Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has reacted to kidnapping of Nigerian university students and other criminal acts in Enugu.
The group condemned the mass abductions, on a continuous basis for three days now by armed Fulani terrorists of many students of the University of Nigeria Nsukka in Enugu State
The Rights group appealed to the General Officer Commanding 82 division to direct his operatives to arrest the kidnappers and rescue the victims immediately.
HURIWA said it was disconcerting that virtually all heads of the federally controlled security institutions in the entire South East of Nigeria are not from the South East.
The rights organisation accused most of the security heads of being IPOB and Igbo phobic to a deadly extent by always attributing all crimes and acts of terrorism even the kidnappings carried out by armed Fulani herdsmen to members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
HURIWA painted a graphic picture of the police where the Commissioners of Police in the Sourh East are as follows-: Abia – CP Janet Agbede; Anambra – CP Echeng Echeng; Ebonyi – CP Garba Aliyu; Enugu – CP Ahmed Ammani and Imo State Commissioner of Police is Mohammed Ahmed Barde.
The group lamented that the entire military formations in the South East are headed by persons from outside of the South West, unlike other geopolitical zones whereby persons from those zones are heading the hierarchies of some of the security forces.
HURIWA alleged that because most of the security heads reach hasty conclusions on who they perceive as the criminals in the South East, they have failed to pin down with forensic precision and eliminate the threats posed to Igbos by the invading armed Fulani terrorists who share the same ethnicity and religion with the majority of the Army Commanders in the South East.
The Rights group expressed consternation that despite increased kidnappings and other crimes in the South East, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division of Nigerian Army, Enugu, Major General Umar Musa, a few days back said the insecurity situation in the region is not as bad as being portrayed by the media.
HURIWA recalled regrettably that the GOC wrongly stated that the insecurity situation in the region is more of criminality, whereby, gunmen terrorising residents hide under the cloak of Biafra agitation to commit crimes just as the Rights group recalled that the GOC spoke when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Enugu few days ago.
The rights group is therefore tasking the GOC to go after the Armed Fulani terrorists terrorising the people of Nsukka, University of Nigeria town and eliminate the threats posed to the lives and property of the citizenry.
“We urge the armed forces to be deliberate and decisive to go after terrorists no matter the Ethnicity and to stop playing politics of ethnicity in the discharge of their functions.”
The rights group said it was worried by news reports showing that there is an uneasy calm along Ugwuogo Nike-Nsukka Express Road, Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, following the alleged abduction of an unspecified number of road users, including students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) who were returning to school after the eight months strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
HURIWA recalled that media report has it that “some lucky commuters, who managed to escape, said the kidnappers attacked at least six commercial buses, riddled them with bullets and diverted the occupants to nearby bushes. “It was gathered that the kidnappers are already contacting the families of victims, demanding N30 million ransom,” the report said, adding that the mass kidnap took place on Sunday.
HURIWA quoted a source as disclosing that a woman from Aku in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State and her son were among the victims of the kidnap incident, adding that while the son has been released, the woman is still in captivity.
The source equally said a medical doctor, who had regained his freedom, paid an undisclosed ransom to be set free. The credible source also expressed surprise that such criminal activities could take place on the road with about six security checkpoints between Nike and Opi Junction in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
HURIWA recalled that the media quoted a student of UNN, who pleaded for anonymity, as saying: “It is very true. My friend’s roommate’s sibling and mom were kidnapped. My friend was almost kidnapped too but he managed to escape.”
” We in HURIWA like our numerous patriotic Comrades in the organised civil rights movements are disturbed that the General Officer Commanding 82 division can sit in his air-conditioned office in Enugu and make unsubstantiated and highly unverified and unscientific, unscrupulous allegations of accusing members of the now proscribed Indigenous peoples of Biafra as the perpetrators of all crimes in the South East”.
“This is a pure case of IGBO PHOBIA taken too far to conclude that a certain Ethnicity are the criminals tormenting their own people when there have been over 100 cases of terror-related kidnappings attributed to Fulani speaking terrorists by the victims who managed to survive their ordeals in the hands of these dare-devil kidnappers in the many forests of South East of Nigeria including the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria who had to cough out #100 million cash to the Fulani terrorists before they freed him in a forest near Okigwe in Imo State.”
“It is also sad that the entire security architecture in Enugu has failed thereby turning the road where this incident took place to a flashpoint for kidnapping and all sorts of criminalities and this road are now inhabited by armed Fulani terrorists whilst the soldiers do nothing to dislodge them. In September 2022, the kidnappers blocked the said road around the Ekwegbe axis and abducted an unspecified number of road users with police claiming that two of the victims were later rescued.”
HURIWA is demanding that the Army, the DSS and the police including the Enugu State vigilante must launch aggressive anti kidnappings operations to sweep off the armed Fulani terrorists terrorising the people of Enugu State, South East of Nigeria.