for General Buratai to issue such a warning to governors of the South East where relative peace prevails while he has not done the same in the North Central, North West and North East which have become theatres of war and where army posts and bases have been subjected to incessant attacks by the Boko Haram, ISWA/ISIS, bandits and Fulani herdsmen, killing and maiming Nigerian soldiers. “Ohanaeze Ndigbo also wonders where the army chief derives the power to issue such a threat which under the country’s constitution can only be carried out by the National Assembly on demand by the President.
“It is highly surprising that an army chief who was watching as the governor of Katsina State was negotiating and taking pictures with armed bandits would turn round to threaten to impose a state of emergency in states where unarmed citizens are agitating against the harsh and inhuman conditions they have been subjected to by their country. “It is also a glaring example of the reckless impunity of public officers and a tacit manifestation of the vacuum in governance at the Federal level.”