From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Legal practitioners in Anambra State have declared a three-day strike from Monday, March 22 to Wednesday, March 24, to protest the rise in insecurity in the state.
The protesters are drawing attention to the gruesome murder of their colleague, Frank Onwuachu, whose body was found not long after he was kidnapped by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Ayamelum Local Government Area.
There have been reported cases of killings in different parts of the state. In the past month, about six policemen, four naval men, a prison warden and others have been killed. Their guns and other security equipment were taken and police vehicles were burnt.
A statement signed by the eight chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association branches in the state on Saturday read in part:
‘The committee of chairmen and secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association branches in Anambra State bemoans the worsening security situation in Anambra State and calls on the Federal Government, Anambra State Government and heads of security agencies to wake up and be alive to their responsibilities of protecting lives and properties of the citizens.
‘The Committee notes that the security situation in Anambra State is highly tensed up and frightening, to say the least.
‘Recently, there have been cases of kidnap and gruesome murder/killing of innocent citizens and security personnel in the state and nothing is being done to curb these frightening security challenges in the state.
‘Just last week Friday, a lawyer, Frank Onwuachi, who is also the President-General of Omor in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State was kidnapped along Ezu River/Anaku Road and gruesomely murdered the following day by his captors.
‘On 19/3/2021, two prison officers were killed at Ekwulobia, Aguata LGA and this is barely 24 hours after Naval officers and policemen were killed at Awkuzu and Neni, respectively.
“Also, a Naval Outpost close to Bridgehead was attacked sometimes last week resulting in the killings of some naval officers and their weapons carted away.
‘We call on the state government to as a matter of urgency summon a meeting of various security agencies in the state to address this worrisome security situation and tackle it headlong. Failure by the state government to act immediately may lead to a descent into anarchy.
‘We all cannot continue to downplay the Security situation or pretend that all is well. The time to act is now.’
While condoling with the NBA Otuocha branch, the families of their late colleague, Onwuachu, and all security men killed by unknown gunmen, the lawyers resolved that all lawyers in the state ‘shall boycott all courts from Monday to Wednesday.
‘That all lawyers in Anambra State should converge on the Judiciary Headquarters, Awka on Monday, by 12 noon for onward movement to the Government House, Awka to express our dissatisfaction with the current security situation in Anambra State,’ the statement added.