A SPEECH BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF IGBOS FOR A PROGRESSIVE NIGERIA (IPAN) DURING A MARCH AGAINST INSECURITY IN NIGERIA.
May 6, 2021
Igbos for A Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) is a sociopolitical group that serves as an umbrella body for millions of patriotic and peace-loving Igbos across the world. We have carefully analyzed the growing insecurity across many parts of the South East and the dangerous dimensions these insecurity challenges are taking.
IPAN notes with sadness and deep worry, the growing violence perpetrated by misguided elements in our region against the police, Navy, Army, Prisons and others. In recent times, we are regaled with reports of unprovoked attacks by the supposedly unknown gunmen against police stations and checkpoints leading to the killings of hardworking policemen and destruction of police formations. It’s important to note that innocent civilian bystanders are killed in some cases, during the attacks.
This is totally condemnable and unconscionable!
This marking out of security agents as targets for elimination is a very dangerous development that has led to widespread insecurity in our cities, towns and villages. This is because we have noticed a marked absence of police personnel from our roads and streets for fear of being killed by members of the society they’re meant to protect, which has then emboldened many criminal elements to move in and wreak havoc on our people. Cultists are now on a rampage in many cities in the South East engaging in cult wars, armed robbers are on the prowl in every corner robbing and dispossessing members of the public of their belongings, sometimes in broad daylight with no fear of resistance from law enforcement agents. Our people now run home and lock themselves indoors as early as 7pm and still sleep with one eye open for fear of the unknown.
For how long can we continue to live like this?
It is against this backdrop that members of IPAN decided to speak up against the deteriorating security situation in the South East and also against the barbaric attack on policemen and other military and paramilitary personnel. These policemen being killed are humans with human rights. They have families, they are fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters. They are breadwinners in their families. We therefore march in solidarity with the police and other security agencies and plead with them to remain calm in the face of growing provocation. We also appeal to them not to be demoralized or abandon the people they swore to protect, notwithstanding the increased threats they face.
IPAN believes in the systemic reforms of not just the police but the entire justice system, however it is a reform that must be carried out in an atmosphere of collaboration with the rank and file of the Nigerian Police Force and not by attempting to scrap the police through the backdoor by elements in our society with sinister and destabilizing motives. We therefore wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the police and commiserate with them over the recent killings of their personnel in some parts of the South East while on active duty. We also wish to condole with every grieving family who have lost someone to violent attacks of any form.
We appeal to the police and to other security outfits to continue to work closely with Governor Willie Obiano, Gov Dave Umahi, Gove Hope Uzodimma, Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and Gov Okezie Ikpeazu in their efforts to bring back sanity to Igboland. Ndi Igbo need to be alive and safe in order to do business.