• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths condemn allege killings in Rivers State

Rivers’ curfew now statewide over fears of further attacks

Two parallel Igbo youths Apex organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), and Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth world have blamed the federal government, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu for the violence which erupted in Obigbo, in Rivers State which allegedly leads to the death of many.

The crisis erupted in the area after hoodlums highjacked the #Endsars protest last month in the area.

The two groups of Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Council factions, lead by Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Igboayaka O. Igboayaka as their President Generals condemned the killings.

Wike has come under serious attacks in recent weeks over alleged human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings in the area by the Military who were enforcing a 24hrs curfew imposed by the governor in the area in the wake of the violence that trailed the EndSars protests.

But the Governor on Monday alleged that he imposed the curfew because IPOB protesters killed 6 soldiers, burnt down Police stations and courts in Obigbo.

He also denied ordering Military actions in Obigbo describing the accusations as politically motivated plots of his detractors to distract him from governance.

But Isiguzoro faction of the OYC, in a statement signed by him and the faction’s Secretary-General, Okwu Nnabuike reminded Governor Wike that there was burning of Police stations, courts, killing of military personnel and police officers, and destruction of public properties in other parts of the country especially in major southeast cities like Aba, Nnewi, Abakiliki, Enugu, Onitsha, Owerri.

“But none of the Governors of these states ordered Military actions against their people.

“Wike as Chief Security Officer of Rivers State will surely account for the loss of lives and brutalities in Obigbo in the near future as international human rights groups and activists are gathering information and evidence of genocidal violence escalating in Obigbo Rivers State”, the group said.

“OYC vehemently oppose the 24hrs curfew placed on Obigbo with heavy military actions and onslaughts against the people which have continuously abused their fundamental human rights in Obigbo.

The people have been denied access to food, adequate medicare, water because Rivers State Government unleashed state machinery against IPOB over what we perceived as a relationship gone sour between Governor Nyesom Wike and IPOB Leadership led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu”, the group said.

The faction further said that it had studied keenly the developments, buildup scenarios of Obigbo violence especially the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu’s utterances and claims that he worked and installed Wike as Governor of Rivers State, which shows that IPOB activities and protests in Rivers had been peaceful in the last 3 years.

“We had expected Governor Nyesom Wike to respond to these allegations and claims of Nnamdi Kanu installing him as Rivers State Governor. He should be man enough to clear his name and explain why it took Rivers State Government three years to proscribe the activities of IPOB in Rivers State and hope it is not a case of relationship gone sour?”.

“Wike should emulate Asari Dokubo and explain if there was any relationship with Nnamdi Kanu in the past, and stop shifting responsibility.”

The group also blasted Kanu for making inciting utterances which led to the escalation of violence in the area.

“Nnamdi Kanu’s EndSars video and audio clips are enough evidence indicting him of inciting violence in Obigbo Rivers State, with unimaginable deaths and inhumane conditions that the people of the area now suffer indirectly caused by him.

“IPOB’s placing of N100m bounty on Governor Wike is a clear deviation from peaceful approach to self-determination and non-violent stance of Biafra agitation. Igbo Youths holds both Wike and Kanu responsible for the violence escalating in Obigbo,” the group said.

The youth group further called for immediate ceasefire talks between Governor Nyesom Wike and IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu.

“There is established evidence that if both sides should stop this show of force, Ndígbo and indeed all Nigerians leaving in Obigbo will breathe fresh air and normalcy will return immediately. We are confident that both sides will surely accept this pleading of Igbo Youth Leadership in the interest of peace.

“When two elephant fights, the grasses suffer, when two friends fight, Obigbo people suffer. Let there be a suspension of military actions in Obigbo in the next 48hrs, as we are engaging Religious leaders, former Presidents and Heads of States to join OYC to pressurize both Governor Wike and Nnamdi Kanu for peaceful resolution of the crisis”, the group concluded.

Meanwhile, the Igboayaka faction, after its emergency security meeting condemned the actions of Governor Nyesom Wike and President Muhammadu Buhari over the Obigbo killings.

Igboayaka lamented the pains, maiming, intimidation, harassment, and corporal punishment the people are passing through since the 10-day, 24hrs curfew imposed by the governor as a result of the crisis and violence that erupted nationwide following the hijacked #Endsars protest.

The faction described the alleged outburst of Governor Wike on Obigbo as unfounded alarm alleging that IPOB was responsible for the post #EndSARS violence in Oyigbo is uncalled for, stressing that such violence took place in all parts of Southern Nigeria, including Abuja.

The faction said Governor Wike relied on the tribalistic hate of some Fulani allegations working in Security Agents, that has mapped Igbo youths for possible execution.

“In any case, we want Gov. Wike to reveal to Nigerians and the world how they traced the violent attacks to IPOB? Did Wike constitute any panel of inquiry to get the facts and truths behind what actually transpired in Oyigbo as a responsible government?

“We demand that Wike should publish the report of his independent panel of inquiry with evidential reports indicting IPOB as the group that led the violent attack in Oyigbo. Failure to do so, the Council will compile the record of human rights abuses, assault, harassment, and killings ongoing in Oyigbo, which will be used against him in court at the expiration of his tenure as Rivers state governor.

“It is our belief that Wike acted on emotions rather than evidential reports or proof against the youths in Oyigbo. This shows that Wike, as a lawyer does not know the implication of working on hearsay evidence which is not admissible in any court of law.

“It’s painful that Igbos have suffered excruciating pains, injustice, intimidation and all forms of human violation since the past 50yrs in the hands of Nigerian politicians who always use our blood to launch their next political relevance in Nigeria, which is exactly what Wike is doing today in Oyigbo.

“Wike’s approach as Chief Security Officer to restoring order and peace in Rivers state is inappropriate, unprofessional, and undemocratic as this approach can culminate into escalating into civil unrest and raise uproar in the area. Therefore, OYC calls on the governor to immediately withdraw the military operation going on in Oyigbo in other to restore sanity in Oyigbo.

“We appeal to the international community and people of conscience to quickly come to the aid of inhabitants of Oyigbo community which has been denied access to public water, food, and medicine, including pregnant women, infants and aged people who are going through untold denial of every means of livelihood due to the curfew.

“The Council warned any youth or group engaging in any form violent attack to flee from Rivers state immediately or meet his or her Waterloo”, the statement said