The Centre for Human Rights Advocacy and Wholesome Society (CEHRAWS), a civil rights organisation has described as tragic, the events that unfolded in Ehime Mbano in Imo State, where dedicated security personnel were killed by unknown assailants.
CEHRAWS, in statement signed by Okoye Chuka Peter, its executive director, and made available to BusinessDay in Aba, frowned at violence and called for swift justice for the perpetrators.
It extended its heartfelt condolences to the families affected by the horrifying murder of the security personnel on duty in Ehime Mbano Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State.
CEHRAWS however, said that it found itself compelled to address the distressing state-sponsored mass atrocity that followed, camouflaged as a reprisal attack.
“This approach, rooted in retaliation, stands as a deeply disturbing and primitive means of enforcing law and order. CEHRAWS categorically condemns such actions, recognising that they not only violate human rights, but also exacerbate the cycle of violence and mistrust within the region,” it said.
Drawing attention to a different response in Niger State, where a comparable incident occurred, CEHRAWS commends the governor’s proactive measures to protect the citizens, following an attack on a military jet, allegedly by bandits.
“This responsible leadership prioritised the safety and well-being of the people, emphasising dialogue and conflict resolution over vengeful actions.
“CEHRAWS earnestly calls upon the Governor of Imo State to emulate the responsible and compassionate leadership demonstrated by his counterpart in Niger State, as the chief security officer of his state.
“Rather than allowing the aggrieved security agents to resort to reprisal attacks that target innocent civilians of the said community,” the group said.
They implored the governor to prioritise the protection of his constituents and the restoration of peace within the affected community.
It also advocated for a transparent and impartial investigation into the events that transpired in Ehime Mbano.
The group observed that primary goal of security operatives should be the swift apprehension and just prosecution of those responsible for the murder of their colleagues and not retaliation, which it noted was the path toward enduring peace and stability within the cherished South-East region.
“CEHRAWS remains resolute in its commitment to advocating for human rights, justice, and an inclusive society for all,” it said.
The group called on all stakeholders, including government authorities, civil society organisations, and concerned citizens, to join it in condemning violence, safeguarding human rights, and nurturing an environment of peace and reconciliation in the South-East.