A member of the House of Representatives, Bede Eke, has said men of the Nigerian Army and the police are carrying out extrajudicial killings and displacement of people in Imo State following the recent killing of a former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak.
Mr Gulak, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed by unknown gunmen on May 30 while on his way to Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, en route Abuja.
According to the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Mr Gulak was consulting for the Senate Committee on Constitutional Review, which he (Omo-Agege) heads.
The police said Mr Gulak’s killers were subsequently killed in a gun battle.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Mr Eke, who represents Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State, alleged that the military and police were targeting communities around the Sam Mbakwe Airport.
The airport is located in the constituency.
Mr Eke gave the military 14 days to react to the killings allegedly perpetrated by its men.
“We have had casualties in my constituency. Some of my constituents have been killed, and we expect the military, police to unravel these killings. These are innocent people. I am aware that the family of this constituent of mine has written a petition to the Nigerian Army,” he said.
“We lost a young man, until his death, he owned a Shawarma shop to make ends meet. He was shot by the army, the reason that he could not obey orders at the checkpoint. The family has written to the army. We the people of Mbaise, we are not happy with it. As the representative of my people, we are waiting for the outcome of that petition, I am giving the army 14 days to respond to the killing of that gentleman, who left a pregnant mother behind.
“Why are you after my people, what crime have we committed? That the man was killed close to the airport, we host the airport, does that mean we are the killers of Gulak? The answer is no, we are not killers, but if anything happens on our land, the police should take their time to investigate and to unravel the perpetrators of these crimes.”
Mr Eke said he was in possession of the pictures and videos of members of his constituency that were killed, adding that they had asked him to take the matter up.
He said those alive could no longer sleep in their houses because the security agents have been unleashing mayhem on them.
He said, “I have pictures, I have videos of people being killed. Our people can no longer sleep in their houses. People in my constituency called me from the bush, to say honourable, speak for us. The world should hold the security agents responsible if my people are killed.
“There is nothing wrong if people are arrested. There is nothing wrong with the investigation. There is nothing wrong with unravelling the killers or the sponsors of this heinous crime. The issue is, let innocent people be free. It is enshrined in the constitution.
“I have pictures where the military went to my constituency, destroyed shops owned by Nigerians, owned by my constituents, and carted away their goods. What have we done? What crime have we committed? Gulak left Owerri, if you want to start an arrest, start from Owerri. If you have killed some people as a result of this, why are you still hunting my people? These people are not allowed to sleep in their houses.”
On President Muhammadu Buhari’s threat against those fomenting trouble in the south-east, the lawmaker urged the president to direct the military to go after the criminals, not innocent people.
Attacks in South-east
There has been an increase in attacks against government assets and security installations in the region.
PREMIUMTIMES recently reported a timeline of attacks against assets of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the country.
Also, gunmen suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), the militant arm of pro-secessionist group, IPOB, have carried out attacks against correctional facilities in the region.