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CSO condemns killing of military personnel in Aba

...calls for the rejig of civil-military relations


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Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), a human and environmental rights advocacy group in Abia State, has condemned in its entirety the recent killing of two personnel of the Nigeria Army, attached with the 14 Brigade at the Aba Motor Park on Friday, May 17, 2024 at around 8:00 PM.

FENRAD in a terse statement signed by its Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor called on all of humanity and loving people of Aba and its environs to condemn the barbaric killings which have no place in the culture of the people of Aba and Abia State in general.

The statement reads, “The foundation commiserate the death of these persons who have families and loved ones left to mourn them. FENRAD also wishes to send condolences to the Nigeria Army (NA), the federal government and all those affected by these deaths. We also sympathise with families of innocent victims hit by bullets, including those who may have sustained one degree of injury or the other.

“That the event which caused panic, chaos and stampede in the Aba Park axis, especially when the military tried to cordon off or create a buffet around the coordinates, has not birthed reprisal or kinetic measures at a time like this shows degree of professionalism of the military and also how the governor prioritise security and welfare of Ndị Abia by responding timeously each time the military-civil or police-civilian relations suffers a rupture.

“Having stated all of this, the Foundation feels it is time to rebuild whatever is left of the broken relations between Abians and law enforcement agencies. Just like the Foundation stated some weeks ago when Abia was hit with a wave of killings – from Damgrete Hotel in Umuahia to Aba where a young businessman was allegedly killed by a police officer and now to the killings at the Motor Park. This is a dent on the state security fabric, a hollow.

“It is sad that these killings and coordinated attacks are happening in quick succession like a domino. Just a few months ago, a military post at Number 1 Port Harcourt Road, Aba was attacked where the army was able to repel and beat back the faceless enemy. That these nameless humans are still on rampage means there is every need to up the ante in security provision. We therefore call on the Governor to empanel a high-level committee to address this trend, including help with how to build on local intelligence. We urge the military top brass to also deploy surveillance to military posts. Having stated that, the Foundation calls on the military to be professional at all times, desist from exploiting road users as has been alleged, and ensure that anybody found to be breaking the laws should be taken to the nearest police station, not tortured.

“It is also sad that merchants and purveyors of falsehood are on the lookout for tragic news to sell their wares. The speculation and rumour that there is a curfew in Aba is only a rumour from the grapevine, aimed at perhaps making businesses suffer.

“We call for calm and peace in Abia as we suggest that personnel deployment method be reviewed, including our intelligence infrastructure. The trend now requires that we have a mapping and rejigging of security service provision with surveillance gadgets like CCTV, security cameras and others stationed anywhere military or security formation is located.

“The Foundation also calls for an award of recompense to all those who have lost their loved ones in recent times, military or civilian. Even though money is not commensurate with life, there must be ‘confort’ to all those left behind by the deceased.

“Once again, we commiserate these deaths, call for reviews in relations between armed citizens and unarmed citizens, including a better policing standard.”


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