Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the statement by the spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for heaping every blames on the now prescribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for virtually all conceivable violent crimes in the South East of Nigeria even without any shred of empirical evidence makes Nigeria appear like an autopilot political entity whereby governance has PATHETICALLY COLLAPSED.
HURIWA said thus: “We in the organised civil society community have watched with shock and pathetic embarrassment that the whole Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will fail to activate quality intelligence gathering capacity and the ability for prompt, transparent, open, verifiable and irrefutable forensic and science based investigative activities to ascertain the real suspects responsible for the deadly cocktails of violence, killings, attacks of strategic national security infrastructures which amounts to terrorism of the highest calibre in the South East of Nigeria but the officers and men of the Armed Forces of Nigeria regarded as one of the largest military institutions in Nigeria will simply and lazily ascribe all the despicable, condemnable and abominable crimes and deadly violence on the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).”
The Rights organisation said further: “The Armed forces do this all the times since almost five or six years since the President hurriedly obtained an Ex- parte injunction declaring IPOB as a terror organisation and the members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm simply report the propaganda and the totally fabricated allegations as news stories which they post on their front pages without even seeking verifiable body of evidence from the military and police to support their weighty allegations”.
“This pattern of ascribing blames on a group even without any forensic investigation to determine the real crime suspects and remove any elements of doubts, is increasingly making the Nigerian Armed Forces to lose reputational respect internationally and this debases and undermine journalistic ethics of objectivity, truth and unimpeachable news story built around facts and not fictions”, HURIWA averred.
HURIWA recalled that about a week ago or slightly less than a week, the now prescribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had in a widely publicised statement alleged that some Fulani herdsmen are planning to attack some towns in Anambra and Imo states.
HURIWA said that the alleged secessionist group accused Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma of being behind the planned attacks, urging concerned residents to be vigilant.
HURIWA also stated that IPOB identified the communities the assailants are planning to raid as including Ibiasoegbe, Mgbidi, Nnempi, Orlu and Akata in Imo State, as well as Ihiala and Ubuluisiuzor in Anambra State.
HURIWA also recalled that in a statement made available to the media, spokesperson of IPOB, Emma Powerful urged traditional rulers and local authorities to mobilise their youths against the alleged attacks. The statement read, “The attention of the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been drawn to the recent plot and plan by Supreme Court Administrator Hope Uzodinma to use Fulani terrorists in Nigerian army uniforms to attack more communities in Biafra land. “We, therefore, want to advise the following communities to be careful and watchful against the impending evil. They must not be taken unawares.
The Rights group quoted the media as saying that IPOB’s intelligence unit uncovered this ‘wicked’ plot, hence the decision of the IPOB leadership to alert the affected communities of this impending attack.
HURIWA however expressed disappointment that all the relevant security agencies did nothing to either refute or prevent these predicted violence from happening but ironically the Nigerian Army on Monday nearly a week after IPOB raised their alarm, said its troops uncovered locally made bombs, otherwise known as improvised explosive devices, IEDs planted on the Orlu-Owerri road by the Eastern Security Network, the militant arm of IPOB.
HURIWA said Brigadier Onyema Nwachukwu, Director Army Public Relations announced the alleged discovery in a statement on Monday. He said the bombs were planted as booby traps to inflict harm on motorists and other road users. According to the military General who speaks for the armed forces of Nigeria, the troops on a reinforcement mission to Mgbidi/Awo Mmama area of Imo detected the bombs planted at about 15 meters apart on both sides of the road and safely defused them.
The Rights group in a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National director of media Miss Zainab Yusuf stated that it is a shame that a professional Army could depend on this sort of primitive conjectures and unscientific methodology to carry out its weighty constitutional responsibilities to the good people of Nigeria.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) admonished the Armed forces to listen to the President of Nigeria His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari a retired Major General (GCFR) who recently at the Chief of Army Staff conference urged the military to build up its strategic intelligence gathering capacity and infrastructures.
HURIWA said: “We are patriotic Nigerians who believe in the Sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but we are saddened and utterly shocked and disappointed that an Army that the nation has invested trillions of United States Dollars to set up over the many years could just sit on an air-conditioned office far away from a crime scene and just make a guess of which group committed a crime even without the faintest forensic investigation. This is a pathetic embarrassment and a shame of monumental proportions that defy logic and good reasoning. We want our Armed forces to put their thinking cap on and start doing the proper soldiering work built upon intelligence and forensics as are done in all civilised climes from where most of the Military Generals in Nigeria have gone for one short training course or the other at public costs”.