Set Up Panel Of Inquiry Over Delta Killing By Soldier – Mid-West Movement Urges Buhari
The Mid-West Movement has urged president Muhammadu Buhari to probe the killing of a civilian by the Nigerian military while trying to enforce the sit at home order in Warri, Delta State.
President Buhari had on Sunday ordered a lock-in of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja to combat Coronavirus, which subsinvariably restricted the movement of Nigerians in this region.
But the killing of this young civilian took place in Delta State, a region not included in the lock down ordered by President Muhammad Buhari.
In a statement on Saturday, signed by its convener, Don Pedro Obaseki , the movement also known as (Edo delta Indigenous Peoples’ Welfare Association) called on the president to “order the Nigerian Army to restrain its men and officers from carrying out any further act of violence against the residents of Warri .”
“The Midwest Movement (aka Edo-Delta Indigenous Peoples’ Welfare Association) is alarmed by the reported killings of a civilian and a soldier on Thursday 2nd April 2020 in Warri, Delta State in the course of the enforcement of the lockdown measures against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are further alarmed by a video (which has gone viral on Social Media) in which two men dressed in army uniform, threatened to attack residents of Warri apparently in retaliation for the death of the soldier. The speaker in the video promised to rape women and girls in the city, while threatening to infect their prospective female victims with HIV! While we cannot ascertain the source of this video, and while we acknowledge that the Army has debunked it, we believe that it has the potential to lead to unimaginable and unnecessary bloodshed and should therefore be taken with utmost seriousness.
“We unequivocally condemn the killing of the civilian and the soldier and hereby call on President Mohammadu Burhari to urgently:Order the Nigerian Army to restrain its men and officers from carrying out any further act of violence against the residents of Warri (and/or any other place within Delta State or any other State within Nigeria);
“Immediately set up an independent public panel of inquiry (together with other relevant law-enforcement agencies and working with the Delta State Government), to investigate the video as well as the killings in order to bring all wrongdoers to justice and to ensure peace and order in the city;
“Order the immediate withdrawal of soldiers from enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown measures as such duties are the constitutional preserve of the Nigerian Police Force.”
The Mid west movement noted that such heinous acts should not repeat itself in the region.
“We do not want a repeat of incidents in the past where communities have experienced massacres at the hands of armed men in uniform acting ostensibly to avenge the alleged killing of their colleagues by civilians. A sad case in point is that of the Afisiere Community in Ughelli North Local Government of Delta State in 2006, and the famed Odi Massacre in Bayelsa State in 1999.
“During this period when mankind faces an existential threat, we repeat the words of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, that “…there is only one war that is needed. It’s a war against the virus.” At this point in our struggles as a nation, we all need to Stand Together”