Southeast youths have had enough.
Henceforth, any attack by gunmen will be met with a commensurate counter-attack.
The youths, identified as Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), declared fire for fire against gunmen killing people in Anambra State.
They also called on Governor Charles Soludo to immediately form security guards in the communities.
The coalition led by its President-General Goodluck Ibem, in a statement yesterday, condemned the gruesome murder of a lawmaker, Okechukwu Okoye.
The killing of the lawmaker on Saturday, the massacre of others on Sunday, and burning of security vehicles and a police station, heightened tension in the state.
The group said it would no longer fold its arms in the face of gun attacks.
“The umbrella body of all the youth groups in the Southeast geopolitical zone condemns in strongest terms the gruesome murder of Hon. Okechukwu Okoye, member representing Aguata 2 state constituency in Anambra State House of Assembly which is Governor Charles Soludo’s constituency.
“There are 7 others among whom are a mother and four of her children killed at Isulo, Orumba North Local Government Area, while the remaining two happened at Abatete in Idemili North. Another man was killed at Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“It is very unfortunate that some criminals and hoodlums want to turn Anambra State and Igboland into a killing field, but their plot will be dead on arrival.
“We will no longer fold our arms and complain about the insecurity that has been brought to our doorsteps.
“Now is the time for all stakeholders, businessmen and women, youths, traditional rulers, and all those who have the interest of their home at heart to rise up and defend their homes and communities.
“We call on Governor Charles Soludo to immediately form “Anambra Youth Security Guard (AYSG)” and ensure that the security outfit is fully funded to secure and protect their communities.
“We want Governor Soludo to know that a war has been declared on him and his people and he has to remove his suit and tie to fight to defeat these hoodlums who have vowed to make his state ungovernable,” the group said.
The state police Command said its personnel have identified criminals’ hideouts in the State, dismissing the notion that perpetrators of heinous crimes are faceless.
“We will not spare any of them. Forget the narrative they push that they live in the forest; they create that impression, and then return to the communities where they live,” Police Commissioner Echeng Echeng told reporters yesterday at Awka.
Echeng expressed anger that community residents shield gunmen.
“These people are not spirits, they live with us,” he said.
“We should be able to come up with information of what is happening in our communities, not glorifying them and tagging them unknown gunmen, otherwise we will end up not making headways.
“So, when the community who should help to contribute to security, decide to stay quiet, that is not a good sign. These criminals live among the people.”
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