In recent times, Aji community in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State has witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in crime.
Since December 2012, three youths of the community have been killed by suspected ritualists. The worrisome thing about the killings was that the vital parts of the victims were removed by the unknown killers raising apprehension among the villages that ritual killers are on the prowl in their community.
Worried by this trend, the women of Aji, led by Mrs Amaka Urama, a school teacher and chairman of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO), staged a peaceful protest in the community, demanding an immediate end to the killings and the dissolution of the community’s vigilante, which they feared has been infiltrated by criminals and politicians, who want to use the members to achieve their political end.
They alleged that the chairman of the vigilante, Mr. Joseph Azegbe and the counsellor of the area had used masquerades to harass and intimidate them in efforts to stop their protest. At the end of the peaceful protest witnessed by the police, the army and officers of the State Security Services (SSS), Mrs. Urama spoke to Daily Sun. •
The chairman of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area Mr. Onuh, the traditional ruler of Aji, Igwe Itodo and the Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation Mr. Goddy Ogenyi who approves vigilante group’s formation also spoke to Daily Sun. Mrs Urama My name is Mrs Amaka Urama, the leader of Aji Women Forum (AMF).
We had gathered ourselves together to cry out to the government, the chairman of Igbo-Eze North LGA, the traditional ruler of Aji and all the community stakeholders that we are no longer comfortable with the escalating crime rate in Aji. Our sons are being killed in mysterious circumstances. The killings started after the previous vigilante was dissolved.
Since then, we have lost three of our children. Before the dissolution our town was peaceful and our Igwe, His Royal Highness Simeon Osisi Itodo even received an award as the most security conscious traditional ruler in the South-East. We don’t know what happened and control of the vigilante was maneuvered out of his hand by some evil-minded politicians who have vaulting ambition to rule.
Those who were killed have their vital parts removed. They are Festus Idoko, Ndubuisi A and Uche Nwaossai who was killed and his body stuffed into his father’s water tank. As mothers who carry these children nine months in our wombs, we are tired of passing through these avoidable gory and horrible experiences.
We want a stop to it. The way it can be stopped is easy and that is the dissolution of the vigilante which has been hijacked by a highly placed civil servant (name withheld) who is running the vigilante through his cronies as a personal enterprise to achieve his political ambition using the blood of our children.
Our Igwe is the chief security officer of the community and should be allowed to choose the chairman of the vigilante. When he was in control, there was no crime in Aji. We want the status quo restored. This is why we are protesting. Some people don’t want us to protest and used over 200 masquerades to harass and intimidate us. We are surprised that our councilor is behind this.