HURIWA seeks resignation of Imo traditional rulers over targeted assassinations
The Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged all traditional rulers in Imo State to resign until Governor Hope Uzodimma assures them of putting measures in place to effectively stop the killings and punish the assassins.
It stated this following concerns over the persistent attacks in which the life and property of traditional rulers in Imo State were clear targets and the failure of the Imo State government to find lasting solution to the killings.
HURIWA had, on several occasions, urged Uzodimma to make peace with the stakeholders and groups in the state including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s Eastern Security Network (ESN).
In a statement issued by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, it said Governor Uzodimma, who has been visiting Abuja frequently and rumoured to be running the state government from Abuja, should be stable in Owerri to coordinate practical meetings with groups and individuals critical to the insecurity of the state.
“Although we are not convinced that those responsible for the assassination of traditional rulers are affilieated to either IPOB or ESN, we think the state government should hold peace talks with identifiable groups to find workable solution to the systematic degeneration of security and evolution of impunity, lawlessness and collapse of law enforcement in Imo State,” the statement said.
It expressed disappointment that even with the presence of DSS operatives, the secret police have yet to come to terms with the characters executing the systematic killings of traditional rulers in the state.
The group said if the Imo State governor who is alleged to be spending most of his times in Abuja refuses to organize far-reaching meetings to discuss, negotiate and reach a deal or deals with all the identifiable groups and stakeholders in the Imo State debacle including political actors, then Imo State traditional rulers should save their lives by resigning from their apparently non-rewarding positions.
It wondered why traditional rulers have become prime targets of elimination, when they are financially oppressed and marginalised by the Imo State Government to the extent that “if one considers what a traditional ruler earns in Katsina State, what first class traditional rulers in Imo State are being paid, pales into insignificance.
“We appeal to all aggrieved group and persons to stop the violence in Imo State and embrace constructive dialogue. The primary duty of every government is to protect life and property of citizens and since Imo State is degenerating into an arena and theatre of assassinations, no solution should be ignored,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA recalled that among other killings, the assailants of the traditional ruler of Atta Community, Njaba Council, Edwin Azike, who was kidnapped last Thursday, killed him and that his body was recently found at the market square, a development the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Michael Abattam, confirmed to journalists.