Catholic priest urges end to wanton killings in S’East

A Catholic priest in Umuahia Diocese, Rev. Fr. Christian Anokwuru, has called on the South-East Governors Forum to urgently end the deteriorating security breaches in the zone.

Anokwuru made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Wednesday, saying the situation had led to the killing of innocent people.

He said the situation in the zone could degenerate to complete anarchy, if not urgently arrested.

He regretted the attacks on Federal Government’s facilities, the killing of security operatives and “extra-judicial killing of youths, tagged unknown gunmen”.

NAN reports that operatives of the state Police Command penultimate Sunday arrested and killed eight persons.

The command alleged that the deceased were involved in the vicious attack on the State Criminal Investigation Department in Umuahia.

The cleric, however, expressed worry that such extra-judicial action could lead to the death of innocent Nigerians.

He said the right approach would be to arraign the suspects and ensure they faced the full wrath of the law.

Anokwuru, who is the founder of a charity organisation, called “Back to the Heroes Past,” charged political leaders from the zone to work in concert to restore peace in the area.

“They should speak with one voice to condemn the killing of innocent people, who are branded unknown gunmen.

“Abia seems to be facing the heat of the crisis, hence Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu should be in the forefront of the efforts to restore peace in the area.

“We should all stand to also condenm the attacks on federal government facilities and killing of police and military operatives.

“These operatives come from families and every life is important.

“We need to protect them and encourage them to do their job of maintaining the peace and protecting lives and property,” the clergyman said.

Anokwuru further blamed the nation’s socio-economic crisis on bad governance and the failure of the political leaders to play the “politics of morality.

“In fact, politics without morality is the bane of our national crisis. Our leaders politicise everything.

“This is why people without the necessary capacity and competence are appointed to strategic government offices.

“Our leaders should learn to play the politics of morality. Once politics is played without morality, we will continue to have problems,” Anokwuru said.

He advocated a Constitutional review that would make the separation of powers to work in principle and practice to deepen the nation’s democracy.

“Too much power is vested in the executive to the detriment of other arms of government.

“This should not be so. There should be devolution of power to the other arms of government to guarantee good governance.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is only one man. If the other arms of government were effective, doing what they ought to, there will be good governance.

“And once we achieve good governance, every other thing will fall in place for the nation’s economic growth and advancement,” he said.

The clergyman appealed to the media to exercise restraint in their emphasis on the Igbo agitation against alleged marginalisation.

He said that agitation against marginalisation was no longer peculiar to the southeast, adding that isolating the zone in the agitation had become counterproductive.

“Igbo people are not the only ones crying out against marginalisation but the media seem to make it so and this has attracted so much hatred for the zone.

“Every other part of the country is complaining about being marginalised and it did not start with Buhari’s administration,” said Anokwuru, who is the Provost, School of Health Technology, Olokoro, near Umuahia. (NAN)

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