Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Thursday, urged the hierarchies of the Nigerian Army not hide under the pretext of the murder of two about-to-wed soldiers to launch full-scale genocide in th South-East.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, condemned the gruesome murder of Master Warrant Officer Audu Linus (retired) and Private Gloria Matthew.
The group tasked security agents to give the assailants a hot chase and bring them to book, noting that such cannibalism should not go unpunished.
Gunmen had killed the two lovers on April 30, 2022 when they were on transit to Imo State for their traditional wedding. Matthew was first raped before she was shot dead along with her lover, Linus, both beheaded, while the criminals had made a video of the incident and circulated it online.
The Nigerian Army, the Presidency, and many Nigerians had condemned the brutality and described it as terrorism taken too far.
The Army had also accused the Indigenous People of Biafra and its arm, the Eastern Security Network of the heinous crime but IPOB led by embattled Nnamdi Kanu, had denied the allegation, saying it knew nothing about it.
Reacting in its statement, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “It is disappointing that the Army and the Presidency are threatening fire and brimstone against imaginary enemies they identified as IPOB even without verifiable, forensic evidence pinning IPOB to the cruelty and gruesome beheading of the Igbo female soldier and her lover.
“HURIWA unequivocally condemns any primitive act of murder like the killing of these two soldiers and other security personnel.
“However, the government should blame itself for its inability and unwillingness to expose with concrete evidence the real perpetrators of the many violent killings in the South-East attributed to people known and called unknown gunmen.
“Government should tell us how it reached the conclusion of the group responsible for the spate of attacks in Igboland with speculative and unsubstantiated tales by moonlight.
“HURIWA warns the government and soldiers not to hide under the anger over the brutal murder of the two soldiers to kill off innocent Igbo youths that may be roped in with phantom charges of involvement even with no scientific evidence.
“Terrorists are overrunning the country, bringing down Nigerian Air Force jets in Zamfara and other parts of the country, bombing moving trains in Kaduna, attacking airports all over the North-West. The terrorists also kill, maim and kidnap innocent Nigerians. They are everywhere and HURIWA posits that they have infiltrated the South-East to cause unprintable horror.
“The government and the Army must fish out the exact killers of the two lovebird soldiers and the perpetrators of other despicable and dastardly acts of criminality in the South-East and other parts of the country so that the innocent won’t be punished while the real devil walk away freely.”
May 5, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).