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EKO HOT BLOG reports that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned in very strong terms the incessant killings going on in Igbo land, describing the activities of murderous unknown gunmen as a very strange phenomenon in the cosmology and culture of Ndigbo.
In a statement entitled “Satan on the prowl in Igbo land”, signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Chidozie Alex, Ohanaeze stressed that the ongoing gruesome killings in the South East is a very strange phenomenon in the Igbo cosmology and culture as the Igbo culture strongly abhors killing of mankind no matter the circumstance.
It said, “Amongst the Igbo, the killing of a human being is an abomination which attracts heavy sanctions including ostracism for a stipulated number of years. If the ostracized dies before the expiration of the sanction period, the corpse is condemned to an evil forest or will not be accorded a befitting burial.
“The Igbo perspectives on the sanctity of human life is further reinforced by the Christian religious imperative, in the Holy Bible, Exodus 20:13, thus: “Thou Shall not Kill”. It is such that even blasphemy against the tenets of Christianity or the traditional religion cannot provoke an instant extrajudicial killing.
“On the other hand, of all the accusations or allegations against the Igbo culture, killing of fellow human beings could not be contemplated. It is not in the Igbo character. We are at loss over the ugly development in Igbo land.”
The statement added that the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor is in grief over the rate at which the South-East has degenerated to a killing field, as he recalled with nostalgia that the South-East was adjudged the most peaceful before the attack on the Correctional Centre, Owerri, Imo State and the release of 1844 prison inmates by unknown gunmen on April 5, 2021.
Obiozor pointed out that since that jailbreak, the South-East has been in a macabre dalliance with siege, atrocities, abominations, arson, various forms of violence and the worst of the extremes being the killing of human beings.
The statement continued, “Sometimes, we begin to wonder whether the local non-state actors have the strategic capacity to overwhelm the well-fortified correctional centres, police stations, etc or the benefits one stands to derive from such savagery.
“While we are still mourning the gruesome murder and the cruel display of the head of a serving member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Okechukwu Okoye, a report was received that some Northerners were killed in some locations in the same Anambra State. As it stands, burning of buildings, police stations, killing of human beings, kidnappings, etc has now become a daily occurrence in Igbo land. This is a very sad development.
‘Ohanaeze Ndigbo faults the remark by the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Mr Echeng Echeng, to the effect that community leaders are shielding the criminals thereby rendering investigations and arrests very difficult. It is important to inform that in Anambra State, for instance, almost all the communities are hosts to numerous strangers beyond the compass of the community leaders.
“A community such as Nnewi, a commercial nerve centre, is so sophisticated with strangers and economic activities beyond the aerial view of the community leaders. It is as inconceivable to expect the Olu of Ibadan or the Oba of Benin or the Emir of Kano to monitor the crime rate in their highly populated domains. To shield a criminal is to hide a viper snake in the pocket.
“While commending the Anambra State Police Command for their gallantry, commitment and sacrifice, we urge all the community vigilantes, youths, community leaders, traditional rulers and all well-meaning Igbo to rise to the occasion in collaboration with the police to wipe out this ugly trend.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Igbo have an irrepressible wanderlust and as such are inclined to hospitable attributes. Because of our outreach and frontier dispositions, we owe it a duty to be equally kind to strangers and condemn the violence that has been unleashed over our land, especially as it affects our northern brethren.
“Finally, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide extends our deep condolences to the Sarkin Hausawa, Orumba North Council, Alhaji Said Muhammad and other affected Northern communities; and to His Excellency, Professor Chukwuma Soludo and the good people of Anambra State. We urge all and sundry to cooperate with the governor in his relentless effort to overcome the current security challenges in the State.
“Evidently, with the menace of Boko Haram, banditry, unknown gunmen, kidnappings, Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ clashes, Monday sit-at-home, etc, there is no gainsaying that indeed, Satan is on the prowl to cause mayhem in Nigeria.
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“It, therefore, requires maturity and restraint amongst the leaders, knowing full well that we shall ultimately overcome,” the pan Igbo socio-cultural organization said.
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