Igbos for a progressive Nigeria (IPAN) a non-political organization has decried the incessant killing of police personnel in the country. They made their position known yesterday in a peaceful protest across the streets of Awka, Anambra state capital. In solidarity with the police, they took the protest to the police headquarters in Awka, where they voiced their displeasure over the gruesome killing of police officers across the country.
The group leader of IPAN, Mr Lawrence Onuzulike while at the police headquarters stated that police officers are humans and also Nigerians with fundamental human rights as well and stressed that their rights should as such be respected also, while calling on the public to avoid the use of terror and mayhem which has not done anybody any good. He pleaded that the killing of police officers should stop forthwith to enable them discharge their responsibilities to the public.
In his words Onuzulike said “These police officers being killed are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts and relatives of our people. They have families. They are breadwinners. We therefore plead with them not to be demoralized or abandon the people they are here to protect.”
He further stated that enough is enough and from today onwards, he said that Igbos will stand with the police, as no more killings of police men and burning of police stations will be allowed again.
” If you are aggrieved or angry, there are better ways to show your grievances. Killing is not the right way. We have been keeping quiet for too long. We will no longer condone incessant killing of policemen”
“It is very wrong to kill police officers. It is very wrong to attack police officers. It is very wrong to burn police stations. It is very wrong to scare them of the roads. I lost my car, the police men found it and brought it back to me. Killing is not in the Igbo tradition because we have respect for human life.”
Onuzulike however pointed out that cultists were now on rampage, because the police are afraid for their lives. That armed-robbers were also on the prowl dispossessing members of the public of their belongings even in broad daylight across the country, saying that it was due to the current status quo, that IPAN decided to say enough is enough!
Responding, the Anambra state police commissioner, CP Chris Owolabi, through the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu said that with this solidarity, the police is encouraged the more by the peaceful protest carried out by Igbos for a Progressive Nigeria against incessant annihilation of police officers across Nigeria.
Ikenga however stated that the people that were being killed were not just police men but fathers, uncles, brothers and relatives of persons.
He however stressed that the police were not deterred by the war against them but described the situation as a clarion call for more work even though he reiterated the fact that two wrongs don’t make a right as the police cannot function effectively under a charged atmosphere but emphasized that the police would bank on advocacy to draw the cooperation and confidence of the people.