Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Tuesday, slammed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama for their collective failure to protect the South-East geopolitical zone from foreign-sponsored terrorism that is tearing the zone apart, destroying its economy and impoverishing the people.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, also said policing in the South-East has collapsed in the South-East, hence, gunmen have been on a non-stop rampage in the last two years despoiling the peaceful land Igbos were once proud of.
According to data sourced from the Council on Foreign Relations and National Security Tracker, 128 innocent persons were killed in Enugu, 93 killed in Ebonyi, 64 in Imo, 130 in Anambra, and 34 in Abia, all in 2022 alone.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “Policing in the five states that made up the South-East has not only collapsed but apparently, there is no political will by the Federal Government to protect the people of the zone as gunmen have continued to destroy the strategic national security assets and kill Igbo people in the zone.
“President Buhari on Monday in Kano said Boko Haram has links to international groups bent on destroying Nigeria. Yet, he has been silent on the nexus between activities of certain indigenous non-state actors with foreign passports based in Europe stoking the embers of mass killings through the continuous enforcement of Monday’s sit-at-home order in the South-East of Nigeria. Why is Mrs President not seeing the nexus between foreign-based sponsors and the killings in the South East?
“The mandate for international diplomacy falls within the ambit of the Federal Government. So, the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to take diplomatic steps to protect the South-East from foreign-sponsored terrorism fueled through social media platforms by ways of broadcasting hate-filled messages and suspected supplies of logistics under the guise of agitation for self-determination is condemnable.
“President Muhammadu Buhari should be a President for all, release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu immediately in obedience to the Appeal Court’s judgment freeing the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra as a way of assuaging the heightened state of suspicions that the Northern Muslim dominated Federal government has a sinister plot to set South East of Nigeria on fire. These suspicions are everywhere on the lips of most youths in the South East and the collective demand is for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“Sadly, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, who is Igbo has remained conspiratorially silent about the activities of Europe-based instigators who allegedly supply logistics to homegrown radicalised Igbo youngsters occupying ungoverned spaces in the South-East. Why is the Foreign minister not liaising with his counterpart in Finland and other European countries to stop the activities of some alleged subversive elements who are spreading propaganda and probably supplying logistics to hoodlums in the South East to escalate the already tense security situation?
“The hundreds of gruesome killings in the South-East in 2021 and 2022 have now become forgotten issues because there is no functional policing institution in the zone just as in other parts of the country but particularly more pronounced in the South East.
“It is worthy to note that the South-East zone was a peaceful place prior to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 but the zone has sadly turned to an orgy of violence and a river of blood.
“Buhari and his regime should sit tight and end the violence through efficient policing and expose the foreign-based instigators of violence in the South-East.
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“The five governors in the zone should also stop sitting on the fence and take decisive actions to enhance the security of the South East to end killings, and kidnappings, and ultimately restore the once-bubbling economy that is the pride of all Easterners. South-East governors should describe IPOB and publicly demand the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”.