July 29, 2021

STOP THE KILLINGS AND WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM IGBO LAND – ONYEKA ONWENU, IGBO MOMS TO BUHARI

Human Rights Activist, Onyeka Onwenu

CONCERNED IGBO MOMS HAVE CALLED ON PRESIDENT BUHARI TO STOP THE KILLINGS IN IGBO LAND AND WITHDRAW THE MILITARY TROOPS.

LAGOS (9NEWS NIGERIA) – Nigerian super celebrity singer, songwriter and human rights activist, Onyeka Onwenu has called on the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, withdraw the Nigerian troops deployed in the South-East without further delay.

She cried out that something dreadful is happening in the South-East of Nigeria and the president should act as a matter of urgency.

Onyeka Onwenu’s request came after numerous outcry over alleged sporadic extrajudicial killings of Igbo youths by the said Nigerian security operatives.

Why speaking at a press conference organized by the Credible Igbo Women Initiative, CIWI, in Lagos, Onyeka Onwenu expressed concerns over the malevolent wanton killings in Igboland.

The Human right activist and former Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development advised the president to initiate a dialogue with secessionist agitators in the region. On the other hand, she also gave advice to the young people telling them to embrace dialogue and peace.

“I want to use this opportunity to reach out to our young people to embrace dialogue. Please, come let’s talk. We will stand for the right of Igbo people”, Onwenu appealed.

“We come here together with one thing in our mind: peace, love and equity. Something dreadful is happening in the south-east right now. I happened to come from Imo state and I know what people are passing through there. Please, the federal government should stop the killings”

Onyeka Onwenu said that it is the inalienable right of the people that want to agitate for a referendum to do so; and that those who feel marginalised have the right to cry out as well.

She called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to heed to the cry of the people he is leading and listen to them even if he does not agree with their opinion. She said Buhari should listen to them because it is their right to speak out their feelings and opinions.

“We are begging, we are asking, please let’s sit down and talk about what is going on. Let’s call our people who are agitating, who are not happy with the situation and talk to them. Nigerian government let’s talk. Pull out the troops from Igboland,” Onyeka Onwenu appealed.

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In another vein, at the same event, the Credible Igbo Women Initiative (CIWI) issued a communique condemning what they termed “the reckless spilling of the blood of innocent people” by the security operatives, and militarization of Igboland and apparent threat by the federal government to use maximum force in dealing with the problem of insecurity in the south-East.

In the communique read by Elvira Silas, CIWI said that they are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to convoke a security conclave forthwith and stop the bloodletting and remove the killer squad from Igboland.

“No more killings, no more brutality, no more harassment and intimidation of our children.”

“We also call on the government to console and compensate the men and women whose children met their untimely death in the hands of the gunmen, both known and unknown,” CIWI concluded.

Speaking towards the backdrop of extensively reported instances of rampant arrests and killings of usually unarmed and harmless youths in addition to their harassment, intimidation and brutalisation by the navy, on account of the actions of “unknown gunmen,” the ladies stated that the Federal Government should take pressing steps to revive confidence within the nation’s safety forces.

The communiqué of the convention, which was addressed by main Igbo girls and, which was copied to President Buhari, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation(SGF), the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South East Governors Forum, amongst many others, demanded that authorities ought to instantly “remove the killer squads from Igboland” and “console and compensate the men and women whose children met their untimely death in the hands of the gunmen, both known, and unknown.”

Credible Igbo Women Initiative, CIWI
Credible Igbo Women Initiative, CIWI

The full textual content of the communique reads:

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL PRESS CONFERENCE ON PEACE IN IGBOLAND, HELD IN LAGOS, NIGERIA, ON THURSDAY, 10TH JUNE 2021, UNDER THE AUSPICES OF CREDIBLE IGBO WOMEN INITIATIVE (AN ARM OF THE CREDIBILITY GROUP)

PREAMBLE

This communiqué is written and assented to by Igbo moms in Nigeria towards this backdrop:

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• The alarming stage of insecurity in Igboland and in Nigeria, typically, leading to lives being wasted, day by day.

• Reckless spilling of the blood of our youngsters by safety operatives with impunity, on a regular basis.

• The militarisation of Igboland and obvious menace by the Federal Government of Nigeria to use most power in coping with the issue of insecurity in Igboland.

• The indisputable fact that The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in part 14(2) states unequivocally that the safety and welfare of the residents shall be the first operate of the federal government.

B – OUR OBSERVATIONS

WE THE WOMEN OF IGBOLAND (ALAIGBO) DO HEREBY OBSERVE AND STATE AS FOLLOWS:

The Federal authorities are obliged to guard all of the peoples of Nigeria, together with Igboland which is at the moment below heavy-armed assault by air and land, day by day.

We are deeply saddened by the wanton destruction of public services and the focused killings of safety operatives and public servants by unknown gunmen and prolong our condolences to their households and family members.
We vehemently condemn the actions in Igboland by each recognized and unknown gunmen, arsonists, and brigands whose actions are clearly calculated to create an environment of civil unrest. For the avoidance of doubt, these will not be our youngsters, and they don’t seem to be appearing below the authority of Ndigbo.

The sustained political instability in Igboland has resulted within the breakdown of regulation and order with the aberration of our harmless youngsters being dragged out of their homes, vehicles and even pedestrian walks, captured, arbitrarily branded IPOB members by safety forces and with impunity, usually summarily executed without trial. Those captives that survive the ordeal are subsequently exhibited to the press as proof of the safety forces’ success.

Our youngsters are thus day by day dehumanised to the extent that involved residents akin to Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese have raised the alarm on unidentified corpses within the morgues. Such issues have been reiterated by company our bodies together with the Nigeria Bar Association which has decried the grossly overcrowded detention centres in Alaigbo.

Our farmers have misplaced their technique of livelihood and on occasions even their lives due to the invasion and destruction of their farms by herdsmen and their cattle because of the federal authorities’ stance on open grazing. This state of affairs can now not be tolerated.

We word that the systematic neglect of our youths over time by lack of social and monetary incentives, scholarships, and expertise acquisition help, have resulted in mass unemployment and distortion of the social material.

We observe with deep concern that the market women and men proceed to endure drastically within the arms of safety forces in Igboland with the outcome that markets and retailers are sometimes below lock and key and are continually looted with impunity.

C – OUR DEMANDS

WE CALL ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE URGENT ACTION TOWARDS RESTORING OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE SECURITY FORCES. HENCE, WE RESPECTFULLY DEMAND THE FOLLOWING OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:

Convoke a safety conclave forthwith.

Stop the bloodletting! No extra killings, no extra brutality, no extra harassment and intimidation of our youngsters! Enough!
Remove the killer squads from Igboland.

Console and compensate the women and men whose youngsters met their premature demise within the arms of the gunmen, each recognized, and unknown.

Console and compensate widows and widowers whose spouses met their premature finish in like method.
Provide monetary and social incentives to allow our youngsters to begin afresh.

Provide our youngsters with a stage enjoying area. No extra discrimination! No extra favouritism!!!

Embrace Diversity and inclusion sincerely, and thereby empower everybody with the opportunity of attaining their fullest potential whether or not within the public or non-public sector, regardless of tribe, creed or affiliation.

AS MOTHERS, WE BEAR THE BRUNT OF AVOIDABLE LOSS OF LIVES AND PROPERTY. WE ARE BROKEN AND TIRED OF BURYING OUR CHILDREN. THEREFORE, WE CRY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:

“SAVE OUR SOULS AND LET PEACE REIGN IN OUR LAND AGAIN”.

OZO EMENA!!!

Signed:

1-The Convener-Obiageli Okeke.

2-The Convener-Nkiru Ezeonyeka.

3-The Chief Spokesperson-Onyeka Onwenu.

4-The consultant, Abia state Women.

5-The consultant, Anambra state Women.

6-The consultant, Ebonyi state Women.

7-The consultant, Enugu state Women.