The Abia Elders Forum has frowned at what they termed as the indiscriminate arrest and extra-judicial killings of Igbo youths after tagging them members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, or operatives or sponsors of the Eastern Security Network, ESN.
The forum has as members, eminent citizens and elder statesmen from Abia State; former Finance Minister, Kalu Idika Kalu; former Military Administrator of Cross River State, Navy Capt. Chris Osondu (retd); Professor Joshua Ogbonnaya; Arch Bishop Moses Ufomba; former Commissioner for Environment, Chukwuemeka Osuwa; Chief Isaac Ogbonna, among others.
The forum also claimed that the alleged deployment of core Northern officers to man Eastern military commands was part of the ploy towards actualizing ethnic cleansing of Ndigbo and concealing evidence, as amounts to genocide in disguise.
In a communique signed by the National President of the forum, Arch Bishop Princewill Ariwodo; and the National Secretary, Dr Joseph Adiele; the forum asked the Presidency to immediately reverse the order.
The communique read in part: “The Presidency should immediately rescind such divisive and inciting orders to shoot Igbo youths protesters on sight, and the evil-motivated postings of the core Muslim military commanders to the South-East without further delay.
“That youths arrested should henceforth, be charged and given a fair trial at the court of competent jurisdiction, while others who met their untimely death through this gruesome assassination and extra-judicial killings should be accounted for, and the perpetrators punished in line with the constitution of the country.
“Igbo youths and men are erroneously arrested and labelled IPOB members without a fair hearing and killed like a chicken without trial in a competent court of law.
“A case in point is Mazi Eze Awurum arrested in Aba. Worse still is the assassination of innocent lady, Miss Uchechi Eyioma at Obigbo after tagging her IPOB members.”