SOUTH EAST: PANGS OF POOR LEADERSHIP

Opinion
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BY EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO

For sometimes now, Nigeria has snowballed into a failing state due to the incapability of the political office holders to uphold human security of the citizens and the geo-territorial integrity of Nigeria.

From East to West, North and South, it has been one silly story of excuses and blame games by state officials over their failures to stop the large scale killings of Nigerian citizens or the other even as in the last five years of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Nigerians have been regaled with all sorts of cock- and -bull stories by the president and his key security heads who are largely drawn from one section of the country and who share same ethno-religious affiliations with the preponderant percentages of the suspected terrorists, armed bandits and killers unleashing venomous blood cuddling violence on a large scale targeting the citizens. Putting it pure and simple, the government has failed to discharge her primary legal duty to the citizens.

The situation of lack of effective human security in Nigeria is deeply complicated going by the fact that armed security forces have been involved in the mindless killings of citizens since the advent of the Federal Administration of Muhammadu Buhari, who was a onetime military despot in the 1980’s. Perhaps, Nigeria is the only constitutional democracy in the World whereby the publicly employed security forces intermittently shoot and slaughter large numbers of citizens on the illegal orders of their superiors.

From the North, is the sad tales of Unrelenting targeted killings by the police and the military of the members of the Islamic movement of Nigeria.

From the South East is the story of the dripping of the blood of the innocents by armed security forces who have gunned down suspected members of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) in their hundreds as if they (security forces) are butchers in the killing fields.

Both groups (IPOB and IMN) have had differences with the Buhari’s government which controversially declared them as terror organisations just as these aforementioned bodies are already battling these wrongful classification as terror groups by the government of the All Progressive Congress led by retired military General Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani from Daura in Katsina state, North West of Nigeria.

The killings by security forces of members of these two groups have continued in Kaduna and Enugu States respectively even as close as two days back.

The most brazen act of impunity and state sponsored killings happened in Emene near Enugu this week when the combined teams of armed police, military, and the Department of State services descended on the members of the indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and in the ensuing melee, these armed security forces opened fire with live bullets leading to the death of scores of civilians whose corpses littered the ground all over Emene, a serene settlement near Enugu City.

The DSS which seems to have the upper hands in terms of Media Propaganda, hurriedly claimed that two of her operatives were killed in the encounter just as the leadership of IPOB denounced this claim as pure lie and went ahead to claim they lost 21 of their unarmed members to the sporadic shootings by the armed security forces.

It must be noted that indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is a legally registered body in all of Europe and the United States of America even as their members are normally seen holding meetings in those foreign jurisdictions.

In Nigeria, it is known that these people identifying themselves as self determination advocates under the banner of indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) are totally non-violent.

This is where we in the organised civil society community are worried about the nature of brutal enforcement of the law against members of these groups to such a violent extent that nearly a thousand of their unarmed members have been killed by armed security forces over the last five years in what is clearly acts of extralegal executions which offends sections 33 (1) of Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution.

It is clear that the Federal and State governments in the five south east states from where the bulks of the Memberships of IPOB are drawn from have seriously failed in their duty of care to their citizens to ensure that the element of brute force is not crudely enforced to end the lives of some of their citizens.

The South East state governors can then be accused of aiding and abetting genocides of the same people that voted them into their respective temporally political offices.

The Igbo governors have demonstrated a gross lack of appreciation of the fundamental function of government just as their collective cowardice in the face of the horrendous killings of their people show that they are totally unsuitable to hold such exalted political offices even for a day.

Why a person should parade around as the governor of a given state but cannot speak out against the mindless killings of her citizens by no other but operatives of the federally controlled security forces, can only happen in a banana republic and a totally failed state?

Can these Igbo governors tell us what functions as leaders of governments in their states they wete elected and sworn oaths of office to discharge?

This interrogatory is critical because the primary duty of government going by section 14(2)(b) of the constitution of Nigeria is to protect the lives of their citizens just as the functions of a government as enumerated by www.legintent.com are to protect the natural rights of the citizens.

The primary functions of government are to protect the basic human rights which include rights to life, liberty and to posses properly.

Others are: defend against external enemies, managing economic conditions, redistribution of income and resources, provide public or utility goods and to prevent any externality.

it can then be concluded that the Igbo state governors by keeping and maitaning shameful grave silence amidst the genocides of their citizens by security forces controlled by Abuja have shown their illegitimacy and absolute unsuitability to hold offices.

The above facts were more elaborately espoused in the book “HUMAN SECURITY IN AFRICA: PERSPECTIVES ON EDUCATION, HEALTH AND AGRICULTURE” co-edited by ersrwhile Nigeria’s two times Head of State General Olusegun Obasanjo; professor of Geography, Akin Mabojunje and Professor abd erstwhile Chief Executive of Nigerian Universities Commission, Peter Okebukola.

In his classical take on the theme of the aforementioned book, one of the contributing editors- Professor Akin Mabojunje talks about defining the concept of human security and reading through his words tells me that the occupiers of the offices of governors in the South East states of Nigeria are only but agents of external occupying forces.

The respected academic states thus: “Many organisations, governments and scholars, have offered useful definitions of the concept of human security. Starting from the statement of the United Nations Development Programme in 1994, we have had definitions by the World Bank (1999), the International Commission on Intervention and Sovereignty (2001), the governments of Canada (2000) and Japan (2000) as well as Rothschild (1995), King and Murray(2000) among many others. a definition with which most of these will concur is that human security is concerned with “safeguarding the vital core of all human lives from critical pervasive threats in a way that is consistent with long-term human fulfilment”.

The reputable scholar further averred thus: “There are five critical elements in that definition which in turn needs to be further elaborated. These are: safeguarding, vital core, all human lives, critical and pervasive threat, and long term human fulfilment.· Safeguarding-refers to deliberate acts of protection in an institutionalised, responsive and people-centred manner;· vital Core- whilst not covering all necessary, important or profound aspect of human lives, refers to rights and freedoms vital for survival, livelihood and basic dignity;· All Human Lives- underscores the people-centred nature of human security with emphasis on institutions which focus on individuals and communities rather than the State:· critical and pervasive threats- refers to threats of tragic depth which are large scale, recurrent, direct or indirect and maybe deliberately orchestrated or arise inadvertently;· long term human fulfilment- ensures that human security must be consistent with the long-term good of the community or society concerned.

A perusal of these elaborate preamble to his extended essay on HUMAN security as captured in the work of Professor Akin Mabogunje looked at vis-a-vis with the notorious abandonment of duty of care for the citizens as consistently showed by the governors of the South East of Nigeria States of Imo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi shows that these opportunistic politicians do not have the constitutional legitimacy to remain in their offices and are therefore simply occupying these exalted offices under selfish duress.

One thing is as constant as the Northern Stars, and this is the fact that no matter how long it takes, those who kill whilst holding political offices will meet their doom sooner than expected. The atrocities are being compiled and the officials of State who gave orders for these murderous operations by security forces and the murderous operatives who killed these citizens will inevitably be brought to trial sooner than they think. There will be no hiding place for mass killers in government.

*Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head of HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs @www.huriwanigeria.com, www.thenigerianinsidernews.com.

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