HURIWA cautions Army against criminalising IPOB in South East
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned comments credited to the Nigerian Armed Forces in which it blamed the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for the crimes in the South East region.
It urged the Army to listen to President Muhammadu Buhari, who at the recent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) conference urged the Nigerian military to boost its strategic intelligence gathering capacity and infrastructure.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said it was a shame that a nation’s military could depend on primitive conjectures and unscientific methods to carry out its constitutional responsibilities to Nigerians.
It recalled that about a week, IPOB, had in a statement, alleged that some Fulani herdsmen were planning to attack some towns in Anambra and Imo states.
HURIWA said the secessionist group accused Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma of being behind the planned attacks, urging concerned residents to be vigilant and resist his antics.
It said the civil society community had watched with shock and embarrassment that the Nigerian Armed Forces had failed to activate intelligence gathering and capacity for prompt, transparent, open and verifiable investigative activities to ascertain the real suspects of the violence that had engulfed the country.
Onwubiko lamented that the country had witnessed killings and attacks on strategic national security infrastructure, which he said, amounted to terrorism of the highest calibre in the South East, but the Armed Forces ascribed all the crimes and violence to the IPOB.
“We are patriotic Nigerians, who believe in the sovereignty of the country, but we are saddened and disappointed that an Army that the nation has invested trillions of United States dollars on to set up in many years could sit in their offices far away from a crime scene and guess which groups or persons committed a crime even without forensic investigation.
“This is an embarrassment and a shame of monumental proportions that defy logic and good reasoning. We want our Armed forces to wear their thinking caps and start doing proper soldiering built upon intelligence and forensics as obtainable in civilised climes. “ he added.