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Pro-democracy group raises alarm over invasion, horror in Abia community by Army


A pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group, Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), has raises alarm over reported invasion and brigandage of Abia community by men of the Nigerian Army.

The Executive Director of FENRAD Nigeria, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, made the disclosure in a press release issued late Tuesday and made available to News Band.

In the statement entitled “Why is Amangwu & Ebem Ohafia under military jackboot?” FENRAD noted that the tension between Amangwu Ohafia and the 14 Brigade of the Nigeria Army is not letting up.

“The 14 Brigade, it should be known, is a military formation stationed at Ohafia (Ebem) where presently there is a growing concern regarding military-civilian relations.

“FENRAD also condemns outright the reported missing of a Nigerian soldier which resulted in the attack at Amangwu Ohafia by men of the 14 Brigade.

“FENRAD condemns this barbaric attack which has led to loss of lives and property, by men of the Brigade who FENRAD says should be protecting the locals,” Comrade Nwafor said.

In what he called “senseless destruction of lives and properties,” the Executive Director of FENRAD lamented the wanton killing which has metastasized to other parts of Ohafia, most recently Ebem.

Nwafor says it amounts to an own goal that the military, whose presence in Ohafia should inspire confidence and give sense of security among locals, now instills fear and terror among same.

“The fact that indigenes and residents have fled Amangwu to neighbouring towns speaks of terror.

“It is unthinkable that the military still carry out a coup-like operations that overthrow decency and calm in places where peace is supposed to be enforced,” an exasperated Nwafor remarked.

He, meanwhile, called on the entire Ohafia community to apply restraint, show tolerance and never take the law into their hands.

He urged the federal government to ensure that peace returns and the displaced persons resettled since, according to the 1999 constitution (as amended), security falls within the 68-item federal exclusive list.

FENRAD also calls on the state government led by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to engage the commander of 14 Brigade and “see how this madness can be resolved so that confidence in the institution of the Nigeria Army is not completely eroded”.

“The continued occupation of Amangwu or nearby towns by men of the 14 Brigade is a total siege which must be stopped, the foundation said.

FENRAD, in summary, calls for an impact assessment to evaluate what been destroyed and award of compensation to all persons affected by the military rampage, rascally and show of shame.

“The trauma alone that accompanies such destruction among the locals and residents deserves proper healing.

“There is need to work on the existing relationship between the soldiers and the entire Ohafia community as this is not the first time this would be happening,” FENRAD said.

It also urged military authorities to put an end to what it considers as lawlessness which can only trigger fiercer consequences.

“Military is a creation of the law which must uphold the constitutional dignity of Nigeria, not to sack communities and displace locals in peacetime.

“Non-kinetic and constructive approach remains the best alternative; coercion does not guarantee a win-win outcome. Breakdown of order is no man’s gain,” FENRAD said. Read more.


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