The Enugu State Government has invited 27 prominent persons including representatives of schools, traditional and religious rulers as well as the leadership of security agencies in the state for a meeting on Thursday over the recent killings in the state.
Two operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) and an unconfirmed number of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members were killed on August 23 during the disturbances in Emene, a suburb of Enugu town, after some operatives of the secret police tried to disperse a gathering of members of the separatist group at a secondary school in the town.
The meeting is a sequel to an emergency security meeting held by the government of the state on Wednesday to address security concerns emanating from the August 23 clash.
After the emergency security meeting with the leadership of all the security outfits in the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the governor of the state, called on persons in the custody of weapons allegedly snatched from security operatives during the fracas in Emene to return them to the agencies or the nearest traditional rulers for onward delivery to the appropriate agencies.
Mr Ugwuanyi said that his government is determined to unravel the true cause of the clash between the separatist group and the security agencies and put measures in place to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
“As the Chief Security Officer of the state, I am at all times committed, to doing all within my powers, to ensure the security of lives and property in Enugu State”.
“Following the emergency Security Council meeting…, it has become necessary to give those responsible for getting to the root of these unfortunate developments a little more time to complete their work.”
“The events of the August 23, 2020, which culminated in the loss of lives of members of Nigerian security agencies and residents of Enugu State as well as recent reports of attacks on Railway Police Station, Ogui on August 28, 2020, and Unity Police Station, Abakpa on August 30, 2020, where weapons were reported to have been carted away, have been matters of great concern to me,” he said.
Those invited for Thursday’s meeting according to a statement by Simon Ortuanaya, secretary to the Enugu State government, are: Callistus Onaga, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese; Emmanuel Chukwuma, the Anglican Archbishop of Enugu; Christopher Edeh, Methodist Bishop of Enugu; Emmanuel Edeh, the chairman of the state’s the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Goddy Madu, the chairman Pentecostal fellowship of Nigeria, Enugu; Sambo Abubakar, the Sarkin Hausa of the state; Nestor Ezeme, the chairman, Post Primary School Management Board; Ikeje Asogwa, the chairman, Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board; and Robert Okolie, the state president of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Public Schools (ANCOPPS).
Others include Theophilus Odo, the chairman of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Enugu State; Ernest Ugwu, the chairman of the National Association of proprietors of private Schools, (NAPPS) Enugu State; Beatrice Chukwuonye, the state president of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS); Nnia Nwodo, the president-general of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo; Alex Ogbonna, the state chairman of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo; Jude Ezegwui, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Enugu; and Paully Eze, the coordinating president-general of Towns Unions.
The rest are the chairmenn of the 17 Local Government Councils of the state; Ahmad AbdulRahman, the state’s commissioner of police; Chris Ataki, the garrison commander of the Nigerian Army 82 Division; Brown Ekwoaba, the state director of SSS; Lawrence Agubuzor, the chairman Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council; Pascal Ugwu and Esther Ogbuefi, representatives of the Youth Council of Nigeria; former governor of the states, Jim Nwobodo and Okwesilieze Nwodo; and Justina Eze, a former ambassador and House of Representatives member.
The meeting is billed for 2 p.m. at the Government House, Enugu.