Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Tuesday, tasked the five governors in the South-East geopolitical zone to join forces to find the right strategy to end the killings and increasing security challenges in the zone.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the military and police should stop attacking and killing civilians under the pretext of chasing unknown gunmen, noting that there has to be alternative to military force such as a negotiated settlement.
The group also condemned recent dastard attacks on police and military formations in Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi. HURIWA believes that the unmitigated reign of bloodshed and violence has no utilitarian value to the Igbos but have contributed to making the hitherto peaceful and peaceable geopolitical entity as a danger zone thereby crippling economic activities for the people of the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA is pained that these organised killings have gone on for far too long whilst the governors of the Igbo States and elected political office holders especially the members of the National Assembly are totally disconnected from the realities of the crude, primitive and ruthlessly violent experiences that millions of Igbos resident in the South East are going through.
Of late, attacks on police and military posts in South-East have increased. For instance, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and Inspector attached to the Umuna Divisional Police Headquarters in Onuimo council area of Imo were killed by gunmen. Also, party youth leader in Enugu, Lucky Idoko, was murdered.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The unending killings and kidnappings in Nigeria is worrisome. The resurgence of attacks on police and Army in the South East exposes the lack of the right kind of strategy by the Governors of the South East on bringing about the quick resolution of these killings. The decision of some of the Igbo governors to adopt just kinetic methodology that even lacks accuracy has not succeeded in reducing the tempo of attacks but instead there are more and more killings because those using the military methodology of physically eliminating perceived threats have not mathematically succeeded in pinning down their counter attacks at the correct culprits responsible for unleashing devastating killings in Igboland under whatever guises.
“According to reports, about 50 police stations have been attacked in parts of the South-East and South-South in the last two years. Over 200 policemen and other security personnel have been killed during the attacks. HURIWA whilst condemning these mindless violence stated that it is sad and crudely tragic that elected political office holders who should resolve these issues leading up to the violence are disconnected from these critical actions of armed non state actors apparently because of their mistaken sense of personal security and the availability of humongous public cash at their beck and call to service their needs for watertight security. These selfish politicians do not remember that if the followers are endangered and only the political office holders are safe, it therefore means that they have lost the constitutional legitimacy to exercise authority and leaders in a constitutional democracy as it were. This is the reason the governors of South East state must pay more attention to find ways and means to restore peace, law and order through a fair process that accommodates all the contending interests and leave politics alone for now. The Sputh East governors should be told that Igboland is now in a state of quasi war that demands all hands to be on deck towards finding a way to stop the ugly development and return Igboland to the path of economic, political and commercial harmony and progress.
“The use of brute force by some of the governors in Imo and Anambra state hasn’t worked and the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, particularly who believes so much in the deployment of brute military force hasn’t succeeded because it is clear that many innocent people are killed or arrested whilst the real gunmen are never caught as they continue to decimate members of the security forces. The Imo State governor has looked the other way whilst armed security forces go about destroying communities and killing innocent youths and rounding hundreds of youths up on the nebulous charge of involvement in the activities of the armed non state actors who are targeting strategic national security assets and personnel. We suggest to Governor Uzodinma as an elder statesman and also Professor Charles Soludo as a young but upwardly mobile respected statesman to bring all the Igbo political, traditional, Religious, town unions, civil rights gladiators together to fashion out a NON KINETIC METHODOLOGY to end these killings.
“This use of only kinetic and military brute force is a crass failure of government. The South East governors must come to terms with the urgency of the situation now to come together and work in unison towards the resolution of these mindless and ruthless attacks.
“The governors need to show more commitment to end the persecution of NNAMDI KANU and his group members. The military and police should stop attacking and killing civilians and there has to be alternative to military force such as a negotiated settlement with all interested groups in the South East to achieve cessation of violence and killings which are killing the economy of the South East.
“The governors are yet to spend the security votes to get to the roots of these killings including getting to apprehend sponsors of this insurgency who are operating from parts of Europe and are fuelling the fire of violence in the South East.”
October 10, 2022
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.