Front line civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the vicious attack on the convoy of the former governor of Imo State Mr. Ikedi Ohakim just as the Rights group challenged governors and leading political leaders in the South East Region of Nigeria to explore a regional wide solutions to the insecurity in the once peaceful Igboland.
HURIWA said the suggestions by both governor Hope Uzodimma and Charles Chukwuma Soludo of Imo and Anambra blaming either political opponents or voodoo worshippers and cultists are untrue just as the Rights group said both the police and the Army have yet to obtain high valued intelligence on the identity of those sponsoring the staccato violent campaigns of terror in all of Igboland and thus now is the time for Governors and lgbo patriots to explore innovative solutions to these problems and crises.
HURIWA recalled that the one-term former governor was attacked by gunmen at Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, with four people in his entourage feared killed just as the former chief executive of Imo State narrated his near death ordeal and said his bulletproof vehicle and his driver who brought to bear his skills saved him and his children from the killer gunmen.
HURIWA which quoted a media interview granted by Ikedi Ohakim shortly after the assassination attempt stated as follows: “We were driving between Isiala Mbano and Ehime Mbano. These people blocked us at a place called Umualumaku.
They attacked us from behind and were firing at our vehicles consistently. I thought I was a dead man and I was with two of my children – my son and daughter.
What saved me was the bulletproof vehicle. That I am alive today is by the special grace of God and the bulletproof vehicle. But unfortunately for me they killed four of our boys, including the driver. Yes, we lost four of the boys and I am devastated. How can that be? What crime did they commit?,”
HURIWA disclosed that former governor Ohakim told The NICHE during a telephone interview on Monday night thus: “They pursued us and continued firing at our tyres. Luckily, the vehicle has what is called run-flat tyres on which you can continue driving even after a puncture. So, even when they shot at the tyres hoping to immobilise us, the vehicle continued moving. If they were ordinary tyres and the vehicle had stopped, they would cornered and finished us. But the tyres held on until we got back home. We drove for about 20 minutes before we got home. That was the saving grace. The driver who manifested tremendous level of driving skill kept manoeuvring until he lost them at a junction when he went right and not knowing where we had gone, they headed the other direction on the road to Umuahia.
We then turned and went back to my house. We were there when Imo Government House sent reinforcement from Owerri who brought the corpses of my security people.”
HURIWA which condemned the gruesome murder of some of the aides of the former governor said that it is sad and disappointing that the governors and political leaders from the Igbo speaking States have seriously not decided to work on a broad-based and regional wide solutions which is the reason the killings have widened and the Rights group warned the government officials of Igbo extraction that if they fail to find a workable solutions to the mass killings then they should be prepared for a much more vicious war because it is apparent that whomsoever the gunmen are will turn their deadly weapons on the political elites as they have even started doing with the recent attacks on Senator Ifeanyi Uba and Mr. Ikedi Ohakim.
HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko appealed to Governors, National, state legislators, civil, religious and cultural leaders of the South East to synergise realistically and come up with practicable responses to the challenges of insecurity and blood cuddling killings going on in the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA said the governors should advocate effective non-kinetic strategy by the armed forces of Nigeria since the hit-and-run shooting of suspected insurgents by the operatives of the armed forces of Nigeria and the burning of villages by the Army and police including Ebubeagu operatives haven’t led to an end to the attacks by the unidentified gunmen. “The fact that the Army and police don’t know exactly who the sponsors of the attacks are shows a classical failure of intelligence which is worrisome.”
HURIWA said: “We think the governors of the South East should be altruistic for once and work in unison for the sake of the continuation of the Igbo race because these attacks happening in the South East of Nigeria are well coordinated, well choreographed and well funded and as Ikedi Ohakim who saw the gunmen face to face testified that the killers are beyond IPOB, it behoves on the Igbo leaders to get to work and invest substantially in hiring well groomed private investigators and thoroughbred members of the intelligence community to get to the roots of these killings.
HURIWA further stated that: “The guesswork by the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Army which constantly without any atom of proofs, often blame the Indigenous People of Biafra for these killings has for long been exposed as half baked lies contrived to call a dog a bad name just to hang it. These continuous bombardments go to demonstrate the urgency of the now for a comprehensive and durable solutions to the violence and terrorism against the good people of Igboland.”