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How South East Govs Collaborated with Army To Invade Region – Human Rights Coalition

By Jude Owuamanam,  Managing Editor, Northern Operations
ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) and International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has berated two governors of the South East states for their complicity in the genocidal attack on the people of the region by the military
A statement signed Board Chairman International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, on behalf of Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), expressed angst and shock over what they described as barefaced complicity of the Governors of Anambra and Abia States; namely: William Mmaduabuchi Obiano and Victor Okezie Ikpeazu in the ongoing genocidal operations of the Nigerian Army and other security forces in Southeast and parts of South-south Nigeria.
The statement was entitled ‘Exposing Complicity Of  Anambra And Abia Govs In Army’s Genocidal Operations In Igbo Land And 15 Questions Before Defense Headquarters On IPOB’s Terror Labeling’.
The group also faulted the proscription of IPOB by the governors and the labelling of IPOB as a terrorist organization.
The statement said,  “The leaderships of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organisations (SBCHROs) are appalled, alarmed and shocked over the barefaced complicity of the Governors of Anambra and Abia States; namely: William Mmaduabuchi Obiano and Victor Okezie Ikpeazu (Ph. D) in the ongoing genocidal operations of the Nigerian Army and other security forces in Southeast and parts of South-south Nigeria.
“By complicity, we conventionally mean the fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally reprehensible.
The criminal labeling of IPOB and its over three million members worldwide by the Defense Headquarters as “a militant terrorist group” is condemned in strongest terms. It is also a clear case of self demystification by the Nigerian Military of their hidden agenda in the ongoing Army genocidal operations in Igbo Land. The yesterday’s announcement by the Southeast Governors’ Forum of the “proscription of IPOB and all its activities in the Southeast Zone” has exposed the Governors as effeminate or womanish, unmanly or foppish public office holders whose governance short-sightedness, gross mis-governance, mercantilism, personality stains and oligarchic appendage/puppetry are responsible for the present state of militarization, conquest and general state actor underdevelopment in Southeast Zone. The Governors should bury their faces in shame!!
Instead of strongly rising in defense of Nigeria’s democracy and its constitutionalism, rule of law and human rights including democratic free speeches and peaceful assemblies/democratic expressions; the Southeast Governors have joined hands in unleashing both State actor and non State actor violence and terrorism on their civilian, peaceful and peace-loving people. Joining hands with grossly lopsided or composed Federal Government and its killer coercive agencies in threatening and undermining the sacred rights of the Igbo Nation and its People to live and exist as peaceful people; develop and freely showcase their ethnic identities and right to freedom of worship; and recreate and manage their destiny; is the height of unforgivable and punishable misdeeds against their own people.
For the purpose of understanding by Nigerians and members of the international community the depth of the sinister plot or real motive behind the ongoing army’s genocidal operations in our ancestral zone; erroneously and sinisterly code named “Exercise Python Dance 11”, below is a distress electronic message sent to the coordinating team of our Coalition few days ago by a concerned by a security source:
“They are preparing more soldiers in Abuja and Kaduna for the “dance”. They are moving them to Lagos this week from where they will be deployed. The painful plan is that many of them are Southerners; dominated by the target zones; who under army’s command tradition; must obey superior orders especially that of the C-in-C. It may be their plan for the IPOB/Igbo civilian populations to be provoked so that they (soldiers) can unleash their arsenal on them and massacre them en masse.  Another fear is that some of them (soldiers from the targeted zones) may be killed from within under “friendly fire or in-service enemy shooting” and the blame laid on agitators that “they killed them”. There is a need for any family in the targeted zones whose son or daughter is in the army and involved in the “dance” to be told and advised to be very careful as they may be killed by friendly forces and the IPOB shall be blamed”.
The yesterday’s public labeling of the IPOB members world-wide, numbering over three millions (as clearly seen by the number of members of the group in recent street matches in Nigeria and around the globe) and the entire Igbo Race as “militant terrorist organization” by the Nigerian Armed Forces through the Defense Headquarters; is not surprising to our Coalition. It has further exposed chronic racial/tribal hatred against the Igbo Race; by those hiding under the cover of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The above distress message has further thrown open the real motives behind the genocidal operations.
Why we do not wish to dissipate our advocacy energy delving into the Nigerian Military’s latest hate speech and criminal labeling, it is irresistibly important to leave the Defense Headquarters with the following 15 expertise questions for the purpose of further exposing the embedded soldiering quackery and primitivism, unprofessionalism, corporate illiteracy, ethno-religious bias/zealotry and  gun-culture drunkenness; collectively and individually sickening, terminally,  members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria especially the Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai led Nigerian Army.
The 15 technical questions are: (1) what is terrorism or offense of terrorist activities and terrorism financing both in Nigeria and UN or regional and international contexts? (2) Who is a terrorist/ who are terrorists by Nigerian code laws’ definition? (3) Circumstantially, manually, numerically, mentally and materially speaking and put together; can an internationally registered not-for-profit organization-IPOB (registered in UK in 2006 under its Companies Act with certificate no 9141882) and recognized by the UN’s ECOSOC as a non armed resistance body campaigning for indigenous rights of its own race be militarily labeled a “militant terrorist group”. (4) By Nigeria’s Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 (as amended in 2013), especially in its Section 2 (1) (c); does the Nigerian Armed Forces or any of its branches have legal right to declare a non armed resistance and a well known civil/indigenous advocacy group as a terrorist group? (4) When has it become the role of the Nigerian Armed Forces to usurp and take over the function of a Federal High Court Judge?
Others are:  (5) Have the Nigerian Armed Forces/Federal Government abandoned their criminal arraignment of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB pending before an Abuja Federal High Court and have they also appealed and quashed the subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court which ruled that “IPOB is not an unlawful society and allegation of its key leaders’ involvement in terrorism has no substantiated evidence”  (6) Where are the physical locations of IPOB’s “terrorist arsenals or weapons or armaments” in Nigeria or any part thereof? (7) What are the trends and patterns of IPOB’s terrorist activities in Nigeria or any part therefore; which are rooted in conventional art of terrorist insurgency? (8) What are the statistical records of IPOB’s terrorist casualties and property destructions in Nigeria or any part therefore?  (9) Under the Nigeria’s criminal laws and the 1999 Constitution as well as the country’s municipalized regional and international treaties; can a merely suspected criminal intent (mens rea); especially that vengefully defined or tagged by the State constitute a punishable act without corresponding  criminal act (actus reus)? (10) In the modern and globally recognized art of insurgency warfare, can a civil group with identifiable membership of over 3million; living in identifiable and clearly defined urban areas and captured in national demographic records (such as the National Register of Voters/Drivers License Data); who are also noted with physical presence in over 80 countries across the world be correctly labeled a “militant terrorist group”.
The rest are: (11) If IPOB with numerical strength of over 3million people, as a whole, can be seen and labeled by the Defense Headquarters as a “militant terror group”; then why would the former resort to asymmetric warfare or commando militarism instead of engaging in  numerically strong formal or symmetric armed resistance? (12) Can China, with world largest land army of 2.3million go into informal soldiering; such as guerrilla, commando, insurgency or terrorism when it has more than enough manpower for its soldiering?
(13) Do members of the Nigerian Armed Forces study modern military science and its theoretical and practical frameworks as well as its forms, patterns and trends? (14) Where on modern earth or part of it has the following features of provoked or charged civil disturbances caused by State coercive terrorism and laying of siege on civilian population/race been labeled “acts of militant terrorism?”. (15) Is it not correct to say that by unleashing military violence of immeasurable proportions, the Nigerian Military has turned themselves into a State terrorism?
That is to say how can the following constitute before God, Man and Law acts or offenses of “militant terrorism?:  (A) “The formation of a Biafra Secret Service (akin to unarmed/paramilitary and bare-handed Man O’ War, Boys Scout,  Boys Brigade, Catholic Mobile Security, Red Cross’s Khaki Personnel for Emergency/Humanitarian Services; and FRSC/State traffic personnel, etc).  (B) Claimed formation of Biafra National Guard”.
(C) “Unauthorized blocking of public access roads. (D) Extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks. (E) Militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles among others) on a military patrol on 10 September 2017. (F) Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other IPOB actors at a check point on 11 September 2017 and also attempts to snatch their rifles and (G) Attack by IPOB members, on a military check point on 12 September 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle”.
Gov Obiano’s Complicity in Army Genocidal Operations:  The Anambra Governor is, again, complicit in the ongoing genocidal operations; by his genocide threatening and tactless ceding to the Nigerian Army of the Old Oba Airport Site, located in Oba Community, Idemmili South LGA of Anambra State. This, the Governor, who faces a reelection in two months time (18th November 2017), did through issuance of a letter to the Traditional Ruler and the President General of the Oba Community.
The letter was dated 11th September 2017 and referenced: GH/SSG/SECO/2017/2 and titled: Use of Oba Old Airport Site for Joint Security Exercise For Members Of Nigerian Armed Forces. It partly reads:” I write to inform you that members of the Nigerian Security Forces will use the Old Oba Site as a base for a joint security exercise from 12th September, 2017….” In the 29th and 30th May 2016 pro Biafra Heroes Day massacre, the Governor was also complicit; resulting in the ongoing civil suit against him and 15 ors in the United States. The Governor aided and abetted the massacre during which not less than 110 innocent citizens were massacred in Nkpor and Onitsha with 30 others killed in the Asaba spillover massacre.
Tactless and Irrationality of Gov Obiano in the Making of another Anambra Killing Field: Gov Obiano and his Government of Anambra State are in most cases, if not at all times, tactless and short-sighted. The Gov has wittingly or unwittingly created another killing field in Anambra State. A welfarist, security conscious and people oriented Governor/Government; especially that running for a second term ought to be extremely careful and trade with caution especially in matters of collective and individual security of his own people and the State as a whole. This should have been done in the instant case by subjecting the referenced hasty and life threatening action to a marathon debate before his State Executive/Security Council.
This is extremely required especially when his State, boundary and people are under a sinisterly and genocide threatening military operations undertaken by grossly divisive and lopsidedly composed federal security forces. With respect to ceding of the Old Oba Airport Site (newest Anambra killing field) to the lopsidedly composed Armed Forces of Nigeria, the Gov/Government of Anambra acted irrationally, despicably and condemnably.
The criminological and securitization analysis of the “newest killing field”; done for our Coalition by Emeka Umeagbalasi is shocking, alarming and deafening. Umeagbalasi had analytically observed as follows:
(1) “The Old Oba Airport Site is genocidal or a newest form of German concentration military camp because (a) it is isolated and outside any third party watch zone including public access and assessment; (b) it is a killing field prone having been surrounded by swamps both behind it and in its front; with the Oba-Ogbaru (Ude Ngwo) Swamp stretching to several acres of land; (c) it has no legal status and modern humanitarian/medical facilities as well as facilities and personnel to monitor surest occurrences of  human rights abuses; (d) it ought not to have been ceded to the military at the first place; considering the strategic location and nearness of the Onitsha Army Barracks which has more than enough space; with legal status and availability of “people in the army” presence and relatively requisite oversights or third party monitoring facilities and capacities.
(2) (e) The probability of the Nigerian Army and its allied others to engage in mindless and senseless unlawful killings, torture, disappearances and disposing of the slain bodies inside the swamps at ungodly hours without detection; is very or alarmingly high”.  Recent instances  abound: on 2nd December 2015, most of the bodies of the slain pro Biafra members killed in Onitsha were taken away by soldiers and remained unseen or untraced till date; 17th December 2015, most of the bodies of slain IPOB activists killed at Onitsha Niger Bridgehead were taken away by soldiers with three of them dumped later on 21st December 2015 at the Onitsha General Hospital from where they were discretely recovered by their families, IPOB leadership and Intersociety and taken home for interment; 9th February 2016, most of over 30 slain bodies of pro Biafra activists massacred at the Aba National High School Premises were taken away by soldiers till date; with 13 later dumped inside an Aba burrow pit. On 29th and 30th May 2016, 90% of 140 slain pro Biafra activists (110 in Onitsha and 30 at Asaba) were taken away by soldiers till date; and in Port Harcourt on 17th January 2017, out of 15-20 pro Biafra activists killed at pro Trump Rally, only four were recovered; with the rest taken away by soldiers till date.
Also in Zaria, Kaduna State, on 12th, 13th and 14th December 2015, roughly 1000 members of Shiite Muslims were massacred; out of which only 347 bodies were recovered and buried in mass graves by the Government of Kaduna State. On 30th August 2017, the authorities of Shiite Muslims in Nigeria released full pictures and other details of 783 of their members still missing in the hands of the Nigerian Army. These are just to mention but few”.
Umeagbalasi also feared that  not only that the “Obiano’s newly created killing field will be turned into torture chambers, but, gravely, those arrested in the day and at night are prone to late night killings, torture and disappearances with the surrounding swamps be the next dumping grounds where nobody or victims’ families can trace”.
Gov Okezie Ikpeazu’s Complicity: But for the tactless and ill-timed “curfew” imposed in Abia State by the Gov on 12th September 2017, the level of killings, maiming, torture and property destructions perpetrated by soldiers would not have escalated. The Gov’s ill-timed curfew not only escalated the military atrocities but also emboldened the soldiers to catch in, to the extent of engaging in sundry late night raids and associated killings, torture, disappearances and abandonment of sleep by the survivors.
That is to say that the Governor and his Government tactlessly and emptily played into the hands of the soldiers who saw the curfew as tantamount to a “military state of emergency”, to unleash immeasurable terror on civilian population. Gubernatorial naivety also played out; especially when the Gov/Government of Abia State ought to subject the heightened security situation or tension occasioned by the ungodly military invasion; to a marathon debate at the Abia State Execute/Security Council before dishing out such genocide prone curfew; which the unprofessional Nigerian Military saw and still see as “lower military state of emergency”.
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