…..Says military action in Imo State community may constitute a war crime
The Governments of the United States of America and Nigeria have been applauded for including a clause banning the use of the newly acquired American built Tucano Jets in any military operations in the South East of Nigeria against agitators of self determination just as the Rights group has asked the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) not to carry out adversarial actions such as boycott of the Anambra governorship election by invoking a one week sit-at-home protest.
HURIWA said any action that would derail the conduct of the Anambra governorship election is not in the best interest of the South East of Nigeria but is the evil wish of the enemies of Ndigbo.
HURIWA also called on the Chief of Armed Staff, Lieutenant General Yahaya Faruk to stop forthwith the adversarial and bloody violence unleashed on many Igbo communities by the Nigerian Army operatives currently on internal security operations in the Southern Nigeria just as it said military invasions of Communities in Imo State have resulted in many extrajudicial killings and organised and coordinated burning down of communities by armed operatives of the Nigerian Army. The organisation tasked the Imo State governor Mr Hope Uzodinma not just to weep openly at the scenes of military attacks on innocent Imo communities but should ensure that indicted armed operatives are sanctioned using extant laws that prohibit extrajudicial killings and deployment of torture.
Describing the military attacks in Oguta and some parts of Imo State in which many youths were reportedly killed by the marauding armed operatives of the military of Nigeria as constituting a grave crime against humanity, Human Rights WritersAssociation of Nigeria (HURIWA) has promised that civil rights advocacy groups active in the South East of Nigeria have already started compiling evidence of crimes against humanity by armed security agencies whilst carrying out the internal security operations in the South East and in due time those reports will constitute a body of fresh petition to be despatched to the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands so that those operatives and the military commanders responsible for committing the crimes against humanity are brought for prosecution and global judicial sanctions.
The Rights group warned against the killing by aggrieved groups of members of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the government of the United States of America shouldn’t stop at just publicising the conditions precedent for the contractual agreement between it and the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the deployment of the newly bought Tucano Jets but there has to be a transparent, open and public monitoring and reporting mechanisms so Nigeria keeps to the commitments to respect for human rights that it entered into with the United States of America regarding the operational deployment of the new militsrung combat technology loans Tucano Jets.
HURIWA is proposing to stakeholders in the South East of Nigeria including State Governments and businesses to set up a trust fund to support the credible and genuine activities of the Civil Rights Advocacy community in the South-East of Nigeria with specific operational mandates to monitor the activities of the members of the armed forces of Nigeria and to promote civil and military synergies and partnerships.
HURIWA said it is indeed heartwarming to read that the United States Government says the Federal Government is expected to deploy the Super Tucano aircraft only in the northern part of the country where Boko Haram terrorists have engaged the Nigerian state in a decade-long insurgency killing thousands and displacing millions.
This, therefore, precludes the possibility of the Federal Government deploying the security equipment in the South-East despite the designation of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra as a terrorist organisation and the setting up of the armed Eastern Security Network by IPOB.
The South-East has been the epicentre of a secessionist agitation threatening to break up the country.”
HURIWA recalled that briefing journalists earlier in the week, the US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor, Jonathan Finer, at an event attended by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the terms of the agreement during the sale of the 12 Tucano aircraft were explicit.
Reacting to a question on whether the Tucano fighter planes might be deployed against secessionists in the South-East, Finer said the planes were an important platform for security, particularly in the North, expressing pleasure over the conclusion of the deal.
HURIWA quoted the American official Jonathan Finer as stating thus: “We are pleased to deepen our security cooperation with the Nigerian government. I think we made it very clear our expectations about this platform where it would be used and in the right way and we are always raising concerns when we have them and that it’s true with all our security partners around the world.This is an important platform for security, particularly in the North and we are pleased the transaction is finally concluded.”
The Rights group which called on President Muhammadu Buhari to speak publicly on this condition of never to deploy Tucano Jets to hunt members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) or any self determination groups in the South said Nigerian government deserves to be commended for agreeing to sign on to the Conditions precedent for the contractual agreement between it and the government of the United States of America regarding the operational deployment of the newly acquired American built Tucano Jets.
HURIWA also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in reactionary elements and war mongers in his administration such as the bellicose minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed and the Fulani bigot who doubles as the Senior special assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Garba Shehu who are using their privileged access to the media of mass communication to overheat the polity and the South East of Nigeria particularly through their rabid Igbo phobic speeches and diatribes.