A sociopolitical group,Coalition of South East Youth Leaders(COSEYL) has demanded the immediate dismantling of military checkpoints in South East.
The group’s demand came on the heels of the shooting of a commercial motorcyclist, Chimaobi Nworgu on Wednesday by one of the soldiers mounting checkpoint at Ohanze, along Aba- Ikot Ekpene highway.
The President-General of the group, Goodluck Ibem said that the killing is barbaric and wicked, and therefore called on the relevant authorities to ensure that the trigger- happy soldier is arrested and prosecuted immediately.
He said that the incident should not toe the path of previous incidents whereby the culprit soldiers are protected and deployed to locations far off from the scene of the incident.
Ibem said:”We call for immediate arrest and prosecution of the murderous soldier that killed the innocent young man simply for refusing to pay a bribe of N100 to the military check point. We demand for an open prosecution of the culprit. No secret prosecution where they culprit will be set free”.
He decried the situation whereby the military checked that were meant to check criminality in the region have been converted to locations where extortions of the highest order are perpetrated by the soldiers. The check points that was meant to be security check points have been turned to extortion points by the soldiers and police men.
He added that they harass road users and kill at will those who refuses to pay .
“The soldiers behave as if they were strictly instructed to extort , maim and kill South Easterners and not to save life. The activities of the army in South East is as if we are in a war. South Easterners are treated like enemies. If we are seen as part of Nigeria , tell me how an army officer paid salaries with tax payer’s money will trail a law abiding citizen and kill him in his father’s house. What an insult?”COSEYL questioned.