Posted by News Express | 24 August 2020 | 719 times
Civil rights organization, the Human Rights Advocacy Group (HURIWA), has called for a judicial commission of inquiry to be constituted by the Enugu State Government to investigate the widespread reports that a combined team of Department of States Services (DSS), the military and armed mobile police committed massive killings of unarmed civilians that gathered at a school compound in Emene near Enugu under the auspices of the self-determination group, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
The rights group said it is a crime against humanity for armed security forces to open fire with lethal weapons and live bullets in their attempt to quell a gathering of totally unarmed civilians in the 21st century Nigeria which paints the country graphically as a killing field. HURIWA condemned the situation whereby armed security forces, rather than deploy law-based approach in their law enforcement mechanisms, have unfortunately chosen the deployment of brute force in their efforts to ensure maximum physical damage of the members of the banned IPOB.
“This action of the killer-security forces is crude, brutal, despicable, reprehensible and odious. The killers must not go unpunished.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was completely unacceptable that armed security forces could open fire in a crowd of people in which women, children and even the elderly gathered, and instead of the security forces to adopt civilised instrument of negotiations and persuasions to dismantle the gathering or at best to use rubber bullets, "these crudely-trained security forces decided to shoot at sight and to slaughter scores of civilians as if these persons were animals.
“In as much as we do not condone disrespect of constituted authority, we think the punishment for failure to comply with the so-called sanction of judicial ban of IPOB which is being contested in the court of law, is not to use lethal weapons and kill persons the armed security forces suspect to be members of this group.
“Even in the face of provocation, these persons, who are totally unarmed ought not to have been killed as if the sanctity of their lives is eroded by their membership of a banned group. These killings must be investigated,” HURIWA said.
The rights group condemned as despicable this crime against humanity committed by the Nigerian security forces in Emene near Enugu while expressing hope that the relevant authorities in Enugu will rise up to the challenge of defending the fundamental human rights of their people.
HURIWA recalled that scores of persons may have died on Sunday morning at Emene, Enugu, following a violent clash between security agents and members of IPOB.
The clash reportedly threw the whole Emene and environs into chaos and disrupted church services as worshippers of the various churches in the area ran helter-skelter to escape being caught in the crisis.
HURIWA quoted the media as quoting an eyewitness account as saying that the trouble started at about 7.00 am when some police officers invaded the Community Secondary School Emene where members of IPOB were meeting, to disperse and arrest them.
According to the account, the attempt was resisted, turning the encounter bloody with IPOB members reportedly overpowering the security operatives.
In a swift reaction, a large reinforcement was called and over a dozen patrol vans loaded with armed security agents comprising police, army and DSS arrived the scene and faced the Biafran agitators.
Sounds of gunfire and teargas fumes filled the area, particularly between St Patrick Secondary School and St Joseph Catholic Church along the old Abakaliki Road.
One account lamented that the premises of St. Patrick Secondary School was “flowing with blood” as fleeing IPOB members were pursued into the school by security operatives.
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