By Dirisu Yakubu
Famous rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, yesterday linked Monday’s attack on a correctional facility and Police Command in Owerri as a plot to destabilize the South-East geo-political zone.
This is even as the group queried the methodology deployed by outgoing Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu in arriving at the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as the mastermind of the violent attacks.
According to HURIWA, the speed with which the police “investigated and unmasked” perpetrators of the heinous acts, “lacks forensic evidence,” and should as a result, be taken with a pinch of salt.
Addressing a press conference, Tuesday, Emmanuel Onwubiko, Executive Director of HURIWA, also faulted the terrorism tag associated with the tragedy by President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of playing the ethnic card with matters of security.
The text of the press conference read in part: “Where the solid evidences are and when were forensic investigations by police carried out or do they work by beer parlour rumours?
“Where were the police, army, Department of State Security, DSS and Civil Defence when these attackers struck in Owerri and reportedly operated for three hours to an extent that even Akara sellers videoed the incidents but no one counter attack was launched?
“Is it not these police, soldiers, DSS that usually get wind of IPOB meetings and Eastern Security Network, ESN camps and usually launch massive counter operation to nip their activities in the bud with many of the alleged IPOB members killed extra-judicially but gunmen struck and destroyed strategic national security assets in Owerri but rather than for IGP, Director General of DSS, Army Chief and Comptroller General of Prisons to resign for dereliction of duty or to be quarried by the Commander-in – Chief; the president is now quoted to now to have bought into the propaganda by the IGP that IPOB was involved?
“Why the haste to deploy the military to the East if there is no agenda already packaged long ago only waiting for the trigger to now launch the planned attack? Is the government rewarding failures of all the relevant heads of security institutions who went to bed and were deep asleep or pretended to be asleep when these God’s forsaken violent criminals hit the prisons and destroyed the entire facility belonging to the police and yet the military has a base somewhere only few minutes’ walk from where these gunmen attacked in Obinze?
“Where was the governor of Imo State during the attack that lasted several hours that even motor park touts videoed? We are calling on the United Nations to note that there is a plan to carry out genocide against innocent Igbo citizens in the guise of looking for IPOB? The United Nations and the international community must intervene now to stop the Rwanda type genocide that we fear will happen.”
In the words of Onwubiko, “there have been at least one dozens deaths of civilians by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen in the South-East since 2015. This government did not describe the attacks as terrorism; even the one in Ebonyi that Governor Dave Umahi directly accused armed Fulani, herdsmen.
“The last attack in Ebonyi community by armed Fulani herdsmen in which a priest and 30 other innocent civilians were slaughtered was never described as terrorists. Now, the attacks in Owerri have been hurriedly described as an act of terrorism and the IGP whose stay in office is a subject of intense ligation by citizens, quickly said IPOB was responsible.”
While pledging to deploy independent investigators to dig deep into the alleged ploy to destabilise the South-East, Onwubiko called on Nigerians of Igbo extraction resident overseas to rise up and speak in defence of their people back home.