Thu. May 30th, 2024

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; and the  Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Abubakar Lawal, to unravel the perpetrators of fresh killings in the South-East state. 

The Rights group has also tasked the Director General of the Directorate of States services Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi to also step up investigation to uncover the politicians sponsoring violence in Enugu with the aim of scuttling the huge body of developmental successes of the Administration of the Peace loving governor of Enugu State Right Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. 

In a statement, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the killings are more politically motivated considering that the two main parties in the state – the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress – have been embroiled in conflict and violent leadership crisis of late especially regarding who succeeds the achievements minded administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who seems to favour the implementation of the existing charter of equity and zoning of political offices in Enugu State.

HURIWA recalled that gunmen in January 2022 killed the APC Youth Leader in the state, Kelvin Ezeoha, and one other person.

The gunmen, who were said to have attacked a meeting being held by members of the Ward 3 Obeagu Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government chapter of the party also kidnapped one other person whose identity was yet to be ascertained.

Also, in February, barely days after some security officers were killed in Enugu, another team of four policemen on stop-and-search duty at the outskirts of Enugu metropolis were shot dead by armed hoodlums.

Commenting on the frequent bloodbath in Enugu lately in a place renown for stability, peace and progress, HURIWA Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged the police hierarchies to live up to their responsibility to safeguard lives and property and put an end to the horrific reign of terror in the state. HURIWA  praised the Administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi  for consistently partnering the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so as to maintain law, order and respect for the constitutional rights of the good people of Enugu State. 

Onwubiko said, “The killings are all connected to succession struggles for 2023. Apparently, a lot of power blocs are struggling to succeed the incumbent and some powerful politicians are not happy that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as a peaceful man wants to maintain the charter of equity and power rotation amongst the zones.

“HURIWA calls for thorough forensic investigation by security forces so that the culprits are identified, arrested and prosecuted because HURIWA believes strongly based on some information and intelligence that the killings are not by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra or any ‘unknown gunmen’ but purely political killings ochestrated by disgruntled politicians of both APC and PDP.

“It’s high time these callous men turning the state to a killing field are brought to book. The police must unveil their masked identities immediately.”

HURIWA has also warned the security forces not to subject the peace loving citizens of Enugu State to unwarranted harassment,  intimidation and the use of extrajudicial execution just as the Rights group said already a team of law professors set up by it are compiling body of evidence on the cases of extrajudicial executions being carried out by the members of the security agencies in the South East of Nigeria.  “On no account should the security agents be allowed to continue to invade Igbo communities and burn down houses of innocent people in their attempts to go after perceived members of the now proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra or the Eastern Security Network.  Declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group is a subject of ongoing litigation and this declaration is not a licence for extrajudicial killings of innocent Igbo youths”. 

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