Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, urged the newly sworn-in Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, to use his new office to champion the campaign for the release of all illegally detained Igbo sons and daughters including the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, asked the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to rally his four other brother governors in Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia to secure lasting peace to the South-East geopolitical zone which is fast descending into another North-East Nigeria.
HURIWA expressed sadness at the deterioration of security in parts of South East of Nigeria and deplored the despicable and odious act of terrorism of burning the Country home of the President General of the OHANAEZE NDIGBO Professor George Obiozor which according to the Rights group, happened because the heads of the security agencies in the South East are beneficiaries from the coordinated external and internal terrorism against Igbo people.
“We blame the heads of security agencies in the South East of Nigeria for incubating, encouraging and benefitting from the heightening apprehensions and insecurity around the Igbo speaking region because virtually all of the security heads are not Igbo speaking officers and so lacked commitments and patriotism to end these attacks and bring the perpetrators to decisive justice. Sadly, it would appear that President Muhammadu Buhari who is the Commander-In-Chief of Armed forces couldn’t give a damn whether the Igbo speaking region is burnt down to ashes just like the North West that is aflame with terror attacks which is the place of origin of President Muhammadu Buhari. The responsibility lies squarely with Igbo political leaders and elites to mount pressure on President Buhari’s administration to take steps to restore law and order in the South East of Nigeria. There have to be concrete dialogues with all aggrieved groups and the Igbo elites should take the initiative before expecting an uninterested President of Nigeria to act. There should be demand for unconditional freedom for Nnamdi Kanu.”
Saddened by the fresh attacks in the South-East this weekend, the group called on security agents and the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari to open up to sincere dialogue with all aggrieved groups in the South-East as violent crackdowns have obviously failed and rather has strengthened the attackers to have more motivation to up the ante of violence in the zone.
According to news reports, unidentified gunmen early Saturday bombed the Umuguma Divisional Police Headquarters situated at the Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State and killed two police constabularies who were on duty.
The gunmen were reported to have attacked the police officers with superior firepower and Explosive Ordinance Disposals.
Just almost the same time, gunmen on Saturday morning razed the country home of the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor, at Awo-Omanma in the Oru East Local Government Area of Imo.
The attackers, who arrived at the Igbo leader’s home in vehicles, reportedly threw explosive devices at the house, causing untold damage.
The fresh spate of attacks sadly occurred two days after Soludo at his inauguration on Thursday appealed to all aggrieved Igbo sons and daughters to sheathe their swords and join hands to rebuild the South-East from the ruins of destruction fast crippling the bubbling economy of the zone.
Soludo had said Anambra and the rest of the South-East can’t be built by turning the sword against each other. “Criminality cannot be sugarcoated. This must stop. All the stakeholders must now review both the narrative and the action plan.
“To IPOB/ESN, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, as well as the disparate armed groups in the forests, it is time to interrogate both the purpose and means of your campaign. To the politicians playing politics with the insecurity, you are riding a tiger. The current trajectory is a road to desolation. Let us get around the table and talk. Let the elite in the closet come out, and let’s debate our future and forge a consensus.”
The governor also said N19.6 billion is lost in Anambra alone every day there is a “sit at home” while he challenged disparate groups that claim that it is not part of the senseless killings and kidnappings to step out and show leadership by joining hands to do something about it.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko lauded the new governor of Anambra and the manner he has started by promising to dialogue with all aggrieved groups including IPOB.
Onwubiko said, “HURIWA tasks the Anambra governor to lead the initiative to carry along his brother governors of the South-East to begin a broad-based process of dialogue and to wage unrelenting campaign for the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu and thousands of IPOB members clamped into different jails.
“HURIWA demands that President Buhari wakes up and fire his security heads in the South-East because their hands are involved in the so-called unknown gunmen attacks because they benefit financially from huge security votes of the governors. All conflicts entrepreneurs must be exposed and brought to book.
“The President should give the new heads of security agencies to be appointed in South-East a deadline to end these horrific killings by first and foremost themselves stopping the murder of innocent youths and make sure that all illegally arrested Igbo youths languishing in detention are freed forthwith.
“The police themselves together with other security agencies must be opened to sincere dialogue with all aggrieved groups in the South-East because violent crackdowns have never worked but rather strengthen the attackers to have more motivation to up the ante of violence in the South East and the economy and oriole of South East are the worst for it.”