Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Peeved by the alleged abduction and torture of former Commissioner for information, Ebonyi State, Chief Abia Onyike, by the operatives of Ebubeagu security outfit, the Coalition of South East Youths Leaders, COSEYL, has given Governor David Umahi, a seven-day ultimatum to disband the outfit or brace up for for the wrath of Igbo youths.
Onyike, a chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had yesterday narrated his ordeal in the hands of the operatives of Ebubeagu security outfit who he said dehumanized him after abducting him.
COSEYL in a press statement by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, threatened to organize a 1 million-man march against Umahi if he failed to heed its demand within seven days.
The statement made available to Ikengaonline read in part: “We call for the immediate disbandment of the Ebubeagu security operatives in Ebonyi State because they have outlived their purpose.
“If after 7 days, the militia group is not disbanded, we will organise a one million man protest to demand for the immediate disbandment of the militia group parading as security outfit in the state.”
The apex Igbo youths socio-political body, also demanded full investigation into the matter; and the prosecution of anyone involved in the dastardly act.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, to institute a full scale investigation into the activities of these Ebubeagu operatives in Ebonyi State who have become a thorn on the flesh of the people.
“We demand for the immediate arrest and prosecution of those Ebubeagu operatives used in this unlawful and unconstitutional conduct.”
COSEYL called on Ndigbo to rise against Gov. Umahi’s dictatorial tendencies which, it, said posed threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
“This is pure act of dictatorship and tyranny by the All Progressives Congress-led administration of Governor Dave Umahi.
“It is quite unfortunate that Chief Onyike who was the Deputy National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ and a former Commissioner of Information in the State will be criminally arrested, stripped naked and tortured by the State Government militia, Ebubeagu, under the pretense that where he was arrested is a spot where a known criminal comes to collect arms.
“Such tale by moonlight story does not hold water. Chief Onyike was criminally arrested and tortured because he is a member of the opposition party in the state.
“It is very unfortunate that under a democratic setting, the Governor of Ebonyi State Engr. Dave Umahi will use his militia Ebubeagu operatives, paid and equipped with tax payers’ money to oppress and brutalize the same taxpayers. This is totally unacceptable.
“We condemn the witch-hunt of members of the opposition parties in the state and we demand that any form of intimidation and oppression from the State Government and its agents must stop forthwith.”
COSEYL vowed to mobilize Igbo youths against leaders with dictatorial tendencies in the South-East.