A socio-cultural association of Igbo professionals and patriots, Nzuko Umunna, on Monday, asked the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to rescind his shoot-on-sight order to police operatives in the South-East.
The group said it was unconstitutional and a violation of human rights as guaranteed by the Constitution to order policemen to shoot suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra on sight.
Chairman of the group’s Legal Committee, Dr. Sam Amadi, stated its position at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
Amadi said the IGP order was a declaration of war on the people of the region, stressing that effective policing could be done without violating human rights.
He said, “We are more surprised that the head of the Nigerian Police will make such an outrageous statement authorizing state violence in a region that, for long, has been seething with anger at police brutality and extortion and a region whose youths have been extra-judicially killed by security agents in large numbers.
“This statement sends shivers down the spines of residents of the South-East because it suggests a declaration of war against them by the Nigerian state, and conjure images of gruesome murders as we saw during the infamous Python Dance in the South-East.
“Already, there are credible reports of numerous extrajudicial killings of people in the south-East. How many more will be killed if soldiers and police officers believe that there will be no accountability for all forms of impunity and atrocity in the South-East.
“We consider this statement horrifying, frightening, and unutterable in a democracy with entrenched constitutional rights to life and due process.”
Amadi, who condemned the spate of attacks on law enforcement personnel and rising insecurity in the country, said the group would only support measures stipulated by the constitution and global law enforcement standards.