The Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) has asked Governor Nyeso Wike of Rivers State and his counterpart in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to immediately resign over wanton killings of unarmed youths and protesters in their respective states.
HURIDE also urged the federal government and the Nigerian Army to stop further massacre of Igbo youth in Oyigbo (Obigbo) Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), HURIDE, Dede Uzor A Uzor, in a press conference called on Governor Wike and the Army to immediately withdraw soldiers who have been committing cold murder in Obigbo.
Dede Uzor said Wike’s alibi that he did not send the Army to kill Igbo youths fell like a pack of card in the face of the fact that he invited the Army to Obigbo where about six soldiers were allegedly killed during the protest that turned violence.
His motive, Uzor said, for the invitation was obvious to mass kill the Igbo youths in Obigbo Local Government.
He queried if IPOB members have anything to identify them except that they are young and Ndigbo. “Therefore when he invited the Army which is itching for revenge to deal with IPOB members the motive was clear, to kill Igbo youths en mass. They have clear mandate to allegedly kill Igbo youths in Rivers State”, said Dede Uzor.
He described as reprehensible and despicable the decision to send soldiers to quell a supposedly civil matter instead of confronting the Boko Haram, bandits and Fulani Herdsmen who seemed to have defied the Nigerian Army.
The role of the military, said Dede Uzor, is to protect the territorial integrity of the nation by warding off external aggression, not to deploy them to kill defenceless and armless youth of Obigbo in the name of searching for IPOB members.
He said that Nigerians are yet to recover from the bloody murder of Nigerian youths at Lekki toll gate by some people believed to be Nigerian soldiers, and then another murderous detachment was sent to Obigbo to kill the youths.
“This is unacceptable under a democratic set up. This can only happen in Nigeria. Under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, troops were sent to Odi in Rivers State and Zak Ibiam in Benue State, where they wasted hundreds of human lives. It is only in Nigeria that troops are sent to kill innocent and defenceless citizens”, Dede Uzor said.
While arguing that IPOB members do not carry identification nor do they put on uniform, he wondered how the state government came to the conclusion that it was IPOB members who killed, burnt and looted in Rivers State and that they were from Obigbo.
“Wike should explain to Nigerians and international community how he was sure that the youths he is killing in Obigbo were the ones that killed in Rivers and IPOB members were indeed behind the killings of soldiers in the State”, he added.
“If IPOB members were responsible for the killings and arson in Rivers, who were responsible for the killings and destruction in other parts of the country like Edo State, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Anambra, Lagos, Oyo and other States in the country?” he queried.
HURIDE boss said Wike’s alleged desperation to become the Vice-President of Nigeria is deriving him to please his new masters, the oligarchy but should not make him to sacrifice Igbo youths at the altar of his ambition.
The Chairman called on the international community, the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), African Union (AU), ECOWAS, the President of the United States, British Prime Minister, Russian President, Chinese President, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Intersociety among others to come to the rescue of Igbo youths in Rivers State particularly in Obigbo as well as probe the killings in Lekki and Obigbo.
He also called on International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate all these killings and bring the perpetrators to book so as to serve as deterrents to others.
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