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Date Published: 07/15/10

Joint Press Release

Abduction of Five Journalists in Abia: Who is to blame?


Our attention has been drawn to the abduction of five journalists in Umuafrukwu in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State by an armed gang on July 11, 2010.

The ugly incident took place barely four days after the under-listed civil society organizations in the southeast geo-political zone commended the Abia State Government led by Dr. T.A. Orji for taking some drastic measures to curb kidnapping for ransom and armed robbery.

It should be noted that Obingwa Local Government Area, which produced the current Senator representing Aba South Senatorial Zone and 2011 governorship aspirant, has acquired notoriety as a safe haven for kidnappers, armed robbers and illegal arms manufacturers in the state.

It beats our imagination that despite the provision of adequate security personnel fully equipped with communication gadgets and aerial helicopter support by Governor T.A. Orji in concert with President Goodluck Jonathan, violent crime, which was speedily reducing in the state has suddenly reared its ugly head again. Therefore, the question that is begging for answer is: Who is to blame?

While we do not intend to hold brief for Governor Orji, we strongly suspect the involvement of security agencies in the perpetration of violent crimes in the state. It is either that some corrupt security personnel are aiding and abetting violent crimes for economic interests or working in concert with some highly placed individuals to portray the Governor as one incapable of arresting the situation. Whichever way it is viewed, they are culpable, until they unmask the obnoxious culprits involved in these acts of criminality.

Given that security agencies have, to a large extent, failed in curbing this menace, and considering that the salvation of the oppressed lies, not in the hands of the oppressors but in the hands of the oppressed; we call on Abians to own up the fight against violent crimes in the state by forming vigilance committees to monitor and report to appropriate bodies/organizations, including traditional institutions, Community Based Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, town unions, media houses, government agencies, etc for appropriate actions. For, as our people (Ndigbo) say, ‘Onye ndi iro gbara gburu, gburu, na eche ndu ya nche mgbe nile’ (meaning, a people surrounded by enemies are always on the guard).

May we also use this opportunity to call on President Jonathan to order the Inspector-General of Police to, as a matter of urgent importance, demote all police officers from the rank of Inspector to Assistant Inspector-General of Police presently serving in the south-east geo-political zone and subsequent deploy them outside the zone for lack of capacity to curb and/or complicity in the prevalent cases of kidnapping and armed robbery in the zone? This will serve as a deterrent against future involvement of police officers in promoting violent crimes in the southeast and the country in general.


Comrade Chidi Nwosu
Human Rights, Justice and Peace Foundation (HRJPF)

Rev. Emeka Ogbonna
Popular Participation Front (PPF)

Hon. Dan Nwokoji-Aku
Goodwill Homage Foundation (GHF)

Comrade David Kalu
State Chairman
Campaign for Democracy (CD), Abia State Branch

Engineer Amaka Biachi
Executive Director
Centre for Human Empowerment, Advancement and Development (CHEAD)

Pastor Victor Mnenga
Vice President
Centre for the Advancement of Children’s and Women’s Rights (CACWR)

Ms Meg Chukwu
Executive Director
Environment and Tourism Support Initiatives (EATS-INITIATIVES),

Mr. Ifeanyi Oparaocha
Citizens Against Child Abuse

Hon. Kelechi Okezie
Neighbourhood Environment Watch Foundation (NEWF)

Ms Nkechi Ogu
Executive Director
Movement Against Child Labour (MACL)

Comrade Cassius Ukwugbe
Director of Publicity
Centre Against Human Rights Violations and Corrupt Practices (CAHRVCP)

Mr. Godson Ibekwe
Centre for Popular Participation and Local Initiatives (CEPPANLIN)

Comrade Nnanna Nwafor
Foundation for Environment, Human Rights and Good Governance (FENHRGG)

Mr Nnamdi Biachi
Centre for the Advancement of Peace and Progress (CAPP)

Comrade Eke Nwafor
Public Relations Officer
Movement for Peace and Development in Niger Delta (MPDND)


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