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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Killing of soldiers: You are part of the problem – HURIWA to Tinubu, govs 

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has pointedly told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the governors of the South East Region that they are responsible for the upsurge in violence happening in the South East for the President’s refusal to keep to his election campaign promises to hold consultative dialogues with all agitators with the aim of funding solutions to the situation of insecurity in the Igbo region.

HURIWA said the President made an unambiguous decision to hold series of dialogues with every group in the South East region if he was victorious even as the Rights group reminded the President of his pledge which he made about two years ago during a huge presidential campaign rally in Abakiliki Ebonyi State hosted by the then governor Dave Umahi who is the Works minister under the current administration. The Rights group regretted that the President turned his back on the South East Region even after he won the election and has spent over a year in office. “Can we ask President Tinubu if he will neglect the Igbo region if he is Igbo?”

“Why are the Igbo governors afraid of reminding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu about his open and public pledge before a mammoth crowd of Igbo elites who gathered to listen to him at that Zonal campaign rally in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State? It is because Mr. President forgot his sacred promise to search for peace that agents of destabilisation have now seized the opportunities to cause maximum anarchy in the South East of Nigeria.

President Tinubu knows that freeing Nnamdi Kanu holds the key to finding peace in the Igbo region but he decided to free Comrade Sowore rightly so from treason charges, he freed Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore’s President from terrorism charges but has stuck his gun to ensure that he keeps Nnamdi Kanu in DSS underground cells so as to continuously stoke anarchy and violence in Igboland and to make it even worse, the governors and politicians of South East region don’t care about working in unison to restore stability, peace, progress in South East.

Why is the President making threats unnecessarily when it is his indecision on resolving the crises in the South East that has perpetuated the problems to the satanic extent of some anarchists taking up arms and killing soldiers who are in the South East to restore peace?”

Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has also asked the governors of the Igbo speaking states in the South East to opt for non-kinetic solutions to the continuous bloodshed in the region by working together as a bloc for the igbo speaking people all over the World and organise constructive dialogues with all restive armed youths to drop down their weapons and work towards healing the land.

The Rights group is also calling on the Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Mr. Benjamin Kalu, who is the most significant political office holder in the current dispensation from South East, to make his impact felt in the Igbo states by partnering with the governors and other stakeholders as a united and formidable front to end the episodic killings happening in the South East of Nigeria.

HURIWA which faulted the bellicose approach towards youths restiveness in the South East by governors and political actors, cautioned the governors including the governor of Enugu state to downplay the use of retaliatory terms such as was applied by Governor Peter Mbah last weekend when he, Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Peter Mbah, placed a N10 million bounty on the heads of the killers of two policemen in Enugu State, Friday night, saying the state would go after the culprits with every resource at its disposal to bring the killers to book.

HURIWA recalled that the Enugu state’s helmsman Mr. Peter Mbah pledged the reward on Saturday while briefing newsmen after a State Security Council meeting at the Government House, Enugu, which also had in attendance, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kanayo Uzuegbu; State Director, State Security Services, Theresa Egbunu; Garrison Commander, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, Brigadier General Murtala Abu; and the State Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Peter Ogar, among others.

HURIWA recalled too that whilst expressing his administration’s ppsition on the possible culprits, Mbah said available security information pointed to men of the Eastern Security Network, ESN, who came in several SUVs, among them a black Lexus SUV. He, therefore, called on members of the public to be on the lookout for the criminals and the exhibits and report same to security agencies.

Governor Peter Mbah said as follows: “We just rounded off our Security Council meeting where we discussed, among other things, about the gruesome killing of our policemen – men of the Enugu State Police Command – by criminals suspected to be members of the ESN.

“Let me say this, this bestial and cold-blooded action cannot be condoned in Enugu State. I have given my directives to the security agencies that there must be no hiding place for these criminals in Enugu State. We must use everything necessary to hunt down, arrest, and bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

“We have also placed a bounty of N10 million as a reward to anyone, who would have any useful information that will lead to the arrest of these criminals. So, I enjoin members of the public to, please, come forward, or call the police and other security agencies with any useful information that could lead to the arrest of these criminals.

“We do not have room to accommodate these people, these vagabonds, and these miscreants in our state.

“We are going to do everything necessary to ensure that the ultimate sacrifice made by our valiant policemen does not go in vain.

“Our condolences go to the bereaved families. I will also ensure that as government, we are going to provide the necessary support to the bereaved families.

“Let me just also add that those who murder our policemen or indeed any member of our security agencies may assume that they have triumphed in their evil acts. Let me inform them that we are going to come after them with everything we have.

“We are going to deploy all the necessary technology, all the necessary forces within our powers to track them, capture them and defeat them. Enugu State and indeed with the support of the security agencies, we are going to make life uncomfortable for those who do not want to live in a decent society,” the Enugu state governor concluded.

HURIWA however said this language of ‘FIRE FOR FIRE’ as applied by the Enugu State governor just like his colleagues in Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi states have no way of bringing peace, stability and security in the South East Region.

The Rights group in the media statement endorsed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Miss. Amina Mohammed, the National coordinator and media director, emphasized that the Igbo states have witnessed unprecedented killings by all sorts of armed non-state and state actors even as the group said the killings of security operatives by unidentified gunmen and the retaliatory killings of Igbo youths since the last three years, have failed to restore the much needed stability, peace, normality and security to the Igbo states that are in urgent need of restoration of economic activities. HURIWA which condemned the killings as primitive, unwarranted, despicable and absolutely condemnable, said the South East must witness peace.

“HURIWA is once more calling on Igbo governors to rally round as a united platform together with the Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, religious communities, leadership of the indigenous peoples of Biafra(IPOB) ( since a High Court of competent jurisdiction has reportedly lifted the ban on their lawful activities), so these divergent groups could hold honest, constructive dialogues on the ways forward including taking a common IGBO STAND ON THE NEED FOR PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU TO RELEASE UNCONDITIONALLY THE LEADER OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF BIAFRA MAZI NNAMDI KANU.

HURIWA further canvassed that all armed militants and members of the Nigerian armed forces of Nigeria to desist from killing suspected members of IPOB. The time to heal Igbo land is now. Governors should be beacons of peace and not agents of destabilisation and insecurity, the Rights group asserted.

“The more the governors and the president of Nigeria empower the armed forces to go on killing Igbo youths in the name of combating the activities of the so-called ESN, the more the counter killings of security agents would go on and on and on indefinitely which is not in the interest of anyone except those officials like the governors and security heads who benefit from the security votes that aren’t budgeted or accounted for”.

HURIWA is therefore asking the Igbo state governors to put the collective interests of the citizens of their states far and above their insatiable appetite for free funds from the so-called security votes.

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