Leave unarmed IPOB, face terrorists, HURIWA tells military
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday, expressed worries that Nigerian Security Agencies are misplacing their priority by confronting and killing unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) while allowing Fulani terrorists in the North West and elements of the Boko Haram terrorists to continuously launch deadly attacks in the North West, Niger State of Nigeria, Adamawa in the North East and Kogi State.
HURIWA also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of selective justice by spending taxpayers’ funds to rehabilitate and pardon hardened Boko Haram terrorists responsible for the killings of over 30,000 citizens including women and children, while the killings of totally unarmed members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra in the South East of Nigeria persists.
HURIWA wondered why Security Agencies are fixated about a bunch of boys under the auspices of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and constantly dishing out warnings to deal with Igbo youths whereas Fulani terrorists are allowed to go on the rampage in parts of Northern Nigeria killing, maiming and destroying lives and properties including the kidnapping and killings of pastors and students in Kaduna and Kogi State.
The association, therefore, challenged the Government to launch a successful rescue mission to bring out some Northern female students abducted by North West terrorists since the last eight months.
“It is a crying shame that Nigeria has a functional government that falsely prides itself as the giant of Africa but rag-tag terrorists and Islamic rebels are allowed to kill at will. Terrorists being allowed to continue to expand their frontiers of attacks on soft targets including school girls whom they routinely raid their dormitories to kidnap”
HURIWA recalled that eight months after the abduction of 80 students from the Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, in Kebbi State, more than 10 of them are still in captivity despite payment of ransom and prisoner swap, at different times.
The rights group quoting dependable media sources, also reliably gathered that no fewer than 13 of the female students were married off to bandits with some of them already pregnant. Bandits loyal to a kingpin, Dogo Gide, ransacked the school on June 17, last year, and left with dozens of students and five teachers of the federal government-owned mixed boarding school.
HURIWA alleged that between 11 and 14 of the students are still being held captive with only one of them a male, stressing that more students of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna are still being held by their abductors.
HURIWA recalled that at least 10 schools abductions were recorded last year as bandits’ gangs targeted schools in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Kebbi states. The abductions followed the first of such attacks by bandits in December 2020 when a gang led by one Auwal Daudawa attacked the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Katsina State, and abducted over 200 students.
According to the body, the FGC Yauri attack, which occurred less than 20 days after the mass abduction of pupils from Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, Niger State, caused a stir and raised concerns among stakeholders about the safety of students, especially in schools around areas affected by security challenges.
“Immediately after the abduction, HURIWA learnt that a few of the victims were retrieved by security forces while others were released by the bandits as part of negotiation talks.
“Dozens of the abductees were subsequently released in two batches to negotiators in October and January. The terrorist group, Boko Haram, had meted out similar treatment to captors, notably the Chibok girls abducted in 2014.
“The girls were said to be given out to bandits and a few interested persons living in villages around areas controlled by Gide, along the boundary between Niger and Zamfara states.
The bandits’ kingpin is holding on to two of the students despite receiving huge amounts in ransom and two of his men freed as part of negotiations in October, as reported by Daily Trust at the time.”
HURIWA, therefore, expressed strong reservations that whereas the well-armed and sophisticated terrorists of Fulani ethnicity are successfully taken in several hostages in many States, the government, on Monday, issued a stern warning to violent groups across the country to desist from threatening the sovereignty of the nation, stating that the army would do everything within its power to contain all forms of threats against Nigeria.
It urged the Government to pay more attention and focus on eradicating Boko haram terrorists, and Fulani terrorists in the North West and rescuing school children kidnapped by terrorists rather than getting unnecessarily fixated on Igbo youths who are completely unarmed.