By Augustine Agwulonu
The Federation of Mbaise Media Professionals (FMMP), has condemned in strong terms the wanton destruction and burning down of houses in Umuonyeoka Ihitteafoukwu and Okponkume communities in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State by Security Operatives.
In a release signed by the Chairman, Comrade Eze Adiuku and Secretary, Augustine Agwulonu, made available to NewsHour, the FMMP decried the invasion and burning down of houses as uncalled for.
The release read thus “The attention of the Federation of Mbaise Media Professionals has been drawn to news emanating from Umuonyeoka Ihitteafoukwu and Okponkume communities in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State on the wanton destruction of properties by suspected security agents.
“The FMMP heard it in good authority that joint security operatives (military and police) in their large numbers on Saturday, February 12, 2022 invaded the two communities in search of suspected members of Eastern Security Network (ESN) and Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)
“The Security operatives were said to have invaded the two communities to arrest an alleged ESN member, Mr. Uche Madu. When they could not arrest thr said suspect, they went straight to set ablaze the house of his siblings, Mr Sonnyval and Uche Madu.
“Reports also had it that the security operatives went to apprehend one Mr. Ekene popularly known as Ekeson and equally set his family house ablaze.
“The FMMP condemns in strong very term this gestapo style of invasion and destruction of properties by suspected security operatives in Imo State, an occurrence that has been on the rise. We want to ask: When has it become the law in Nigeria, for Security operatives to destroy the property of an alleged suspects without judicial prosecution? What becomes the fate of persons whose lives or properties are destroyed in clear cases of mistaken identity?
“The FMMP does not support the unlawful activities of any individual or group, especially when such activities portend danger to the lives and properties of law-abiding citizens.
“As bona fide citizens and members of the fourth estate of the realm, we cannot fold our hands but have a duty to hold government to account. This is so because the very essence of Government is to protect lived and properties.
“We call on the Imo State Government led by His Excellency, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, Imo State Commissioner of Poluce, CP Rabiu Hussain and the Army Brigade Commander at Obinze to use their good offices to fish out those officers behind this unfortunate trend of extra-judicial action that is clearly against both the suspect and innocent Imo citizens.
“We know that arms-bearing security operatives have rules of engagement and we wonder if these ugly acts, that can at best be termed arson, are perpetrated within the ambit of law