Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Tuesday, called for a protest if the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu is not released in the next seven days.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it is undemocratic and against the rule of law for the Federal Government to continue to hold Kanu despite the ruling of the Appeal Court freeing the IPOB leader unconditionally.
The group lamented that though President Muhammadu Buhari has been in many international and United Nations conventions and summits where he pledged to oversee a peaceful, transparent, free and fair election in February so a new President and new set of legislators to be elected by Nigerians, the President has frustrated the release of Kanu and this has stoked the embers of warfare in the South-East.
Now, the Independent National Electoral Commission said it requires no fewer than 13,000 security personnel for the general elections in Enugu State. Dr Chukwuemeka Chukwu, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the state disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Enugu. He said that the security personnel would be deployed to the 4,145 polling units, 260 Registration Area Centres and collation centres across the 17 council areas in the state.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “It is painful that a once peaceful land has turn bloody and militarised because of the misadministration and the mismanagement of the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari.
“President Muhammadu Buhari was in USA for the USA/African economic summit and he met President Joe Biden and pledged to oversee a peaceful, transparent, free and fair election in February so a new President and new set of legislators to be elected by Nigerians.
“The President has also attended dozens of AU conferences and ECOWAS summits and made same promise to conduct free and fair poll. But he has stoked the embers of warfare in the South East with the incarceration of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has disobeyed Court of Appeal judgment freeing Nnamdi Kanu and Nnamdi Kanu is seriously sick as revealed by his legal team amongst whom is a winner of one of the highest Nigeria’s national Award Chief Ozekhome SAN. The failure of the President to release Nnamdi Kanu has caused untold hardships in the South East even as many fringe groups have embarked on widespread attacks of police assets in the South East yet President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to detain Nnamdi Kanu.
“Does he want the election to be disrupted in the South East by holding on to Nnamdi Kanu despite the Court of Appeal judgment and the UN human rights council’s decision demanding freedom for Nnamdi Kanu? Is it true that President Muhammadu Buhari wants to destabilise South East and undermine the election in his attempt to stop Igbos from voting because he perceived that Peter Obi may win even when Peter Obi is not an Igbo Presidential Candidate but a political force with a nation-wide momentum? We demand for Nnamdi Kanu’s release to ease tensions in Igboland. We also call for widespread protests in Nigeria if after 7 working days Nnamdi Kanu is not freed. HURIWA lacks the requisite resources to so mobilize the kind of Protests that would make a lot of impacts in this regard but we are appealing to like minded non governmental individuals, people of goodwill and all lovers of peace in Igboland to rally round this cause of orchestrating a peaceful assembly to make demands for the immediate demands for freedom of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu before the Presidential Election so as to douse tensions in the South East and check mare the high and unprecedented incidence of mass killings and attacks targeting strategic national security assets and institutions in Igboland by fringe groups that aren’t even directly linked to the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).”
February 14, 2023
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.