IGP Must Not Sanction Abia Policeman Who Accused Soldiers Of Conniving With Kidnappers – HURIWA

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Monday, slammed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, over moves to punish a Chief Superintendent of Police who accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with Fulani herders to kidnap residents of the Isuochi community in Abia State.

The Rights group has also called on the National Assembly and the Federal Government to set up independent commission of inquiry to investigate allegations that some civilians of Fulani ethnic stock were housed and issued resident permits by the Nigeria Army to reside inside military facilities, especially in South East of Nigeria and South West. HURIWA accused the military hierarchy of maintaining undignified silence over the report that some persons were seen with identity cards issued to them as resident permits just as only persons of Fulani heritage are said to possess this identification.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, hailed the Police Senior officer for telling the whole world the truth about what is happening in the South-East and the connivance of security agents in the heinous crimes perpetrated by Fulani herders in the five South-East states.

The officer, who identified himself as CSP Johnbull, had stood before the people of the community and publicly accused soldiers of not assisting the community to arrest the kidnappers.

But Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, in a statement last Wednesday, said the utterances of the officer do not represent the principles and ideals of the Force and as such, “the erring officer will face the disciplinary procedures of the force for his unguarded indiscretions.”

Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko rejected the planned sanction for the officer, saying it is unwarranted.

He said, “HURIWA condemns the attempt by the IGP to shut up the policeman for exposing those elements causing anarchy and terror in the South-East.

“Recall that the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Samuel Kanu Uche, who paid N100 million ransom after being kidnapped last month in Abia, said upon his release that “the eight-man gang was made up of ‘Fulani boys’ who claimed to be against the government.”

“He revealed that only one of the hoodlums understood English, while others spoke Fulfulde. The cleric also said he observed that military men were around the place where the hoodlums operated, while their cows were also around the vicinity.

“This is a gross indictment on the Nigerian Army and this should be thoroughly investigated and not swept under the carpet.”

The group further called for the probe on the discovery of secret identification cards allegedly issued to civilians of Fulani ethnic stock by the Nigerian Army in the South-East tagged, ‘Fulani Residential Permit’.

HURIWA also called the attention of all Nigerians to the alert issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra that the Nigeria security agents, especially the Nigeria Army, have allegedly changed tactics in the desperation to indict IPOB by resorting to planting bombs in Biafraland.

“IPOB has consistently denied planting IEDs in the South-East. With IPOB’s latest accusations, there is the need for thoroughness and for independent investigation because it is clear that security forces have abandoned their professional calling and have embraced conjectures, guess works, and outright propaganda as a way of law enforcement whereas Fulani terrorists are wreaking havoc in the East.

“The Army must improve its poor state of forensic investigation and stop pointing accusing fingers at IPOB when there is no availability of any sort of investigation when crimes occur in the South East. Security agencies must stop concluding without any shreds of verifiable evidence on the group responsible. Security services must stop having their minds made up that it is IPOB.
“Truth of the matter is that: terrorists have surrounded us, from north to south; they have secured safe havens for themselves in our forests and launch attacks at will. The recent massacre in Owo suffice.

“Also, the government must wash itself of the allegation of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, established by the Economic Community of West African States, which said Boko Haram splinter group, Islamic State West Africa Province, moved about N18bn ($36m) generated from trading and taxing communities in the Lake Chad region through the Nigerian financial system annually.

“The operations of insurgents and Fulani killer herders are clearly backed by folks in government, security agents and the financial sector. Nigerians are not fools.”

Related Articles