A leading Igbo socio-cultural group, Igbo Bu Igbo, has condemned what it terms “the continued indiscriminate arrest and persecution of political and business leaders of Igbo extraction by overzealous security agents”.
In a statement signed by Dr. Law Mefor-Anueyiagu and Jude Ndukwe, Chancellor and Head, Media Directorate, respectively, the group stated that “With this latest arrest of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, it has become indisputably obvious that Ndigbo have been deliberately marked out for intimidation, harassment and, ultimately, perpetual subjugation”.
Continuing, the Igbo group said, while they believe in the efficacy of the rule of law which also implies that no one is above the law, “we will not accept a situation where our leaders are subjected to random humiliation without recourse to decorum and constitutionalism”.
“We call on good-spirited Nigerians, human rights organisations and the international community, to take note of the systematic use of state institutions to persecute opposition members and those who hold divergent views from the government.
“Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe is a ranking Senator of the Federal Republic, and, it is our belief that, if not a system where things are done crudely and where persecution takes the place of persecution of political opponents, the Senator should have been invited rather than arrested in a manner executed to humiliate him.
Let us assure those on this path of error, that, just like it was with our leaders and people who have faced one form of persecution or the other under this government in the recent past, Ndigbo will never be intimidated to abandon their own.
“The era when our common traducers used to pitch us against one another for their own selfish interests is gone. Today, our common age-long persecution in the country has taught us to be together and be there for one another no matter the circumstances. It is therefore needless for any person, group of persons and or institution(s) to continue picking on Igbo sons and daughters in the hope that such victims of persecution would be abandoned by their people; rather, such actions bind us even closer and stronger.
“Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe remains one of our leading lights not only in Igboland but also the entire country. We hereby demand his unconditional and immediate release,” the statement concluded.