On the 19th of Jan. 2013, more than 30 bodies were discovered floating on Ezu river between the boundaries of Enugu and Anambra states. The bodies were unidentified but the states ordered for autopsy which was a right action in a right direction. Surprisingly the federal police acted fast and disposed the bodies by a hurried burial. A week after that, another bodies of about 10 were discovered on the same river.
Nigerians were amazed, the Igbos especially indegines of the two states Enugu and Anambra woke to the rude shock wondering whose bodies were they. The traditional rulers quickly took a head count to ascertain if some of their people were missing. Their search came back negative. The bodies were not from those communities. The wonder and worries continued. Then the MASSOB Public relations office issued a statement which said that the so called mystery bodies were in fact suspected members of MASSOB. According to the statement they bodies were arrested by the combined team of the military, police, sss and were handed over to SARS.
”He gave the names of MASSOB members the movement suspected to be among those killed and dumped in the Ezu River to include Basil Ogbu, Michael Ogwa, Sunday Omogo, Philip Nwankpa, Eze Ndubisi, Ebuka Eze, Obinna Ofor, Joseph Udoh and Uchechukwu Ejiofor.
He said they were arrested at MASSOB security office at Onitsha Anambra State on November 9, 2012, by a combined team of the army, police and State Security Service men and handed over to the State Anti-Robbery Squad headquarters, Awkuzu Anambra State, where they were detained until their disappearance”.
Now the question is why did the federal government resort to extra judiciary killing of these young men? Who should we be scared of, the military, and police or Boko Haram? It looks like if you are Igbo death awaits you every where. The killed them and then to show their disregard for the people, they polluted the rivr with dead bodies. The perpetrators of this horrendous acts, as despicable as it is, knew that Ezu River was the only source of drinking water for the communities and its environ. Why pollute our water with the bodies of our sons you killed? This act is not only an affront on the people but a direct act of provocation for violence.Senator Andy Uba has moved a motion on the senate for the investigation of the matter. Speaking on the incident, the senate president, Gen. David Mark said, ”“Even if they were in boat that capsized, who are they? So it is strange and we need to be very concerned about it. In addition to that, of course the villagers naturally will be concerned and they may not want to go to the river anymore, but unless we are able to say who these people are, I think there’d be big problem for us in this country. And it is not just about security agencies alone, I think every community in this country now is involved.” I want to remind him that words and promises will not cut this one. We need results and we need it fast too.I hope Ndigbo has not forgotten the incident of 1992 when a lorry load of Igbo men, women and children en route to the North were all killed and the bus driver ordered to take the bodies home and show to his people what the North has in stock for us. The driver drove home with dead bodies and in tears. It is important to recall that the difference here is that these bodies were found floating in Ezu River while the other was transported in a bus. Either way both were Igbos killed in extra judiciary style, sent to the owners to mock them and insult our humanity. When would enough be enough in Nigeria? Who is taking the glory of these heinous acts? If no one why then has no one been arrested and tried?
Sadly I am seeing the repeat of 1992 orgy of blood. Ndigbo Youths have no more love to give. Their heart is full of anger and bitterness. They have no more strenght for patient. It is upto the police, and the federal security agents to act very fast and explain to us what happened and why. The police must tell us why they were in such a haste to bury the bodies without first identifying the bodies, carrying out the ordered autopsy, and determine the cause of death. It is even hypocritical that Western based human rights in Nigeria are silent over the killings. Now is the time for Nigeria to tell Ndigbo which nation guarantees our right to life and safety of our properties. Finally let me ask all Igbo politicians, leaders of thought, senators, states assembly men and women to wake up. Death has come upon us. Fight for justice for our murdered children or the youths will fight the way they know best. We are waiting.
Please spread this message on your wall if you are for justice. If you know any of the victim’s families inbox me their contacts.
Onyema Uche, a public analyst writes from the United States