A civil society group, Intersociety, has warned against the implications of what it called “carry go”, “licensed to kill’, “torture and terrorize” deployment of soldiers in old Eastern Nigeria particularly in Anambra, Delta, Rivers, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi States on the rights, liberty, security and safety of citizens in those States, saying the South East Governors must be wary of calling soldiers against their own people for whatever reasons.
In a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, Esq, Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., and Comrade Sam Kamanyaoku and made available to AbeyaNews, Intersociety noted that the Governors of the named States “have been allowing ethno-religiously unknown soldiers to be deployed in their respective States” with little or no consideration for the deleterious consequences of such deployments.
“This they do without getting such soldiers tutored at reception arenas on the need for them to steer clear of abuse or violation of human rights including sexual harassment, unlawful arrest, torture, extrajudicial killing and roadblock extortion as well as aiding or protecting jihadists’ settlements and activities in Igboland,” the CSO stressed, noting that “the Governors also do not care to seek and know the ethno-religious composition of the soldiers being drafted including that of their leaders.”
“This is more so when it is now a truism that the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police Force and the Intelligence Agencies, etc of pre-2015 are no longer same as the present ones and their compositions, in addition to the fact that there have been credible reports of military terrorism and terrorization of defenseless citizens in Igboland particularly in Abia, Ebonyi and Rivers States.
As a matter of fact, the three States are the flashpoints for potential military massacre this end of 2020.
This was the case in Sept 2017 in Abia with over 180 massacred in three days and Onitsha and Nkpor in Anambra and Asaba in Delta in May 2016 where over 140 were massacred,” Intersociety added.
The group regretted that “with the ongoing reign of military terror in Obigbo and environs, involving credible reports of killings, sexual harassment, house breaking, looting, mass arrests, torture and disappearances by Nigerian soldiers, Gov Nyesom Wike has not only acted like an ‘unlettered lawyer’ but also goofed unpardonably in his last week’s instigation of the ongoing military mayhem in Obigbo and environs.”
“He is, therefore, inescapably culpable, vicariously and legally speaking. A politically conscious and lettered lawyer-Gov should not have done what he did.
It is a settled law and principle that no public office holder, whether elected or appointed, has a right or power to take or order for taking away of life of another or others.
The Gov should have known better both as a lawyer and a politician that the present Nigerian Army, its composition and conducts are highly questionable and far from being secularity friendly,” Intersociety declared.
“Apart from earning notoriety in butchering of thousands of defenseless citizens since August 2015 mostly on the grounds of their religion and tribe and provocatively denying same, the Nigerian Army has become so blood-thirsty for innocent and defenseless citizens that it looks for slightest loophole or excuse or opportunity to massacre and terrorize the defenseless especially on the grounds of their tribe and religion.
“This time around, Gov Wike has fallen into its trap. He has also made himself a potential guest of ICC and other international justice chambers.
That is to say that reasons being adduced by the Gov are utterly inexcusable, unfounded and vexatious.
“Granted that unlawful killing of service personnel including soldiers and police officers and burning of public properties are totally reprehensible and condemnable, they did not happen as an isolated incident or restricted to Rivers State alone.
They not only cut across the country but also were instigated by the Government of Nigeria, its soldiers who massacred over 15 peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate and the Islamist hoodlums allied with Nigerian Government to attack and kill protesters.
For all that we know, Lagos State lost more properties and citizens than Rivers State, yet heaven was not let loose in Lagos.
That is not to say that those behind the dastardly act in Rivers State should be spared.
“Over 200 soldiers, conservatively speaking, have independently been confirmed killed this year alone by jihadist insurgents in Borno, Katsina, etc yet the areas where they were killed are still inhabited by humans, animals and properties.
Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and their patrons have renamed and occupied over 100 communities in Southern Kaduna and over 60 in Plateau State.
In Igbo Land, they, aided by the military, have violently entered and occupied bushes, forests and farmlands in over 600 communities, yet Governors of those areas and Nigerian Army have not wiped them.
“Therefore, Gov Wike acted extra-judicially by unlawfully and undemocratically arrogating to himself power of ‘investigator, prosecutor, judge and hangman’; a training and expertise he never has.
His accusing fingers at the so called ‘IPOB’ are circumstantially suspicious and politically motivated.
Such accusations are nothing more than hearsay because no proper investigations have been carried out and the Gov is not a trained criminal investigator.
This is more so when the riots across the country including Rivers, Lagos, Edo, Plateau, Benue and Anambra were mob in nature with simultaneous outlook.
It is also militarily atrocious to levy war and terror on entire community, in the name of ‘searching for IPOB terrorists’. As a matter of fact, ‘IPOB’ has become ‘a death code’ or ‘slogan of death’ used by the present Government of Nigeria to terrorize and massacre citizens of old Eastern Nigeria.”
Taking further umbrage at what has been described in several quarters as a programme of massacre of unarmed, defenseless civilians in Eastern Nigeria, Intersociety enumerated what it alleged are “50 chief perpetrators involved in 16 military/police massacres in Nigeria as compiled by Intersociety.”
1. 30th August 2015 massacre of 40 defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith during peaceful protests in Onitsha, Enugu, Yenagoa, Uyo, Port Harcourt and Asaba: Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Retired IGP, Solomon Arase and Retired DG, SSS, Lawal Musa Daura
2. 2nd and 17th Dec 2015 massacre of 30 defenseless citizens of same faith in Onitsha.
Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Retired IGP, Solomon Arase, Retired DG, SSS, Lawal Musa Daura, Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris (then AIG, F/OPS), Col Isa Maigari Abdullahi (then Commandant, 302 Artillery, Onitsha), AIG Hosea Karma (then CP, Anambra) and Retired CSP James Nwafor (then SARS, Anambra State)
3. 12th-14th Dec 2015 massacre of 800-1000 unarmed Shiite Muslims during their religious processions in Zaria (Government later admitted massacring 348): Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Major Gen Adeniyi Oyebade (then GOC, 1 Division, Kaduna), then Commandants/Commanding Officers of Zara Basawa Barracks & Zaria Military Depot, Zaria
4. 18th and 29th Jan 2016 massacre of 20 defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith during peaceful protests in Aba; and (5) 9th Feb 2016 massacre of 30 unarmed protesters in Aba. Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Retired IGP Solomon Arase, Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris (then AIG, F/OPS), Retired DIG (then CP) Habila Joshak (then CP, Abia), then ACP Peter Wabara (then Area Commander, Aba) and then Lt Col Sidi Umar Kasim (Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Ukwa)
6. 29th and 30th May 2016 massacre of 140 defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith during global Igbo Heroes Day in Onitsha, Nkpor and Asaba. Perpetrators: Gov Willie Obiano, COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Major Gen Ibrahim Attahiru (then GOC, 82 Division, Enugu), AIG Hosea Karma (then CP, Anambra), CP Johnson Babatunde Kokomo (then DCP-OPS, Anambra), then Col Isa Maigari Abdullahi (Commandant, 302 Artillery, Onitsha), Lt Col (then Major) C.O. Ibrahim (Commanding Officer, Onitsha Cantonment Military Police & leader of the operation), Retired IGP Solomon Arase and Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris (then AIG, F/OPS)
7. 2016 starvation to death of 240 civilian detainees including 29 children with ages between newborn and five years at Giwa Army Barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State (AI Report: 2016). Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and Commandant, Giwa Army Barracks, Maiduguri and others.
8. 7th Jan 2017 military massacre (air bombing) of 236 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Christian IDP camp in Kala-Balge, Borno State. Perpetrators: Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, Chief of Air Staff, COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and others
9. 20th Jan 2017 massacre of 20 unarmed protesters (pro-Trump rally) in Port Harcourt: Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Retired IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris (then IGP), Late CP Francis Odesanya (then CP, Rivers), Retired DCP Ahmed Magaji (then DCP, OPS, Rivers), Major Gen Enobong Okon Udoh (then GOC, 6 Division, Port Harcourt), Col Aminu Illiyasu (then Deputy Director of Public Relations, 6 Division)
10. 4th Dec 2017 massacre (air bombing) of 50 rural Christians in Numan, Adamawa State: Perpetrators: Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, Chief of Air Staff, COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and others.
11. 12th to 14th Sept 2017 massacre of over 180 unarmed and defenseless citizens of Judeo-Christian faith in Ogwe, Aba, Isiala-Ngwa and Umuahia, all in Abia State: Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Major Gen Adamu Baba Abubakar (then GOC, 82 Division, Enugu), Gov Okezie Ikpeazu, Brig Gen Abdul Kalifa Ibrahim (then Commander, 14 Brigade, Ohafia), Brig Gen I.H. Bature (then Commander, 34 Brigade, Obinze, Imo State), Brig Gen E.O. Anaryo, 82 Division Transport, Big Gen A.I. Adegboye, 82 Division Army Supply, Brig Gen Mark Mamman, Commander, 82 Division Army Engineering, Brig Gen Lasisi Adegboye (current GOC, 82 Division and then 82 Division Garrison Commander), Navy Capt Abdullahi Aminu (then Commanding Officer, Navy School of Finance & Logistics, Owerre-Nta, Abia State), Col Sagir Musa (then Deputy Director, 82 Division Public Relations), Lt Col Umar Sidi Kasim (then Commanding Officer, 144 Battalion, Ukwa), DIG (then CP) Anthony Ogbizi (then CP, Abia State) and combatant Utsman Mustapha (caught raining live bullets on defenseless citizens amid shouting of “kill the pigs! Kill the pigs!! Kill the pigs!!!”
12. 29th and 30th Oct 2018 massacre of 47 Shiite Muslims in Abuja. Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Brig Gen Johnson Orefin (then Commander, Defense Headquarters Garrison, Abuja) and Brig Gen Umar Musa, then Commander, Guards Brigade, Abuja.
13. 29th/30th June 2020 massacre of 30 unarmed Tiv Christians in Taraba State: Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Major Gen John Enenche, Director of Information, Defense Headquarters, Abuja, Major Gen Nuhu Angbazo, then GOC, 6 Division, Jos, Brig Gen Sani Garba Mummmad, Commander, 23 Brigade, Yola, Lt Col Sani Adamu, then Commanding Officer, 20 Battalion, Gembu and then Commanding Officer, 93 Battalion, Takum in Taraba State (Lt Col Ibrahim Babatunde Gambari?)
14. 23rd August 2020 massacre of 30 Judeo-Christian worshippers and sports activists in Emene, Enugu State: Perpetrators: CP Ahmed Abdurrahman (CP, Enugu), AIG Danmallam Mohammed (AIG, Zone 13, Awka), Mr. Obande Olotu, then Director of SSS, Enugu State, Air Vice Marshal Idi Amin, Air Officer Commanding Ground Training Command, Enugu and Major Gen Lasisi Adegboye, GOC, 82 Division, Enugu
15. 20th night of Oct 2020 massacre of over fifteen defenseless protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos State: Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Lt S.O. Bello, Commanding Officer, 65 Battalion, Bonny Military Cantonment, Lagos and others to be identified.
16. Ongoing Obigbo Army Terrorism (Massacre): Perpetrators: COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, Gov Nyesom Wike, Major Gen Olu Orefin, GOC, 6 Division, Major Charles Ekeocha, Deputy Director, 6 Division Army Public Relations and others to be identified.
Also vicariously culpable in the sixteen highlighted massacres are Mr. President and Mr. Vice President of Nigeria.