By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The nation’s most prominent civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Federal government in conjunction with the governors of the South East of Nigeria to set up a Judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the spate of coordinated attacks of strategic national security assets and killings of security agents including the recent violent attack of the Federal Correction Centre and the Police facilities in the Imo State’s capital- Owerri.
HURIWA recalled that alleged gunmen on Monday morning attacked the Owerri Correctional Prison in the Imo State capital and freed over 1500 inmates just as the attackers also reportedly razed the Imo State Police Command headquarters situated in Owerri and burnt almost all the vehicles parked at the command headquarters.
HURIWA was told by some of her members that the alleged gunmen who operated from the wee hour of the morning by 1am to 3am further freed the suspects in almost all the cells at the State Criminal Investigation Department of the command. “These attackers had a free run for a long period of time without interference or counter attacks”, these members of HURIWA stated.
HURIWA stated that from what was captured by some onlookers, the gunmen reportedly sang solidarity songs at the Government House Roundabout for about 30 minutes before attacking the facilities just as many fleeing prisoners were seen scampering to escape to different directions without any form of official resistance or law enforcement.
Reacting to the reported violence in Owerri Imo State and what it called the temporary death of law enforcement, the prominent civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said there was the imperative need for a thorough forensic and Judicial investigation of the attacks in Owerri alongside other associated violent attacks with deadly consequences targeting mostly uniformed members of the security forces and strategic national security assets.
The Rights group said the investigation of the attacks happening in the South-East of Nigeria is with a view to ascertaining the sponsors of these dastardly and cowardly attacks which the Rights group believed are CHOREOGRAPHED and formidably coordinated by some external forces working with some internal forces who are in a frenzy to ignite and instigate the collapse of security and economic stability of the Igbo speaking region.
In a media Statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said it was glaring and evidently unambiguous that the coordinated attacks at the Federal Prisons, otherwise known as Correctional Centre in Owerri Imo state capital took almost all of three hours from 1am to 3am but the soldiers located at Obinze, the entirety of the Police and the state directorate of Department of State Services (DSS) did almost nothing to stop the attackers from succeeding in freeing the prisoners and setting ablaze the vehicles and facilities of both the Federal Correctional Centre and tge Imo State’s Command of the Nigerian Police force.
“There is more to it than meets the eyes. We think this is an unusual occurrences that must be confronted by all means necessary. This regime of the unruly gunmen sponsored by God knows who, must never be allowed to blossom and take roots in the South EastofNigeria or anywhere in the South of Nigeria which have remained relatively peaceful even amidst terrorism and armed banditry in much of Northern Nigeria”.
“We call on the Governments of all the States in the South East and the Crude oil rich states of the Niger Delta to meet immediately and convoke a security summit to investigate the sources of these premeditated attacks. We call for the formation by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari through the Vice President and the Chief of Statff to set up a high powered judicial panel of investigators to immediately set to work to uncover the remote, immediate and possible causes and sponsors of these attacks which we believe are sponsored by some forces working towards destroying the peace of the South East of Nigeria “.
HURIWA stated that: ” We think that there is nobody with his or her senses intact who is from the South East of Nigeria that is happy that the peace they have enjoyed for a long while is about to be destroyed. The cheap imagination that the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) may be responsible for these attacks, may not exactly be the true representation of the facts behind all of these sponsored violence in the South East of Nigeria. We think there is a plot by some persons working and embedded in government in Abuja who want to instigate unrests in the usually quiet and peaceful Igboland so as to deny the region of the opportunity of making a strong case to produce the President of Nigeria of South East extraction in the 2023 Presidential elections “.