The Ignoezue International Association Nigeria and the Diaspora (IAND) has condemned the killing of two military officers and a civilian as well as burning of over 70 houses in Izombe, Oguta Local Government Area Imo State.
The group called on President Mohammadu Buhari to prevail on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Faruk Yahaya, to order for thorough investigation of the incident that also reportedly led to the destruction of 15 vehicles and 25 motorcycles.
Addressing newsmen in Onitsha after its emergency meeting, National President of IIAND, Chief Pius Okoye expressed disappointment over alleged mobilization and invasion of the community and burning down of buildings by the military in the community.
He described as shameful, unwarranted attack and burning down of over 70 houses following a squabble among the youths over collecting tolls from oil bunkers, which attracted the presence of the Army.
“It was unfortunate that human lives were lost in the incident including those of soldiers of the Nigerian Army. It’s more worrisome that the soldiers who reinforced and allegedly attack the community did not show professionalism in discharging their duties.
“I wonder if such brazen attack of the entire community has ever happened in any Northern community with men of the Nigerian Armed Forces are killed on daily basis,” he said.
The group urged President Buhari to prevail on the authorities of the Nigerian Army to apply caution, wisdom and restrain in dealing with issues issues in South East to stop making the people to feel hated in Nigeria.
“This kind of barbaric attack and burning down of innocent peoples building is one of the things fueling the agitation for Biafra by Igbo youths.
“While we sincerely sympathize with the families of the death persons and those whose houses were burnt down following the clash between the youths and soldiers, we plead that this should be the last of such incident where under a very slightest provocation, an entire community will be made to suffer the consequences of few disgruntled people’s action.”