The Member representing Ezeagu constituency in Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chima Obieze on Sunday, October 25, 2020 visited the families of the people killed by the bullets from the guns security operatives when the #EndSARS protest was hijacked by hoodlums in Enugu State. This unfortunate events have thrown the entire peaceful state into a state of shock and fear, thereby crippling the economic activities the Enugu people are known for.
The three victims where killed on different days as the police attempted to disperse hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest and were destroying both public and private properties across the state. It is unfortunate that they lost their lives while doing their part in the nation building. This heroic acts were not unnoticed.
Visiting the family of Ejike Okeke in their country home, Amaogbu, Akama Oghe in Ezeagu LGA who was a student of Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu before his untimely death at Nkpokiti on Saturday, 24th October, Obieze assured them he will be with them in this trying time and will contribute towards the burial of their son.
Obieze also visited the family of late Obi Chinedu Solomon at their Enugu residence at Abakpa. Late Chinedu was a motor mechanic and was shut dead at T-Junction area of Abakpa Nike, Enugu and hails from Okpogho, in Ezeagu local government area.
Obieze promised to take responsibility for the burial of the victim and offered University scholarship to the younger brother of the deceased; Obi Odinaka Joshua as his late brother was the breadwinner of the family.
Lastly, Obieze visited the family of late Onyima Tochukwu at their residence at Ugwunwani, Ugbene I, Abakpa Nike, Enugu. The victim is from Obeleagu Umana, in Ezeagu LGA and was a furniture maker before his death.
Narrating the ugly incident, the younger brother of the deceased, Chukwunonso Onyima said his brother was killed after he finished eating at a restaurant near T-Junction. “When we arrived the scene, some particles of the food he ate was still in his mouth. When we attempted to take him to the hospital, the police blocked us at Penoks and threatened to shot if we don’t go back.
“They even attempted to take his body away from us but we resisted. Our brother took his last breath before we could make it to another hospital,” Tochukwu said in grief.
Similarly, the lawmaker promised to support them for the burial of their son and offered University to the younger brother of the deceased, Tochukwu Onyima.
Barr. Obieze while visiting the families of the three victims berated the security agents for acting in a very unprofessional manner insisting that “these deaths were avoidable.”
“The action of the security agents are worrisome because there could have been other ways of dispersing the protesters without killing anyone. Our police needs to be reformed and the officers retrained.”
“No one deserved to die in this circumstance. These killings were avoidable if the security agents were professional enough in their conduct. Agreed, some violent and criminal elements joined the protest but most of the dead victims were innocent unarmed protesters who had to pay the ultimate price.
“What happened to dialogue, to hot water spray, to rubber bullets and all other options. What happened to Rules of Engagement. The deed is already done. When these youths took to the streets shouting #EndSARS & #Endpolicebrutality this is a good picture of what they mean.
“I blame whoever ordered the Lekki massacre of peaceful protesters. That action angered youths nationwide and some criminals took advantage of that anger. But enough is enough. When we say #EndSARS we don’t mean change the name of SARS to SWAT, we mean reform the personnel. Our problem is not with the name of the police unit but with the orientation and modus operandi of the unit.
Reform the Nigerian police force. Make them more professional, more proactive, give them more logistics & pay them higher wages to stop extortion and their quest for bribes. Punish erring officers. Set up structures that monitor their activities. This is Internet age, also, mount CCTV in every station or post in the State and have a central Control room for monitoring amongst others,” Obieze advised.
Obieze also called on the leaders in the country to see the protest by the youths as a wake up call for them to do the right thing.
“What has happened in the past few weeks should be an eye opener not only to Security agencies but to every Government/Public servant out there. By now its obvious to us all that THE PEOPLE ARE NOT COMPLETELY HELPLESS.
“So let’s get to work, do the right thing and never forget that truly, power belongs to the people and act in a manner that will make them trust you with it.
Consoling the families, Obieze promised to present their situations to the Governor of the State, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi stressing that the peace-loving governor of the state is saddened by the deaths.
He also assured the affected families that he would ensure that any officer complicit in the killings of the youths will be fished out and made to face the law for their unprofessional conduct that led to the deaths.
On different notes, the families expressed their satisfaction for the visit of their representative and thanked him for standing with them in this their moment of grief. They also thanked him for the scholarships and prayed to God to repay him back.