It is really a very worrisome situation that the newly elected government of president Mohammadu Buhari, thorugh its murderous security forces and orders, have resorted to unlawful killing of innocent Biafrans from south-east and south-south region. Some people could ignore such acts now, and pretend as if these events are not taking place or being carried out by this dictatorial regime of Buhari. But it must be on record that likes of Buhari started exactly the same fashion, then strengthened by docility of the masses.
It is fine when some argue that the Biafrans are acting against the constitution by trying to break away and have their own homeland. It is never against the constitution of Nigeria or any international law to conduct or engage in a peaceful protest. So, why did the Nigeria government through its orders engage in random shooting of peaceful protesters? It is absolutely fine to keep quiet since you are not a Biafran, but history will remind us later that we stood aside and did nothing or voiced no protest against such heinous acts. The constitution and international law are very explicit on peaceful protest. And unlawful shooting into the crowd to disperse peaceful protesters are indeed unlawful. Also, because the security forces accused someone of belonging to Biafran group is never enough reason to carry out extra-judicial killings.
“Violent Suppression of Nonviolent Protests in Nigeria: Documented statistics available at our disposal clearly indicate that massive application of State violence outside local and international norms to violently suppress the pro Biafran nonviolent protests in Nigeria between 30th August 2015 and 18th January 2016; a period of less than five months, have led to gruesome murder by security forces of at least 50 Nigerian citizens. These included four citizens killed in Awka and Onitsha on 30th August 2015; 13 killed in Onitsha on 2nd December 2015; 12 killed in Onitsha on 17th December 2015 (eight were killed on the spot and four others died in hospital following gunshot wounds); and eight killed in Aba on 18th January 2016. Scores of innocent citizens have also disappeared in the hands of Nigerian security forces particularly the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force. Citizens are routinely arrested by Police on allegation of being “MASSOB or IPOB members” and killed secretly and buried in undisclosed shallow graves; likewise those shot and killed by soldiers and police while embarking on peaceful protests. Once their bodies are taken away by their killer security operatives, they will never be accounted for or released to their families for befitting burials”.
Further, over 120 citizens were shot and critically injured with gunshots in Delta, Rivers, Anambra, Abia and Enugu States between 30th August 2015 and 18th January 2016. Of these, over 40 citizens were critically shot and injured in Anambra (30th August, 2nd and 17th December 2015); 30 in Abia State (18th January 2016 alone), 21 in Rivers State (30th August 2015); 10 in Delta State (30th August 2015) and 6 in Enugu State. These exclude scores of others critically shot and injured in related nonviolent protests in those States as well as Bayelsa State.
Among those critically shot and injured in Rivers by Nigerian Army and the Police including their mobile lines are Citizens Sunday Udegbe (08160946188), Nwabunne Udo (no number), Agwasi Anthony (08167834881), Meshach Emmanuel (08176464439), Chinwendu Ogbonna (08161840331),Amanda Onyekachi (08098649766), Emmanuel Arinze (08069667733), Okwudiri Ojah (08064551694), Chibuike David (08162879531),Uzochi Ugwojialili (07037701738); Chukwuma Igwe (07038524167), Kingsley Okere (08095527180), Chinedu Solomon Iwu (09034451844), Okon Emmanuel Udo (08132211725), Kelechi Uwaeze (08162093292), Uwalaka (07030463326), Solomon Chikwe (08037677503), Ikenna Ezekwem (07030334626), Ubani (08145558128), Amarachi Onyemachi (07031250438) and Chukwudi Ofoegbuliwe (08168944577). In Enugu State, the following were critically shot and injured, Mr. Godswill Ojikeme (08069283046), Mrs. Chinyere Godswill Ojikeme (08108156453), Ogbodo Monday (08186845441), Jonah Kelechi (07055762590), Onuigbo Paul (08180094127) and Obiorah Innocent (08142553818).
Those gravely shot and wounded in Delta State are: Chinedu Abel (08138655496), Onovo Michael (09038654579), Kingsley Anuife (07066333801), Amechi Ojieh (07069039930), Ogbonna Kanayo (09099221978), David Ogbu (08168868302), Charles Chukwuka (07011001409), Elochukwu Uzor (08052783369), Chinedu Chukwuma (09053081522) and Onyekanna Ifechukwude (08144142575). Those critically shot and injured on 30th August 2015 in Anambra State are: Sampson Kalu (08149301083), Chidiebere Nnaji (08063110151), Onyekwelu Ovute (08035132025), Felix Ndianaefo (08137358206), Ikechukwu Okafor (08098896344), Chimaobi Okafor (09099735103), Christopher Oforah (08092188866), Sunday Nwazugbo (08033517008), Stanley Eze (08060911589), Mrs. Eucharia (08065697342) and Mrs. Patricia (07069707424). Two of the four citizens killed in Awka and Onitsha in the same peaceful protest of 30th August 2015 were Ebuka Nnolum from Enuguabo-Ufuma in Anambra State (his father’s number is 08034615426 07084367400) and Obasi Maduka from Oshiri in Ebonyi State (his brother’s number is 08165443726). In the 2nd and 17th December 2015 peaceful protests in Onitsha, over 30 citizens were critically shot and injured, out of whom, 27 citizens were taken and admitted at the Multicare Hospital.
Between 300 and 400 citizens or more labeled “Biafran or IPOB or MASSOB members” had also been arrested, detained, tortured, or killed extra judicially across the country since 30th of August 2015. In the Aba pro Biafran peaceful protest of 18th January 2016 alone, 60 peaceful protesters were arrested and detained. Many are still languishing in pretrial detention; others are facing concocted heinous political crimes charges such as treason and treasonable felony”.
It is either we voice our protest now or history will indeed remind us later of our inactions. These people are indeed humans and someone’s loved ones. The state has not right whatsoever to take their lives away when they have not been found guilty of any crime yet.
By Ike A. Offor (IkeA.Offor@yahoo.com)
Follow him on twitter http://www.twitter.com/@Offorike