THE Igbo Civil Society Coalition, ICSCO, a coalition of civil society organisations, activists, human rights groups and the academia in Igboland, has told the Federal Government that all forms of state-sponsored terrorism must not take place in 2018. President Buhari The group enumerated the forms of state terrorism to include the infamous Operation Python Dance, the Shi’ite massacre, and operations where citizens were massacred by the state authorities. This came as the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo rejected the 10-man committee on the Fulani herdsmen-farmers clash headed by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, describing it as “a wrong diagnosis and panacea to a deadly ailment.” The ICSCO at a general congress in Enugu said it reviewed the polity in 2017 and in the first few weeks of this year, particularly as it affects Ndigbo, arrived at its demand for the Nigerian government to place premium value on the lives of all her citizens regardless of religious, ethnic or political differences.
Convener of the group, Mazi Bismarck Orji together with its national coordinator, Prof. Obasi Igwe in their communique noted that since security was the primary responsibility of government, it must not allow such acts of terrorism to take place again in 2018 no matter the provocation. “Genocide can never be an option in settling political/ religious issues,” the group stated. It added that the Nigerian government must as a matter of conscience acknowledge that the Nigerian Army overstepped its bounds during such operations, insisting that culprits in the killing of civilians and other gross human right violations must be brought to book. The group said: “We note that till date, the Nigerian Army has not taken any steps to punish the soldiers that invaded the Abia State NUJ Secretariat and brutalized journalists during the operation despite pledging to do so. “The arrest of two journalists –the Elombah brothers by the dreaded SARS on allegations of publishing libelous information about the IG of Police is another instance of human right violation that justifies the call by well meaning Nigerians for the scrapping of the anti robbery squad. “Furthermore, we totally condemn the seeming inaction being exhibited by the Federal Government with regards to the ongoing massacre of defenseless citizens across the country especially in Benue and Taraba States by marauding Fulani “herdsmen” rated globally as the 4th most dangerous terrorist group. “We are disappointed that despite previous similar occurrences of these inhuman attacks, the Federal Government has done nothing to either stop the attacks or protect the unsuspecting citizens/victims or punish the law breakers. “We call on the national assembly to rise up to the occasion by prevailing on the president to give the IGP marching orders to arrest and prosecute leaders of Miyetti Allah who are walking around freely after carrying out their threat of unleashing violence on Benue state for enacting the anti- grazing law.” Ohanaeze rejects Osinbanjo c’ttee on herdsmen killings Reacting to the setting up of the Osinbajo committee by the Federal Government, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, through his Special Assistant on Media, Emeka Attama, wondered how the Federal Government could set up a committee to reconcile murderers with the murdered. Nwodo stated that pronouncements by the leadership of Miyetti-Allah were evidence that they were culpable for the carnage across the country and wondered why they were not arrested and prosecuted instead of setting up a committee. Ohanaeze said that it had expected that invaders who violate a law enacted by a State in the country should face prosecution instead of the condescending and patronizing stance of the Federal Government. Nwodo stated that the Federal Government in refusing to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the heinous crimes in the country was suggestive of its complicity and bias on the matter.
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