By Galaxy Imanmadu
Warri based Human Rights Activist and Executive Director of Global Action Against Hunger, Crime and Violations of Peoples’ Rights (GAHCAVPER), Comrade Emeka Nwokocha, has vehemently condemned the senseless and gruesome killing of Joseph Pessu by alleged personnel of the Nigerian Army enforcing the stay-at-home order of the Delta State Government, in Warri, headquarters of Warri South Local Government Area of the State.
Describing the incident as a huge dent on the integrity of the Nigerian military, Comr. Nwokocha, wondered why a trained army personnel would throw caution and professionalism to the winds only to become a trigger happy soldier that takes delight in cutting short the life of his fellow country man over a flimsy reason.
His words, “I strongly condemn the show of bestiality by the men of the Nigeria Army for unjustly killing an unarmed young man, Joseph Pessu, an Itsekiri youth, on Thursday morning in Warri, for allegedly violating the sit-at-home order of the Delta State Government, following implementation of a lock-down policy to curb the spread of the virulent coronavirus in the state.
“I am worried that barely two days that the sit-at-home order commenced, the law enforcement agents are turning their guns against unarmed populace they are tasked to protect, thus causing mayhem and spilling of blood. I cannot comprehend why the killer and blood-thirsty soldiers would be adamant about the sacredness of life as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”
Continuing, Comr. Nwokocha, called on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and relevant authorities to commence thorough investigation into the gory incident with a view to arresting and prosecuting the culprits, to forestall recurrence of the dastardly act.
“At this time of evolving civilisation the world over, I am taken aback that some personnel of the Nigerian Army would, at the slightest provocation, perpetrate extra-judicial killing with impunity. It is a mendacious development that must be checkmated by meting out adequate punishment to those found culpable for the crime.”
While harping on inviolability of the fundamental right of Nigerians to life, Comr. Nwokocha called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and good spirited Nigerians to rise to the occasion and condemn any form of extra-judicial killing in Nigeria, even as he noted that the law enforcement agents have over the years shown defiance towards protecting the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
He admonished the personnel of the armed forces to shun high-handedness and barbaric inclinations, charging them to exercise restraint when dealing with the civilian populace, saying, “the killing of Joseph Pessu by the soldiers, is one death too many…it must not be tolerated. May the Almighty God strengthen the family of the deceased, and his loved ones for this irreparable loss.”