Leading Civil Rights Advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has faulted the decisions reached at the Tuesday, October 5th meeting of South-East governors and leaders just as the Rights group dismissed the decisions as utopian and dishonest.
The group has called for a thorough investigation of the widespread claims that the Department of State Services (DSS) may have a hand in the spate of attacks in the South East of Nigeria just as the Rights group said the story making the rounds that a DSS operative was shot dead by the police when the police confronted armed unknown gunmen.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko in Abuja, HURIWA said that only pragmatic measures are required to bring to an end the rising security nightmares in the South East of Nigeria and the escalation of targeted killings and destruction of strategic national security assets.
HURIWA argued that it regretted that Igbo political leaders are busy chasing shadows and failing to take deep measures to check the expanding frontiers of coordinated attacks against South East of Nigeria.
“HURIWA is once more compelled to express resounding disappointment and shock at the clear absence of any pragmatic approaches by Igbo leaders and Governors but instead most of the decisions reached on Tuesday in Enugu are cosmetic, unrealistic and utopian. Wishing that there should be an end to the sit-at-home order which has been violently enforced in spite of the denial of responsibility for issuing the order by the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) shows that these so-called political, religious and cultural leaders are living in the World of Utopia.
“The most pragmatic approach is to negotiate an end to the tagging of IPOB as a terrorist group, instituting of constructive back-channel dialogues with the detained leader of IPOB Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his members, consider conditional release from the incarceration of all prisoners of conscience belonging to IPOB including their leader and for government to realistically investigate the possibility that Miyetti Allah may have a hand in the activities of the so-called unknown gunmen”.
HURIWA said it is heartwarming that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown his readiness to mediate in the ongoing war between Ethiopia and Eritrea but the Rights group told President Muhammadu Buhari that since charity begins at home, he needs to initiate far-reaching measures to negotiate a truce with agitators for self-determination in Southern Nigeria.
HURIWA wondered how the governors of the South-East have failed to hire private forensic investigators from Europe to help unravel the identities of the funders of unknown gunmen and to ascertain the persons carrying out the killings, but the governors have continued to hold on to the lazy, infantile and highly unscientific conclusion that IPOB is behind the killings or the sit at home order even when IPOB through its spokesperson has consistently denied responsibility of his proscribed group in any of the crimes. The South-East governors are also not willing to safeguard Igbo land from the activities of foreign killer squads unleashed on South-East by enemies of Igbo land such as Miyetti Allah that is angry that Igbos are in support of the law against open grazing and had rejected the setting up the RUGA Fulani as canvassed by President Buhari.
HURIWA said if the central government wants an end to the insecurity, then MIYETTI ALLAH CATTLE BREEDERS should be classified as a terrorist group and investigated for their alleged funding of the violence in the South East of Nigeria.
“HURIWA thinks that Miyetti Allah cattle breeders’ organization is a bloody sponsor of terrorism in South East and the statement of its leader gloating over the recent attacks in the South East has indicted his association as the funders of the killings in South East but sadly the Federal government is protecting and pampering Miyetti Allah.
HURIWA recalled that Fulani herdsmen under the aegis of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore say despite their exit from the South-East and the implementation of the anti-open grazing law, the region has continued to witness insecurity.
The spokesman for the group, Saleh Alhassan, stated this during a chat with PUNCH Live on Tuesday, adding that the development was evidence that Fulani herders were never the problem. He said that there was no more open grazing in most parts of the South-East but only cattle trading, adding that the cows being sold in the South-East mostly belong to Igbo traders. Alhassan stated, “That nonsense you see in the South-East is a manifestation of frustration… They will continue burning their cities, killing themselves.“Now that the herders are not there, they are still killing themselves. Sometimes they wear Fulani attires to continue to commit heinous crimes.“Now that the herders are not there, are they having peace in the East?”
HURIWA said the gloating by the MIYETTI ALLAH CATTLE BREEDERS ASSOCIATION about the South-East security crisis shows their involvement in sponsoring the terrorism in the South East just as the Rights group said any solution without classifying Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association as a terrorist group and the arrest and prosecution of their leaders will remain cosmetic and meaningless. HURIWA said the South-East governors should put on their thinking cap and wake up from their slumber and offer pragmatic and not utopian solutions.
HURIWA recalled that Southeast governors rose from a meeting in Enugu, yesterday, and declared that they would do everything to end the ‘sit-at-home order of the proscribed Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
The declaration was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting with stakeholders and made available to newsmen.
The meeting was convened by the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, and hosted by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
Reading the communiqué, Umahi said the governours were worried by the spate of insecurity in the region and condemned the continued ‘sit-at-home order.
Umahi, also Chairman of Southeast Governors’ Forum, said the governors, Southeast leaders and security chiefs condemned the spate of killings in the region.
He assured that the regional security outfit put together by states in the region, ‘Ebubeagu’, would be launched to give it teeth and laws passed in all the states to that effect before the end of 2021.
“The governors and leaders of the southeast condemn killings in the region and have agreed to join hands with security agencies to stop the trend.
“We, as well, condemn the ‘sit-at-home order by IPOB issued mostly by our people in the Diaspora who do not feel the pains.
“The meeting resolved that governors and people of the southeast will do everything within the law to ensure that there is no further sit-at-home and people are allowed to move about freely,’’ Umahi said