INSECURITY: Umunneochi Youths Calls Governor Alex Otti, Seek Intervention Over Attacks by Kidnappers in the Area | #NwokeukwuMascot
|Dr Alex Chioma Otti|
We, the organization of Youth Groups in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, appeal to our governor, His Excellency, Dr Alex Otti, to urgently save our communities from brutal armed attacks by Kidnappers operating from every corner of Umunneochi, especially along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway (Umunneochi axis), Leru- Lomara road, Leru-Ndiawa road, Lomara Isuochi-Nneato road, Amuda-Umuaku road and other locations.
On Saturday, June 24, over 100 of them staged multiple attacks in different locations along the Leru Junction by Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Leru-Lomara and Leru- Ndiawa road leaving behind a tale of horror and blood as drivers lost control of their vehicles as they came under rain of bullets.
The bandits still took even the severely wounded hostage in their heartless demand for huge ransoms.
This mode of attack is routine in all the roads connecting Umunneochi communities to the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
Since few years ago our communities have come under siege, suffering regular and sometimes, scheduled raids by these men who are powerfully laying claim to have taken over Umunneochi.
The bandits have been positively identified by victims including the erstwhile Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr SKC Uche.
These armed attacks on Isuochi, Nneato, Leru, Nenwe and Lokpa communities have left over 1000 people dead, innumerable number of women raped and billions of Naira lost in ransom payments. Our data collated across the communities show that about N2.52 billion has been paid to the assailants as ransom, another N200 million has been spent on medical treatment for the wounded most of whom do not survive. Most of the young women and mothers who have been publicly raped still struggle to cope with depression and mental health issues associated with the trauma.
Our case is made worse by the reluctance of the military forces at nearby checkpoints who witness these atrocities and refuse to stop them.
At the moment, the two main roads connecting Isuochi to the rest of Abia State have been seized by these Kidnappers, forcing commercial transporters to avoid the routes and leaving indigenes doomed to fate. And as these villages get gradually isolated, the attacks become more brazen and daring.
These bandits boast to our faces that they use ransom payments to fund and recruit more militants until they are able to sack the villagers.
Your Excellency, we are literally funding our killers in order to buy little more time to live. Most of the people have indeed fallen multiple victims of the same or various groups of attackers. This is exactly how it started in Plateau, Bornu and Benue States.
The scale of these atrocities is beyond comprehension, and it leaves no one in doubt that the state is under invasion. The urgency of the situation is very clear!
We appeal to our governor to take urgent and decisive action to restore law and order, protect our lives, and bring an end to this reign of terror in Isuochi, Nneato, Umuchieze and environs.
An immediate deployment of the Police Mobile Force at Leru Junction, Leru-Lomara, Leru Ndiawa and Lomara-Nneato road axis solely for security patrol of the area has become urgent.
A permanent solution is to situate a military or police formation in the area as deterrent to all forms of Kidnapping.
Again, we demand that the cattle market at Lokpanta be immediately relocated from the local government area.
The market, it has been determined, has provided reception point for these Men.
We also call on the government to strengthen the police across Umunneochi with adequate and additional resources. It would be recalled that a DCO in one of the communities was also kidnapped and killed by the bandits after collecting ransom. This daring and brazen effrontery on the law cannot be allowed to continue.
Umunneochi youths are willing to cooperate with the authorities in any lawful measure restoring security of lives and property in the State.
Fear and uncertainty have paralyzed our community. People are afraid to leave their homes, the economy is suffering immensely, businesses are closing, jobs are being lost, our people can no longer come back home safely, and the future of our youths is at risk.
Barr. Chetachi Obi -Nwoke
Comrade Kevin C. Obi
Azubuike Emmanuel C.
Hon. Chinemerem Nwankwo