Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo says soldiers of the Nigerian Army and police officers are complicit in the wave of kidnappings along Enugu-Ugwuogo Nike-Nsukka Road in Enugu State.
According to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, information extracted from one of the victims show that there is a chain of communication between the hoodlums and the security operatives manning various checkpoints on the road.
The National President of the Ohanaeze Youths, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said in a statement on Saturday that all the security operatives on duty when the incidents took place should be probed.
He called on the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief of Army Staff to open up an inquiry into the kidnap incidents recorded at that road.
Travellers had been constantly attacked on the road, the latest being the abduction of some students of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, and some high profile politicians in the State.
While describing the development as importation of insecurity into Enugu State to dent its peaceful status, Okwu said a victim of the kidnap incident narrated that “the police and the army are complicit in the act of kidnapping at the Opi-Ugwuogo axis. That the police at the checkpoints usually select expensive cars conveying persons who appear to have financial muscle. The police will pull over all such cars and ask them to move at once and the moment they move, the police will release a gunshot alerting the kidnappers to come out.
“That from the discussions between the kidnappers and some of the victims, it is clear that some of the kidnappers are serving soldiers.
“That the kidnappers are using AK-49 and berreta pistols.
“That whenever the soldiers are coming to the camp to drop food and arms, they would blindfold the eyes of the victims.
“That investigations have also revealed that some top security men are complicit in this development.
“That most of the soldiers involved are imported into the State from Umuahia, Abia State.
“That the kidnappers, who were speaking pure Fulani, kept boasting and claiming that there was no need involving the police as they had backings from high ranking army and police officers.”
He said consequent upon these allegations, “we, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths are demanding a re-organization of security architecture in Enugu State. This entails a detailed redeployment of all security chiefs in the State.
“We call on the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief of Army Staff to open up an inquiry into the kidnap incidents recorded at that road. These allegations are too heavy and should not be swept under the carpet. They are not too different from the experience of the then Methodist Prelate, Most Rev. Samuel Kanu-Uche who was abducted in Abia State. We have the feeling that the same gang just relocated to Enugu State.
“We also demand the immediate rescue of all the hostages.”
“The imported crime is nothing but a calculated attempt to destabilize Enugu State. This is why we call on Ndi Enugu to rise up, irrespective of political affiliation, and say no to this evil plot.
“Enugu remains the only peaceful State in the South-East and that is the record they want to dent. We urge Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi not to be intimidated but to stand firm,” Okwu declared.