Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) yesterday sought an immediate end to the barbaric killings and unprecedented orgy of violence turning the South-East geopolitical zone into bloody battlefields.
The group also called on the Federal Government to immediately cut off diplomatic ties with Finland and expel the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria to compel the arrest of Finland-based agitator, Simon Ekpa, who has been instigating sit-at-home, violence and killings in the South-East through destructive commands and orders to his foot soldiers from faraway Finland.
HURIWA, in a statement by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the newly appointed service chiefs should get to work immediately and prioritise solutions to the insecurity in the zone.
HURIWA also urged President Bola Tinubu to obey the rule of law and democratic principles by asking the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Ministry of Justice as well as the Department of State Services to obey an Appeal Court judgement that discharged the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The group said hundreds of innocent residents have been killed in the South-East by gunmen and security operatives, especially in the last two years since the incarceration of Kanu mid-2021.
Also, the South-East micro businesses wasted 71 sit-at-home Mondays between August 9, 2021 and December 19, 2022, losing N5.375 trillion ($12.215 billion) in the process, according to an investigation funded by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).
HURIWA said the huge economic loss and irrecoverable loss of lives are painful and have had devastating effects on the overall South-East geopolitical zone.
On Monday, political leaders from the South-East zone met in Abuja and called on the Federal Government to ensure that normalcy returns to the zone. Those in attendance include the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma; the President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; and former Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige; amongst others.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The sit-at-home order and violence that has persisted in South East are alarming. The Federal Government should cut off diplomatic ties with its Finnish counterpart and expel the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria over their failure to arrest and prosecute Simon Ekpa who is allegedly causing violence in the South-East by issuing illegal orders for persistent sit-at-home and the attendant violent enforcement of these illegal orders.
“The new service chiefs and heads of security agencies must quickly get to work and use intelligence to stop these killings. President Bola Tinubu should also obey the rule of law and democratic tenets by ordering the secret police to obey the Appeal Court order freeing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.”