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Enugu: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Council Worldwide, the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, on Thursday, cautioned those “deliberately blackmailing” the Enugu State Government over the activities of unknown gunmen to desist forthwith or be exposed.

There has been a trending story of one Tochukwu Okeke, aka Owo, said to have been nabbed for his alleged involvement in the activities of unknown gunmen in Enugu State. The reports claimed that he is a Special Assistant to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Security.

The Enugu State Government has since debunked the existence of such portfolio under Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration.

Addressing a press briefing, the OYC President-General, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike blamed the trending report on hired blackmailers.

He said the OYC had uncovered those involved and would soon expose them.

He said, “We have followed trending reports about one Tochukwu Okeke, aka Owo, who was arrested by the Nigerian Army for his alleged involvement in the activities of Unknown Gunmen in Enugu State and beyond. We were more concerned when his name was mentioned as a Special Assistant on Security to the Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, with some published reports on the matter by certain blogs being shared across social media platforms.

“The leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council did not take this lightly but has gone ahead to make some enquiries and we can confidently say that the Enugu State Governor has never appointed anyone as any form of Assistant on security, let alone the particular individual in focus.

“It then beats our imagination the intention of the purveyors of that news, especially as Enugu State has remained the most peaceful State in Nigeria. We are all in Nigeria and are witnesses to the security breaches in all other States here and now, but Enugu has remained peaceful owing to the calm disposition of the Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Security is not a matter to be politicized and that is why we are concerned over the development.

“Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is a man known widely for his peaceful disposition, who has sacrificed a lot for the sake of peace and unity, and would not in any way support any one who would turn around to truncate the existing peace in the Coal City State.

“It is pertinent to call on all those behind this cheap blackmail to desist from such as it would not blow any one any good. Nothing good can come out of any society where there is no security of life and property and we should not use blackmail to push Enugu into such a category.”

“If an individual has committed a crime, the person should be charged to court. Making a desperate effort to link the person to the Governor is nothing but a cheap blackmail which has fallen as a pack of cards. We say enough of this deliberate blackmail of the Governor. Let us allow peace to continue to reign in Enugu State.

“We shall soon expose those behind this cheap blackmail if they don’t desist from their devilish activities,” Okwu warned.

The OYC equally commended the Enugu House of Assembly over the anti-open grazing bill, cautioning other states in the region to do the needful.

“We are angry with the other States of Ebonyi, Abia, Anambra and Imo States over their silence on the open-grazing bill. This is not a time for any form of political correctness but a time to key into the demands of the people. Governance and true leadership is about listening to the people and leading them accordingly.

“No sane government will pretend and allow Fulani herdsmen to continue the mindless killings and raping of women under whatever pretext. We have no doubt had enough of such atrocities and the perpetrators do not seem to have any plan of changing their heart and approach.

“We shall henceforth hold the governor accountable for any further killing by herdsmen. We cannot continue to pamper the killer herdsmen while they go on butchering our people without restraint. Like we said before, cattle rearing is a private business and should be treated as such.”

On the IPOB suspension of sit-at-home order, Okwu hailed the leaders of the Biafra group, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and apealled to all the IPOB members and supporters “to obey the latest directive from Kanu to the effect that sit-at-home is now suspended except for the days he will be appearing in court. This is not a time to behave as though the IPOB no longer has a leader.

“On our own part, we are not relenting but have continued our engagements with the top hierarchy both in Igboland and beyond to ensure that Kanu is released very soon, unconditionally.”

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