Attacks: South-East govs should explore dialogue now, says HURIWA

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Monday, urged the five governors in the South-East geopolitical zone to explore dialogue and consultations to proffer lasting peace and security to the zone.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said constant military deployment in the zone has proven to have failed over the years, hence, the need for a dialogue with aggrieved parties.

The group stated this following the series of attacks in the South-East last weekend including the setting ablaze of the secretariat of Orsu Local Government Area in Imo State as well as the killing of officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps by gunmen along the Igbo-Uku- Uga Road in Anambra State.

In a statement on Monday, HURIWA’s Onwubiko again urged the new Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, to use his new office to champion the campaign for the release of all illegally detained Igbo sons and daughters including leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

The group reminded Soludo to act on the “action plan” on insecurity in the zone, according to his inauguration speech last month when he said, “Criminality cannot be sugar-coated. This must stop. All the stakeholders must now review both the narrative and the action plan.”

Onwubiko said, “The insecurity in the South-East has become a serious debacle and the governors in the zone must strengthen consultations and dialogue with representatives of all shades of opinion with a view to ascertaining the identity of the sponsors of the violence and to reach a truce.

“The Anambra State governor, Chukwuma Soludo, and Anambra state traditional Council had promised to initiate a regional wide movement to agitate for the earliest release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. That promise must be fulfilled in earnest.

“The Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, who is the closest to President Muhammadu Buhari must as a matter of fact take passionate interest in jointly taking steps with other governors of South East to realise the objective of securing freedom for Nnamdi Kanu and cessation of all violence and for all groups within the zone. Uzodinma should join forces with his brother governors to stamp out criminality in the zone and stop sounding false alarm, blaming opposition politicians.

HURIWA said it was wrong for the military to have clampdown violently on the Eastern Security Network simply for procuring arms to protect their native farmlands from foreign invasions by armed Fulani terrorists who have killed hundreds of farmers and raped many women on the farms in the South East of Nigeria with none of the killers ever arrested or punished.

“It is even unjust to isolate ESN for decimation whilst the Civilian Joint Task Force in many Northern States operate side by side with the military to rid their territory of terrorists wondering why the same operational guidelines were not put in place in the South East but the young boys who took up arms to protect their native farms were massacred on the orders of the Commander-in-chief after a clear misinformation from the government of Imo State”.

HURIWA however said since the mistake has been made and the only thing necessary to stop the bleeding and violence now is to restore normalcy, stability, peace and security in the South East which goes to demonstrate the pivotal place of constructive dialogues by all groups and the governors. The Rights group urged the governor of Imo State to stop further accusations of his rival politicians for the unprecedented violence in Imo State but should be opened to sincere dialogues on the best way to stamp out the bloodshed through non kinetic methodology.

“The Federal Government and security agencies must also realise that military build-up alone without the components of civil dialogue can’t bring about lasting peace in the South-East.”

Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
April 4, 2022

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