Three Communities in Umuahia North Local Government, Abia state have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ask the security agencies to help them in locating the whereabouts of their monarch, his wife as well as the leader of the proscribed indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who were alleged to have been missing since September this year.
In a petition jointly signed by the representatives of Okwulaga, Enyiukwu and Isiama Autonomous communities, said since the military exercise codenamed Operation Python Dance II in Afaraukwu Ibeku, the whereabouts of the said monarch Eze Israel Kanu, his wife Lolo Sally, Nnmandi Kanu, as well as some of his subjects have remained unknown after the Army invaded his palace on September 14.
Both IPOB and members of the community have insisted that the Army should be held responsible for the disappearance of Kanu and his parents but the military authorities have denied any culpability.
The communities in an open letter to President Buhari demanded that the Army be compelled to produce their traditional ruler who they have not seen since his house was invaded.
According to the petition, a copy of which was made available to newsmen Friday in Umuahia, some members of the community are still missing since after the military raid, heightening fears that they might have been killed and their bodies taken away by the invaders along with IPOB members.
The communities demanded that a panel of enquiry be set up with a view to investigating the role of the Army in the invasion of their traditional ruler’s home and his subsequent disappearance as well as the killing of some locals during the invasion.
The petition signed by the President Generals of all three autonomous communities in Afara clan namely: Levi Ogbonna, Cletus Uwaechi, and Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze, respectively.
It also demanded full compensation for the desecration of the palace and the return of household property allegedly carted away from the palace by the invaders.
” We implore you to set up a panel to determine the compensation to be paid to the Afaraukwu Clan of Ibeku Umuahia for the desecration of the palace of our traditional ruler Eze Kanu, loss of life and the destruction of properties”.
According to the petition, the whereabouts of some of the members of the community have also remained unknown since after the invasion of the palace.
The petition read in part: “That since September 14, 2017 the whereabouts of one of our traditional rulers HRH Eze I. O Kanu, members of his family including some members of Isiama Afaraukwu community is still unknown.
“On Sunday September 10, some heavily armed military personnel invaded Isiama Afaraukwu community in their Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and started shooting indiscriminately near the house of Eze Kanu who is also the father of Nnamdi Kanu, and in the process, killed some visitors and a lady Miss Adaku Odoemelam who is an indigene of Isiama Afaraukwu.
“That on Sunday the 8th of October 2017, some military personnel including the police invaded Isiama Afaraukwu Community again, moved into the house of Eze Kanu and carted away some household properties in the absence of the occupants of the house.
“That since September 14, our community has continued to suffer intimidations, harassments, and dehumanisation from the hands of military personnel stationed within Isiama Afaraukwu Community.”
The locals explained that they are not members of IPOB, and should not be treated as members of the proscribed group.
“May we point out that we are not members of IPOB or any terrorist organisation and we do not have any right to prevent people from moving freely within Afaraukwu community …., and we should not be punished for allowing visitors into our community.”
By Sunday Nwakanma Umuahia