Posted by News Express | 26 January 2021 | 1,187 times
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has expressed shock and consternation over what it called the “abdication of responsibilities” by the Southeast governors to defend the citizens of Igbo-speaking states, saying they merely go about playing “flippant politics of idiocy and selfishness.”
It noted: “We are disappointed that the persons who were elected by the people, and in the case of the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma who was installed courtesy of a controversial litigation verdict of the Supreme Court in Abuja, it is appalling that these governors have failed in their primary duty of protecting and defending the lives and property of the citizens of these Igbo-speaking states.”
HURIWA recalled a news report in which it was quoted that some persons, including soldiers, were feared dead while scores were wounded in a clash between Nigerian Army and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) security outfit in Okporo Orlu in Imo State just as it was gathered that the soldiers who were in military operation in the area stormed the community suspected to be operational base of the IPOB newly formed Eastern Security Network (ESN).
Citing news report, HURIWA stated that about five buildings, including a church, Blessed Holy Trinity Sabbath Mission, in Orlu Local Government Area were allegedly set ablaze by “some armed security operatives” who invaded the area.
Both the Garrison Commander 34 Artilery Brigade Obinze, Owerri, Brigadier General Yusuf Tukur, and the Imo State police command were reported as conforming that a military operation took place in that exact location cited in the many news reports that circulated at the weekend just as the IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary alleged that “soldiers are killing civilians since this week in the area. How did we attack them first, did we go to their base and attack them first or they came to attack us in bush where we normally stay and work. We are not on the streets or roads we pursue terrorists in the bush and forest.”
In a statement on Tuesday, signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the lack of good leadership by the Southeast governors and their apparent failure in finding a home grown security mechanisms in partnership with the statutory security institutions recognised by the Nigerian Constitution to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians resident in the region made it possible for some youths under the aegis of the proscribed IPOB to try to put measures on ground for protection of the assets and lives of the people of the Southeast that have come under intense attacks and invasions by armed Fulani herdsmen and other armed non-state actors.
HURIWA said it was completely out of place for the Eastern Security Network ESN to be put in place without adequate legislative frameworks by the different state Houses of Assembly of the Southeast with the support of the political, traditional and religious leaders of Southeast and South-South states under section 4(7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
The rights group therefore asked those who put up the voluntary security architecture of the Eastern Security Network to get the buy-in and support of the State Houses of Assembly so that proper legislation will be passed bringing into being such a vigilante platform patterned after the Amotekun Security outfit in the South West.
HURIWA said the voluntary security architectures in the Southeast and the South-South ought to work in synergy with the statutory security institutions recognised by the Nigerian Constitution, adding that the setting up of security vigilantes is an idea whose time has come because the law allows people to take steps to save their lives and property from armed non-state actors.
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