Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has demanded immediate release of Eze Igbo in Lagos, Eze Fredrick Nwajagu, arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, over his alleged threats to invite members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to come to Lagos and protect Ndigbo and their property against attacks by thugs.
Nwajagu who made the threat in a viral video was arrested Saturday morning by DSS operatives.
Irked by the action of the DSS, COSEYL sought to know if it was an offence for someone to seek protection against attacks in the face of inaction by security agencies.
The apex Igbo socio-political organisation, in a statement signed by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, described Nwajagu’s arrest as an insult and affront to the entire Igbo nation.
According to COSEYL the arrest of Nwajagu is more provocative when people “like MC Oluomo and his thugs who threatened Igbos are moving about freely.”
COSEYL said that the alleged threat by Nwajagu was due to the complacency of security agencies over the incessant unprovoked attacks against Igbo interests in Lagos.
It read: “The statement by the Igbo leader was made because of the silence of the security agencies towards the attack on the Igbos in Lagos. The DSS and the police left the real cause of the problem to chase shadows.
“This same police and DSS that arrested Eze Fredrick Nwajagu and other innocent Igbos, what did they do when thugs were killing and attacking Igbos and their properties in Lagos during and after the general elections? The answer is nothing.
“Now the person who intends to make a move to protect himself and you go and arrest him, meaning that you want him to stand without doing anything and be killed?
“That is absolute balderdash. Only a tree will hear that you will cut it down tomorrow and will still stand in the same place without making a move.
“It is disgraceful that the Lagos police Spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said that he will resist any arrangement by the igbos to protect themselves in Lagos but the same police will do nothing to protect the Igbos when thugs are killing and attacking Igbos and their businesses in Lagos.
“When MC Oluomo threatened to attack Igbos who will not vote for particular candidates during the elections in Lagos, the police and the DSS did not arrest him nor stop the attacks. But just a mere statement by an Igbo leader to protect Igbo lives and properties in Lagos, the DSS and the police suddenly know how to arrest because the person involved is an Igbo man.
“We warn the DSS and the police in Lagos State to stop attacking and maltreating the Igbo because Nigeria belongs to all of us. No tribe is higher than the other in this country. Enough is enough!
“When the attacks on the igbos lasted in Lagos, the DSS and the police kept silence, which is a tacit approval to the attacks against Igbos and their properties in Lagos.”
The Igbo youths called for the release of various Igbo leaders in custody.
“We demand immediate release of the following revered Igbo Leaders: Eze Fredrick Nwajagu, the leader of the Igbo community in the Ibashe riverine area of Lagos State; Eze Chinedu Mozie who was illegally detained by the police in Lagos after he challenged thugs for not allowing Igbos in the community to vote in the just -concluded gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.
“Others are Chisom Kalu, Charity Hannah, Mike Nwokehia, Elizabeth Adenike, Joseph Agada, Sunday Awnunu, Omaji Oyegwra and Okeke Chinyere and other Igbos illegally detained by the police because they wanted to cast their votes.
“The unlawful arrest of Igbos in Lagos by the DSS and the police has clearly demonstrated that they now take orders from thugs in Lagos State,” COSEYL warned.