From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
As security agents comb the South East and South South regions for suspected criminal elements over attacks and killings of security personnel, National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has warned against extra-judicial killings and harassment of innocent Nigerians.
In a statement entitled: ‘The Growing Tempest in East and South’, signed by the Capoon, Abiola Owoaje, NAS said it is important “that the security services do not engage in presumption group-blame, collective punishment, and extra-judicial killings in the course of investigating these crimes.”
Owoaje pointed out that such “unbridled illegalities and high-handedness will only go to further alienate local communities, and deepen the antipathy that already characterises the relationship between them and law enforcement agencies.”
The association while strongly condemning the attacks and killing of security personnel, condoled with families that lost loved ones and urged government to do all within the confines of the law to get the perpetrators and make them face the full wrath of the law.
According to him, NAS is disturbed that the insecurity in the two regions has further exacerbated the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Owoaje called on the government to move swiftly, and with unaccustomed competence and diligence, to arrest the current climate of insecurity across the two regions.
“This gradual slide into anarchy in the South East and South South regions has the potential to expand the number of ungoverned spaces in Nigeria, further stretch our security apparatus, and engender devastating social and economic consequences for the country as a whole.
“We urge the security agencies in the two regions to resist the temptation of seeing themselves as a force of occupation out to subjugate the people and unleash terror among the teeming law-abiding citizens.
“They should approach their task with a sincerity of purpose, and rein in the criminal elements intent on foisting terror and bloodletting. Evidence abounds of previous overzealous interventions by security agencies which have aggravated insecurity in the two regions rather than contain the same.”