The President of Vision Africa and Bishop of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, has described news of a young businessman shot dead at a checkpoint in Abayi, Aba, Abia State as a worrisome development that paints a foreboding picture of recklessness and irresponsibility by some officers of the Nigerian security agencies.

In a release, Bishop Sunday Onuoha with a  heavy heart sent his sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Emmanuel Michael Okocha who was killed in Aba by a police officer attached to the Abayi Police Division, under the Abia State Police Command, for allegedly refusing to offer bribe according to the eye witness.

“Any loss of life under these circumstances is a grave injustice and a stain on the fabric of our society. No level of rationalising or explaining will excuse such condemnable and, I dare say, abominable act!

“Where law enforcement officers, tasked with upholding the law and safeguarding the lives and rights of all individuals, perpetuate reprehensible acts of violence and thuggery, becoming themselves, ‘power hungry uniformed-miscreants,’ the society opens itself up to a portal for chaos, as continued disregard for the principles of natural justice and humanity, is a drive down a slippery slope.”

He maintained that “these deviants can no longer be disregarded because they ever so frequently throw spanners in the wheels of our nation building.

“I, therefore, call for a thorough and impartial investigation into this tragic incident to ensure that all those responsible are swiftly brought to justice. The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be held accountable for their actions, and measures must be taken to prevent such atrocities from recurring in the future.”

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He decried that as “more concerning, the incredible number of checkpoints between Imo River (Rivers/Abia boundary) and the Abia/Enugu boundary,” noting that they are “spots that have sadly become synonymous with evil and all kinds of lawlessness; especially the use of our innocent little boys as ‘undercover toll-gate collectors.

“It is a national shame that such minors grow up never knowing anything but the brutality, corruption, and crime they are exposed to by supposed uniformed men.”

Then he asked: “What has become of our humanity? How long will these evil continue? How much more can Nigerians swallow? How can we honestly reform the system without vilifying or eliminating those who stand up or show up with standards?”

According to him, “everywhere, at every level, some people are looking for vulnerable ones to ‘lord over,” and impose a senseless show of ‘authority’ on. The civil servant with your file, gun man with government badge, the motor park tout, a narcissistic boss or manager, even a diminutive gateman! When will we learn that wherever people are in the spectrum of life, they are also humans, deserving of love, or at least civility.”

Then he prayed: “May Nigerians unite in prayer, and in action to demand accountability, transparency, and reforms within our law enforcement agencies, so that we may build a society where the dignity and sanctity of every human life are respected and upheld.

“My prayers go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the victim. May they find solace in the midst of this unimaginable pain, and may justice prevail for the sake of their beloved – and for the sake of our collective humanity.”