By Ed Malik, A | October 13, 2022

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 exercise restraint in attacking and in several instances, killing civilians under the pretext of chasing unknown gunmen, noting that there has to be alternative to the use of force, such as a negotiated settlement, he canvassed.

The group also condemned recent dastard attacks on police and military formations in Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi, noting 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 a danger zone, which consequently, is affecting the economic activities for the people of the South East.

HURIWA lamented that the 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 appear to be totally disconnected from the realities of the violent experiences that millions of Igbos are going through.

The group recalled that, in recent times that the 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 to 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 this 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 resources 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.”

It is in this connection that the governors of South-East States 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 devoid of political weaponization. The 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 the land to a path of economic, political and commercial harmony and progress, expressed HURIWA.

“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.”

“The governors need to show more commitment to end the deliberate incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu and his group members by approaching the Federal Government with one voice.

The military and police should be encouraged to tank the attacks and killing of unarmed civilians by exploring other strategies of conflict resolution that takes cognizance of negotiated settlement option.

“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”, remarked HURIWA Boss.

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