By OBINNA EZUGWU

Dr. Alex Otti (OFR), former bank chief and governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2019 governorship election in Abia State, lashed at security agencies over continued killing of youths in the state by forces deployed to ensure compliance of sit at home order issued by the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.

Dr. Otti who regretted the killings in a statement signed by his media assistant Ferdinand Ekeoma on Sunday, said he had received with “utmost sadness and disappointment, the latest report of extrajudicial killing of a young man at Ebem Ohafia, in Ohafia LGA of Abia state, an incident which has added to the growing number of extrajudicial killings involving security agents since government ordered a lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the state.”

The APGA candidate described the latest killing and others before it were vicious, humiliating, senseless and highly provocative, and therefore states the following:

“That it’s disgraceful and a clear manifestation of incompetence and unprofessionalism for security agents to have wasted five innocent lives of promising youths in different parts of Abia, even when no single case of Coronavirus has been officially recorded in the state.

“That unlike what is obtainable in some parts of the country where youths are generally violent, majority of Abia youths are artisans and business men and women who go about their legitimate businesses very peacefully, just as Abia does not have history or culture of violence and militancy that should warrant the level of extreme violence being unleashed on Abia youths by extortionist security agents who seem to have found the state as a fertile ground to make quick money.

“That the incessant killing of Abia youths has the propensity to ignite uncontrollable violence and general breakdown of law and order as witnessed in Ohafia LGA where spontaneous protest and violence erupted following the death of the 17 year old boy who was gruesomely murdered by a policeman.

“That since the Abia state police command has officially stated that the policemen, including the one that pulled the trigger that killed the boy were on an illegal operation and acted under the influence of alcohol, there’s need for a decisive action to be taken against these policemen whose actions have brought unbearable sorrow and agony to the boy’s family, his community and Abia as a whole.

“That since the Abia police command appears helpless in the face of the daily extrajudicial killings, against the expectations of the citizenry, Abia state government should without further delay officially engage the national hierarchy of the security agencies to directly intervene in a bid to halt the ongoing senseless killing of innocent Abians. Dr. Otti will also assist in intervening to quickly halt the unprovoked killings.

“Finally, Dr. Otti sends his heartfelt condolences to the families of all victims of recent extrajudicial killings in the state and prays God to grant their souls eternal repose. He further called on government to ensure that the affected families get justice.”