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We’ll hold police responsible for killing unarmed pro-Biafra protesters, says HURIWA


Biafra-protest• Ijaw group decries protests
• Urges govt to take action

THE Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said it would hold the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase responsible for the killing of unarmed pro-Biafra protesters in Onitsha.

In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was gravely disturbed that the IGP could abuse his privileged position by publicly ordering the confrontation by his armed operatives against unarmed protesters.

They said the protesters were attacked 24 hours after the IGP asked his armed operatives to quell the peaceful protests by supporters of the politically detained Director of the Europe-based Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

According to the statement, “HURIWA has also for the umpteenth time demanded the unconditional release from the underground cells of the Department for State (DSS) of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.”

HURIWA said it was deeply concerned that “the Nigerian State has persistently violated and disrespected with ignominy several orders of the Court, which granted bail to this prisoner of Conscience, Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

“HURIWA calls on all right-thinking Nigerians to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to release forthwith this prisoner of conscience, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.”
Onwubiko said that the group “has almost exhausted internal mechanisms through the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to initiate investigative hearings over the reported killings by armed soldiers of unarmed civilians, including a shoe cobbler by soldiers in Aba Abia State.

HURIWA disclosed that it was “displeased with the bureaucratic bottlenecks that characterised a subsisting petition against the Army Chief, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai which was submitted on behalf of the Rights group by the Senator representing Abia North, Mr. Enyinaya Abaribe and read on the floor of the Senate” for over three weeks.

Meanwhile, the Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG) has urged the Federal Government to take the pro-Biafra agitations across the South-East states agitations seriously and initiate measures to restore normalcy in the region.

In a statement signed by its coordinator, Comrade Joseph Evah, the IMG yesterday described the protests as an attempt by enemies of progress to set Nigeria on fire.

The group noted that Boko Haram insurgents that have taken thousands of lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira became sophisticated as a result of government’s failure to address the challenge from the outset.

“We are aware that when Boko Haram elements surfaced, the government was pretending that they were joking. Now, the endless killings and destructions by the group should teach us a lesson to take the current Biafra agitations seriously.

“This disturbance must come to an end and those manipulating the youths to create this insecurity in the South-East and other parts of the country should be exposed without further delay,” the group said.

The group condemned the map of Biafra, which includes part of Niger Delta as its territory, noting, “the Niger Delta region is not part of Biafra Republic. Our identity as Niger Deltans is non-negotiable. There is no doubt that we will continue to maintain the usual cordial relationship with all ethnic group throughout the country.”

The group added: “We are aware that the apex body in Igbo land, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has clearly stated that Biafra is dead and buried. We are also aware that when the former president of defunct Biafra, the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu died, he was given full military honour by the Federal Government and when Ojukwu was alive, he also contested for the presidency of Nigeria which showed his faith in Nigeria

“We are also aware that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and Ojukwu are peaceful people. Therefore, the current threat to peace through killing and maiming of innocent persons is gradually leading to ethnic and religious crisis that would, if not checked, destabilise the country.”

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