December 4, 2022

IPOB/ESN: Enugu GOC under fire over insecurity in S/East

*Your presence fueling killings, Intersociety hits back

By Nnamdi Ojiego, Chinedu Adonu & Ugochukwu Alaribe

The General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigeria Army, Enugu, Umar Musa, has been told that his presence in the South-East was fueling the insecurity in the region.

This was the conclusion of the civil society organisations, CSOs, who called for the deployment of the GOC Musa from the region.

Recall that the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, has on November 24, accused the Nigerian Army of extrajudicially killing eight Igbo youths at Umuona and Isuofia in Aguata Local Government of Anambra State and labelled them unknown gunmen.  

The human rights organisation had in a statement titled: “Nigerian Military Killed Eight Defenseless Citizens At Umuona And Isuofia After Isuofia Unknown Gunmen Attack And Falsely Labelled Them “Gunned Down Unknown Gunmen”, described the military action as despicable, and likened it to ethnic cleansing.

But the Nigerian Army has denied the allegations describing them as unfounded.

The army in a statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 82 Division Army Public Relations, Lt.-Col. Jonah Unuakhalu, accused Intersociety of being “bent on furthering the activities and aim of IPOB/ESN, with the singular purpose of destabilising our nation.”  

However, in what has become a war of words, the rights group has further alleged that soldiers of the Nigerian Army are culpable in cases of extrajudicial killings and military brutalities in the region.

Reacting to Nigerian Army’s response to its earlier statement, Intersociety described the response as watery and diversionary.

In a statement by its principal officers namely, Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chidinma Udegbunam, Chinwe Umeche and Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Intersociety noted that instead of providing security and safety in Southern Nigeria, particularly in the South-East, the army has turned the region into killing field and jihad war zone.

Similarly, a member of the Civil Liberty Organization, CLO, Comrade Kindness Jonah, has said that the deployment of GOC, 82 Division of Nigeria Army, Enugu, Umar Musa, worsened the killing of Igbo in Enugu State.

Also reacting, an activist and Secretary of a human rights organization, EasyLife Initiative for Rural Youths, Comrade Uche Emeku, has accused the Nigerian Army of failing to appreciate the roles of Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, in tackling injustice    and peace building in the society.’’

According to him,  most of the security forces have failed to realize the place and position of CSOs in the scheme of things in a democracy.