President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has the Nigerian Army and Police have been making millions from check points they have put across the roads in the South East.
He lamented that the number of checkpoints in the zone, which he said exist for the sole purpose of extorting the people are mind boggling.
He spoke at a one-day security summit yesterday in Enugu with South-East governors, traditional rulers and other stakeholders.
“We welcome you to your home, South-East, where you were once a commissioner of police. I must commend you that during your tenure, some aspects of intellectuality have come back to police because in the time past, no one had given it a thought.
“We are not happy with how you kept us for over four hours without hearing from any of you concerning the security summit. Our traditional rulers and other stakeholders have been here waiting. I know it is not in your character but unfortunately your protocol treated us this way.
“I think what you are planning to do is good but your assumption may not work. In this zone, our people have little or no confidence in the police. Because I once travelled from Enugu to Onitsha and recorded 17 checkpoints with soldiers and police.
“The former GOC dismantled one at Oji River axis. In all these checkpoints, they are using children at the ages of 14,16,17 to collect money from the motorists while they are there playing draft. Why is our own like this? There is another one at Ozalla in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area.”
“Our farmers are devastated and the herders carry AK-47 openly without being persecuted by police. The one that happened at Benue Catholic Church was done openly. They danced with the heads of those they killed and was recorded, transmitted to all the social media with everything to recognise them but nothing was done.
“Our people believe that there is one law for us and another law for the others. If there is anything you can do for us, it is to give instruction that any one you get exploiting people, collecting bribe from them, that you will expel him/her.
“The restiveness of our youths has reached its limit. The situation now is that Igbo peopole are conquered people. There is a limit you will push a man to the wall and he will retaliate. There is not one commissioner of police in the South-East that is Igbo man. How can you talk about community policing while the people you want to use to work with our people do not know the language or know the terrain.
“We have many officers in the Nigeria police, army, civil defence or what have you. Why is our place targeted for posting of non indigenes to head every security agency?
“I want to plead with you, re-examine the posting you make here. All our leaders are finding it difficult to stop the anger of our people. I am happy that when you were mentioning our problems, you made mention of restiveness of our youths. Our children have reached their limit. Our governors are the chief security officers of their states because Section 14 of the constitution gives them right to protect the lives and property of their people.
“When you start sharing the heads of security with commanders, controllers and whatever, and you do not include the governors, heads of communities, religious leaders; the exercise is dead on arrival. These commanders and controllers are coming to dilute our local security.”