Ben Ezechime, Enugu
A civil rights group, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) says Imo is the most dangerous state to live in the entire South-East region.
This was contained in its monthly human rights update entitled, “Increase in rights violations in South-East: Imo State Continues to be the most dangerous state to live in South-East Nigeria,” released to newsmen in Enugu the zonal headquarters of CRRAN.
In the report, the group’s President, Olu Omotayo Esq, stated that the happenings in Imo State in recent times were not only worrisome but dangerous in a democracy.
He said: “There have been flagrant violations of human rights of the citizens by the police and non-state actors. The rights violations in South-East Nigeria are alarming, portraying a region under siege.
“The recent attack at the Nigeria Labour Congress Secretariat Owerri, and on Comrade Joe Ajaero, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), by the men of the Nigerian Police Force Imo State Command at the instigation of the State government clearly showed how an institution that is supposed to protect citizens suddenly turned to a monster against the masses.
“It is submitted that if the activities in Imo State is not properly handled and curtailed, it will definitely have a negative effect on the other South-East states.”
According to CRRAN, “The situation becomes hopeless because the institutions and authorities regulating and overseeing activities of Police have shirked away from their responsibilities and pretended as if the discriminating attacks on the human rights of citizens of this zone is normal.”
Omotayo further stated that the rising wave of human rights abuses by the police in the South-East since the advent of President Tinubu administration was worrisome and condemnable.
“The government cannot under the guise of combating crimes and maintaining law and order continue to justify the continuous increase in rights violations in the zone, which is not only barbaric but also illegal and unconstitutional.
“It is absurd to resort to the rule of the jungle instead of respecting the Rule of Law.
“We frown at the barbaric attack on Comrade Joe Ajaero and the continued increase in rights violations in South-East Nigeria particularly Imo State.
“We condemn in an unequivocal terms the actions and activities of the Imo State Government in instigating and condoning attacks on the labour leaders and innocent citizens of the state particularly members of the opposition parties.
“These situations, events and activities in Imo State portend danger to Human Rights and Democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
The rights group urged President Bola Tinubu, the Inspector General of Police and the Chairman of Police Service Commission to urgently take pro-active steps to stop the continue rights violations by the Police in South-East Nigeria.