A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, Chibudom Nwuche, yesterday decried what he termed the “brutal and unrestrained” killings going on in the state.
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, wade into the crisis in order to avert anarchy and further loss of innocent lives in the state.
Nwuche also lent credence to the speculation that the victims of the killing spree are mostly members of the APC or the party’s sympathisers in the state.
The former deputy speaker made this position known in a statement released in Abuja at the weekend.
According to Nwuche, Rivers State had, in the last six months, descended into a terrible state of barbarism and brigandage with wanton killings, beheadings, brutal assaults, kidnapping, rape, destruction of property and near total breakdown of law and order becoming a daily occurrence.
He noted with regret in the statement entitled “Rivers Killing fields: A descent into anarchy” that the unrelenting killing spree unleashed on the state by organised criminal groups has led to the death of several Rivers sons and daughters.
He stressed the fact that even though “the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against humanity are well known to the law enforcement agencies, the perpetrators have somehow always succeeded in evading arrest and prosecution”.
The situation, he said, has invariably led to the loss of further lives and total collapse of human rights and dignity.
While urging the Federal Government to urgently take immediate steps towards bringing to an end “what is now known as the unbridled homicidal killings in Rivers State”, Nwuche condemned “the penchant of high-ranking Rivers State government officials, some sections of the media and Non-Governmental Organisations, as well as some law enforcement personnel to label what are clearly organised crimes against the people as mere cult clashes”.
He said the tendency by these groups of persons to diminish the barrage of horrific and organised acts of criminality currently engulfing the state smacks of cover-up and complicity.
He added, “One would have expected that these groups and individuals to be in the fore-front of efforts to end the ongoing human crises in Rives State, as well as help bring the culprits to book , rather they are spiritedly trying to play down the scope and magnitude of the crises”.
The former Reps member posed the following questions: “What are these cults? Who are these cultists? Do they include the hundreds of victims of these heinous crimes such as hordes of defenseless and aged men and women killed in Omoku and the fourteen persons recently murdered in cold blood in one fell swoop at Ula Upata, Ahoada East Local Government Area or the 44 person assassinated so far plus sixty-nine persons kidnapped in Ahoada, as well as Kingsley Obi, who was beheaded and Chief D. C. Ena, who was assassinated in his palace?
“How come these victims are invariably members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or their sympathisers? Why are the victims always un-armed while the perpetrators of these crimes are heavily armed with sophisticated weapons?”
Nwuche lamented that as a result of the bloody onslaught, the value of life has greatly diminished in the state under the present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration.
He further noted that a lot of notable persons who ordinarily reside in the state have fled to set up abode in other states out of fear for their lives.
He, however, faulted the accusation that he is a sponsor of the organised killings because of his constructive criticism of the happenings in the state, saying he would not be deterred from insisting on the urgent intervention of the Federal Government to curb the obviously sponsored genocidal killings.
“I and other concerned stakeholders have in the past six months, been constructively engaging the authorities and law enforcement agencies in trying to ensure an immediate halt to the mayhem going on in our state.
“No amount of spurious and laughable allegations will stop us from getting the authorities to bring to an end this sad and painful saga in the history of our state, as well as bring the perpetrators to book”, Nwuche maintained.