DSS/IPOB Saga: Kidnappers killed Fulani herdsmen - Ikpeazu, Okorocha

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Governor Okezie Ik­peazu of Abia State and his Imo State counterpart, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, on Monday refut­ed claims by the Department of State Security (DSS) that mem­bers of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) abducted and killed five Fulani herdsmen in Isiukwuato area of Abia State.


The governors spoke after an emergency security meet­ing they convened at the Gov­ernment House, Umuahia on the controversial killing of the herdsmen.


The meeting was attend­ed by members of the Securi­ty Councils of the two states. They included the Command­er of 14 Brigade, Ohafia, Brig.-Gen. Lawrence Fejoku; As­sistant Inspector-General of Police for Zone 9, Mr. Yeri­ma Fyarah; Commissioners of Police from both states and heads of other security outfits.


Others were the Deputy Governor of Abia State, Hon.


Ude Oko Chukwu; the Chair­man of South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Ebere­chi Dick; the Chairmen of the Council of Traditional Rulers in both states and other top government officials.


Apparently relying on the briefing by the security chiefs, the governors told journalists after the meeting which last­ed two hours, that kidnappers were responsible for the deaths of the herdsmen.


Governor Ikpeazu said that the meeting was convened to map out strategies to address issues of common interest, es­pecially on security matters.


He said kidnapping and violent crimes had assumed a worrisome dimension in both states, hence the need for col­laboration between the states to check the menace.


Ikpeazu condemned the spate of kidnapping in both states, especially the alleged abduction and murder of five herdsmen whose bodies were discovered in shallow graves, according to security agents.


He blamed the incident on the activities of kidnappers who have been terrorising residents of both states, add­ing that the security agents had been directed to flush out criminal elements who use the forest as a breeding ground.


“Time has gone when criminal elements will launch attacks in Imo and go and hide in Abia or commit crimes in Abia and go to hide in Imo” he said.


Ikpeazu also said that the joint security meeting between both states would be sustained to ensure the security of life and property of residents of both states.


In his comment, Gover­nor Okorocha said the meet­ing was to brainstorm on ways to tackle security challenges in both states, particularly kid­napping.


Okorocha explained that the abduction and killing of the herdsmen had no ethnic undertone but perpetrated by kidnappers who operate in the said evil forest.


“It was a kidnapping action and had nothing to do with eth­nicity,” he said, adding that tra­ditional rulers in the states had been directed to volunteer in­formation about criminal ele­ments in their domains.


The governor said that sev­en corpses were dug up by se­curity agents in shallow graves in the said forest including the five missing herdsmen and two Igbo and blamed kidnappers for the dastardly act.


“This is how Sambisa and evil forest started,” Okorocha stated, stressing that both states were synergising to demolish the ‘evil forest’.


He added that some arrests had been made in connection with the incident and vowed that the culprits will be made to pay for their action.


The position of both gover­nors has exonerated the IPOB who were fingered by the DSS in the incident.


Okorocha decried the po­rous and weak security along inter-state borders, and called for joint border patrols between both states and other adjoining states of Enugu and Rivers.

Source: Authority Newspaper

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