Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

Civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has appealed for the umpteenth time to President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of the Igbo speaking States to take immediate action to forestall the massive BLOODBATH that may be unleashed should the Federal Government carry out its threats to carry out military action against groups standing in the way of the Anambra governorship election in less than two weeks away. 

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) in a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, said it was worried by the fact that up until now there are no signs that the political leaders of the South East including the Governors, National and state parliamentarians, traditional hierarchy, and cultural leaders have not activated dialogues mechanisms to mount effective pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to opt for peaceful negotiations and stop his hardline and kinetic postures against members of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB). 

HURIWA lamented that the governors of the South East rather than being resolute ad committed towards finding lasting solutions in the uproar between the Proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and the Federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari are behaving like giraffes by hiding their heads in the sands whilst Igboland is set ablaze. The Rights group regretted that the governors are not bothered about possible conflicts that may mar the Anambra governorship election but are deeply concerned about how to grab political power by all means by winning the Anambra governorship seat by hook or crook. 

HURIWA expressed consternation that since July that the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) was allegedly kidnapped by the Nigerian government from Kenya and brought back to Nigeria to continue his trial for alleged treasonable felony for his role in championing the campaign for self determination in the South East  of Nigeria,  the elected leaders of the Igbo speaking nationality have yet to concretely convinced the President to unban the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) and remove the erroneous tag of being a terrorist group slammed on the self proclaimed unarmed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra. 

The Rights group said instead of opting for peaceful negotiations and the adoption of non kinetic steps by the federal government to douse the rising tension created by the detention of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (Ipob) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,  the Federal government and the South East governors have largely adopted bellicose and confrontational military strategies to confront a situation that could have been resolved through peaceful and constructive means. 

The Rights group said the recent moves by the federal government to Militarise Anambra state with the elections barely few days away and the threat to call out the people of the South East of Nigeria on a week-long sit-at-home protests made by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra is an unambiguous signal that the election in Anambra State would be characterised by BLOODBATH which is what the Rights group is asking all and sundry to avert. 

HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a massive deployment of security agents in Anambra State to ensure peaceful conduct of the November 6 governorship election in the state.

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, disclosed this to journalists after a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) at the State House, Abuja on Thursday just as he stated as follows: “Now the problem here is that in as much as the government wants to conduct peaceful elections, there are non-state actors who have been heating up the polity, who have made all kinds of attempts to stymie orderly elections for next month.

The president has directed that under no circumstances will anything be allowed to stop the elections from taking place successfully. The people have a right to vote, they have a right to select their leader, and no group or individual will be allowed to stimulate anarchy and chaos leading to murderous activities.

“The president has made it very clear that the armed forces, security agencies and law enforcement agencies must make sure that the elections take place, if it means overwhelming the entire environment with the presence of security agencies.”

HURIWA further recalled that the police had on 14 October announced it would deploy 34,587 personnel to Anambra to ensure peace during the poll even as earlier the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had hinted that the federal government was considering imposing a state of emergency in the state to ensure peaceful conduct of the poll.

HURIWA recalled too that the Indigenous People of Biafra had declared a one week sit-at-home protest across the South-East states starting from November 5, the eve of the governorship election in Anambra State. IPOB’s Media and Public Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement on Saturday in Awka, the Anambra State capital, said the protest was aimed at prevailing on the Federal Government to release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu. The group vowed that the protest would go on as planned if Kanu was not released before November 4.

Reacting against these warlike backdrops occasioned by the different threats from the President, his security Chiefs and then the Proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra not to allow the election in Anambra take place if its leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is still being kept in the dungeons of the Department of State Services up until the date of the Anambra governorship election, the Rights group has raised alarm of an impending genocide.

The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has decried what it calls the CLOUDS OF UNCERTAINTY AND WAR that has beclouded the horizons in the South East of Nigeria and is therefore asking President Muhammadu Buhari to be a Statesman and not proceed to precipitate a genocide and BLOODBATH which is the consequence of his Presidential directive to the heads of the Armed Forces. 

HURIWA said members of the Armed Forces have in the recent times violated the fundamental human rights of the citizens during their previous internal military actions and have killed many innocent citizens without the killers ever been brought to justice. HURIWA said there is no guarantee that the armed forces that are now being given direct order to deploy and employ kinetic means to ensure that Anambra state governornorship election happen, won’t employ the use of extralegal killings of citizens. 

The Rights group wonders why despite all the appeals from peace loving groups in the organised civil society community and the traditional institutions in the South East of Nigeria advocating peaceful resolutions of all the contending issues between the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, it would seem President Muhammadu Buhari has opted for only one option which is to deploy the full force of the armed forces to the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA has also appealed to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to avoid situations that will eventually throw the South East Region into avoidable and preventable war even as the Rights group warned against any plan to frustrate the holding of the Anambra governorship election. 

The Rights group maintained that  now that  the President has given specific directive to the Armed Forces not to allow any group to disrupt the Anambra governorship election and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra has now ordered Civil peaceful protest of a sit-at-home order which as we have come to see it unfold have in the past led to many deaths and arson in the South East of Nigeria, it is certain that there would be BLOODBATH should the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra physically attempts to prevent voters from reaching the polling stations in the Anambra state gubernatorial poll. 

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