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How Southeast governors donated N12bn to aid killings, militarization of the region–SBCHROs

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Alleges marginalised in Nigeria military formations, demands Igbo IGP

•Accuses govs of secretly adopting Buhari for the 2019 election

 

Godsgift Onyedinefu 

 

 

The Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (SBCHROs) has accused the Governors of donating an accumulated sum of N12 billion in aid of alleged killings and militarization of the region.

SBCHROs also raised the alarm over the composition of the Nigerian military establishments alleging that the Igbos are marginalized, maltreated while the northerners dominate control of military formations.

 

The coalition in an open letter on Sunday to the South East governors quoted the latest Special Report of Intersociety on ‘Military Massacre Operations in Eastern Nigeria and their Economic Costs’.

 

According to the coalition, The 81-page Report not only presented a detailed chronology of the massacre with casualty and injured figures; dates, time, locations and names of the perpetrators; but also contained the lists of present Commissioners of Police, Directors of SSS and Commanders of military formations in the Southeast Region or Igbo Land. In the said lists, 99% of the Commissioners of Police in the Southeast and Delta State are Northern Muslim officers with only exception being Abia State where retiring CP Chris Okey Ezike was recently posted as Commissioner of Police, Abia State Police Command.

 

“In the area of State Directors of SSS posted to the Southeast Region and Delta State, four are from the North, one from Southwest and one (Delta) is Igbo daughter married in Edo State. In the area of Commanders of military formations in the Southeast Region including those manning the 82 Division and its sub formations as well as Onitsha/Ogbaru and Abia Naval Posts, none is commanded by an Igbo officer. They are 95% Northern control while the remaining 5% are in control of other non Igbo senior military officers.

 

“In another recent detailed investigation conducted by Intersociety into the composition of the command or senior police officers’ list, Intersociety made a shocking discovery that senior police officers of the Igbo background are quietly and unceremoniously being weeded out of the NPF into retirement without commensurate promotions and postings to fill the gaps or vacancies unjustly created. Dozens of Igbo or Southeast senior police officers have left the Force in droves between 2016 and 2018 due to long years in one rank without statutory promotions and timely promotion of others to fill the gaps or vacancies unjustly.

 

“For instance, Intersociety had finds that serving CPs Chris Okey Ezike and Damian Agba Chukwu will be leaving the Force on 31stApril and 19th March 2019 respectively, while AIG Godwin C. Nwobodo is due to be retired on 12th August 2019. Intersociety also cited the case of retiring CP Ezike and now retired DIG Peter Yisa Gana (Niger State) to buttress its point of how Igbo senior police officers are maltreated in the NPF. While both joined the NPF same day on 31st December 1984, DIG Peter Gana was promoted to DIG on 21st February 2012 while CP Chris got promoted as “Deputy Commissioner of Police” on 1st August 2012.

 

 

The coalition while  allegding that the South East governors and federal legislators  played a role in the present ordeal of the Region and its People condemned the act.

 

“Had the said political office holders risen to the occasion, their constitutional responsibilities and social contract obligations to the People of the Region; these segregation, exclusion, persecution and militarization of the Region and associated killings, maiming and property loss or destruction would not have been possible.”

 

 

Intersociety had also in its research findings and special report; found that “N12b was donated by the Southeast Governors to fund the military massacre operations in the Region between August 2015 and September 2017 and its aftermath covering past 40 months or August 2015 to December 2018”. The staggering sum was donated to all federal security formations in the Region from the so called monthly “security votes of the Governors”, on average of N60m monthly by each of the five Southeast Governors.

 

In the clear and unambiguous words of Intersociety, “the Southeast Governors further demonstrated unwillingness and inability to stop the massacre in their capacities as “Chief Security and Executive Officers” of their States. Governors William Obiano and Victor Okezie Ikpeazu of Anambra and Abia States were particularly and directly involved by planning, organizing and funding the massacre operations in their States. Throughout the massacre operations till date, the Southeast Governors have kept a sealed lip and refused to speak or rise in condemnation or do anything or rehabilitate the victims of the massacre and their families. They watched by and said nothing when soldiers and police SARS operatives invaded hospitals where the shot and wounded were admitted for treatments and abducted them to unknown locations”.

 

“The Southeast Governors also colluded with President Muhammadu Buhari and his office in unleashing military and police siege on the Region leading to disruption of economic activities and endangering of lives of the citizens of the Region. The rapacious militarization of the Southeast Region was done without putting into consideration the collective security, safety and welfare of the People of the Region. It was done in disguise to flood the Region with violent Fulani marauders and other violent citizens; thereby making the Region a “conquered territory” or a “Region under conquest or siege by an army of occupation”.

 

“By granting blanket and cowardly approval to militarization of the Southeast Region including Army Python Dance exercises without resistance and rising in strong opposition to the imbalanced ethno-religious composition of those manning the commanding positions and rank and file of the military and police formations in the Region, the Governors of the Southeast have traded and sold off the security and safety of the Region”, Intersociety concluded.

 

For too long the Southeast Region and its general population have endured these despicable conducts and activities of their so called “political leaders and public office holders”. As Intersociety has summed it all, the deciding moment is here! The Southeast Governors and federal legislators named above must speak out, rise to the occasion or stand permanently condemned and rejected by their People. The Region cannot no longer pretend to have leaders and political representatives when there are none or where the collective security and welfare of the Region are in jeopardy or jeopardized by those who claimed to be leading or representing them.

 

 

Appointment of next Igbo IGP

 

 

On the appointment of an He IGP, the coalition said the Southeast Governors and the named Federal legislators including Deputy Senate President, Barr Ike Ekweremadu must have the task inexcusably accomplished.

 

“For too long these public office holders appeared have to engaged in shedding crocodile tears or pretended to have joined the rest of the Region to cry out against exclusion, segregation and persecution of the People of Southeast and the Region particularly since June 2015.

 

“It is time for People of the Southeast Region to know whether these public office holders are with them or against them. This is more so when experts in security and political circles told the coalition recently that once the named public office holders speak powerfully and with one voice in demanding for the appointment of next Igbo IGP from the Southeast Region, it will be an act of impossibility for the Buhari Administration to do otherwise especially now that Presidential Poll is around the corner and that the Administration is politically doomed if it does the opposite”.

 

Therefore, the coalition noted that the appointment of next Igbo IGP is both a test case for the Buhari Administration and the Southeast Governors and the principal Federal legislators from the Region including Deputy Senate President.

 

” In the event, a person from another Zone especially another Fulani-Hausa Muslim is appointed as next IGP, then the Buhari Administration and the Southeast Governors and the principal Federal legislators from the Region are doomed politically in the Region and among its People now and in future” SBCHROs warned.

 

The coalition also informed there are still up to 19 senior police officers of Igbo or Southeast extraction with two years and above left in the Force among which  can be made the next IGP.

 

The remaining part of the letter is republished below.

Apart from one of the above named 19 senior Igbo police officers under recommendation to be picked as the next IGP, the rest must be elevated to CP, AIG and DIG positions to fill the Southeast vacancies unjustly created. The Southeast Governors and the principal federal legislators from the Region must take further steps to ensure that more Igbo Police officers are promoted into ASP, DSP, SP, CSP, ACP, DCP and CP ranks and positions.

 

As a matter of fact, the Southeast Governors and named Southeast federal legislators must call or demand for “junior” and “senior” staff lists of the Army, SSS, NIA, Navy, Air Force and all the paramilitary formations in the country and have them thoroughly investigated to ensure that the Southeast Region is justly represented in their enlistment, promotion and postings or duty assignments.

 

Alleged Adoption of Buhari for 2019 Presidential Election & (c) Undermined Igbo Agenda

 

The coalition strongly calls on the Southeast Governors and the principal federal legislators from the Region including the Deputy Senate President to within two weeks from today (16thDecember 2018) or between now and 31st December 2018 make a clear and unambiguous public statement or pronouncement on alleged adoption or endorsement of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari or any person in his name for the 2019 Presidential Election. Failure to have same clarified publicly will leave the coalition and the entire Southeast with no other option than to confirm the allegation and take a firm and collective stand on present and future political validity or invalidity of the named public office holders.

 

The Southeast Governors and the principal federal legislators from the Region named above, should, therefore within two weeks answer, individually and collectively, the following questions:  (1) Is it correct that the Governor of Anambra State recently made a donation of staggering sum of N3b cash belonging to the Anambra People to the Buhari reelection “project”? (2) Is it also correct that when pushed he ordered the money to be recovered from traders including buyers and sellers of foodstuffs, hawkers and commercial transporters in the State particularly Onitsha, Nnewi and environs through sundry tolls and extortions presently ravaging the State? (3) Is it correct that when pushed further he claimed he donated the money so as to placate the Presidency into releasing “N43b debts owed the State for rehabilitation of Federal roads in the State”?

 

Other are: (4) Is it also correct that another whopping sum of N500m cash with nine different brands of vehicles including three buses, regular cars and SUVs belonging to Anambra State or procured with Anambra State resources was given to the Presidential Candidate of APGA on the day of the Party’s campaign flag off? (5) If the two open questions to Gov Obiano are true, then when and where did the People of Anambra State authorize him to waste sum gargantuan amounts in such frivolities? The Gov should speak publicly, concretely and convincingly  to Anambra People if they are not true (6) How much cash belonging to the People of Imo State, if any, has the Governor of Imo State donated for the reelection of Mr. Buhari, if true?  (7) How much cash belonging to the People of Abia State, if any, has the Governor of Abia State donated for the reelection of Mr. Buhari, if true? (8) How much cash belonging to the People of Enugu State, if any, has the Governor of Enugu State donated for the reelection of Mr. Buhari, if true?  (9) How much cash belonging to the People of Ebonyi State, if any, has the Governor of Ebonyi State donated for the reelection of Mr. Buhari, if true? (10) Under what terms and conditions beneficial to the Southeast and the People of the Region are the Southeast Governors and some principal federal legislators from the Region supporting Mr. Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection, if true?

 

The rest are: (11) What in concrete, measurable and verifiable forms or in terms of human and material resources or quantification including security service chiefs and political and securitization inclusion and balancing have the Southeast Region benefitted from the Buhari Administration warranting adopting him, if true, for 2019 Presidential Election? (12) Is adopting Buhari for 2019 Presidential Poll, if true, not a clear act of cowardice and in furtherance of pursuit of selfish, pecuniary and cowardly interests by his adopters, if true? (13) Is the adoption, if true, not height of political suicide and a thank you or reward to the Administration for unleashing unspeakable atrocities including massacring of over 480 unarmed and defenseless citizens of  the Region and maiming of over 500 others without remorse or remedies till date?

 

We also ask: (14) what has been the inputs of the Southeast Governors and the federal legislators from the Region in the posting of Northern Muslim dominated senior military and other security officers including Police CPs and Directors of SSS to the Region? (15) What is the fate of Igbo Agenda in the 2019 Presidential Election and next political dispensation in view of the adoption of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari , if true, for 2019 Presidential Election? (16) Is it not correct to say or conclude, if the above are correct, that the Southeast Governors and named federal legislators from the Region have brutally  undermined and compromised the security of the Region and traded off the safety and collective or general wellbeing of the People of the Region?

 

Answers to the above 16-point questions must clearly and unambiguously be provided by the addressed within two weeks from this date, being 16th December 2018 or on or before 31st December 2018.

 

Signed
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Democracy Organizations (SBCHROs)
·         Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law( Emeka Umeagbalasi & Barr Chidinma Udegbunam)
·         CLO, Southeast Zone (Comrade Aloysius Emeka Attah)
·         CLO, Anambra State Branch (Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme & Comrade Chidi Mbah)
·         Forum for Promotion of National Ethos & Values (FPNEV) (Rep)
·         Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Rep)
·         Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (ISPHRI) (Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro, PhD)
·         Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Dev (FENRAD) (Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor)
·         Society for Economic Rights & Social Justice (SERSj) (Andy Ndukwe)
·         Human Rights Organization of Nigeria (HRON) (Comrade Samuel Njoku
·         Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (CHRPA) (Comrade Peter Onyegiri  & Happiness Ezinwa)
·         Southeast Good Governance Forum (SEGGF) (Rep)
·         Society Watch & Advocacy Project (of Intersociety)-WASP(Comrade Chike Umeosonwunne)
·         Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria (IDEAL) (Comrade Nwokocha Anozie Innocent)
·         Igbo National Council (INC) (Comrade Chilos A.C. Godsent & Comrade Zulu Ofoelue)
·         Anambra Human Rights Forum (ANHRF) (Barr Obianuju Igboeli)
·         Voice of the Voiceless Int’l (VOVI) (Barr Violet Umenwofor-Ezekwike)
·         Easy Life Initiative for Rural Youths (ELIRY) (Comrade Emeku Uche)
·         Igbo Bu Igbo Organization (Rep)
·         Community Empowerment Network (Rep)
·         Southeast Movement against Transactional Politics & Profligacy (Comrade Bright Obidike)
·         Prof Justice Chidi (Academia)


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