(Onitsha Nigeria, 2nd of June 2016)-The leadership of Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) is deeply worried that the Nigerian Security Forces and their political conspirators are dangerously pushing innocent and law abiding members of key indigenous Nationalities in Nigeria to the wall; forcing them to learn the hard way of preserving their indigenous identities and human existence. These, if exploded, can be dicey for the country, its peoples, West African sub-region, African Union and the United Nations System. The Nigerian killer-State entities under reference are also taking the country and its people to the path of social catastrophe with uprising (intifada) and retaliatory justice as looming end product.
The Muhammadu Buhari, Turkur Buratai, Solomon Arase and Willie Obiano of Nigeria’s present disastrous democracy and their killer-subordinates are steadily pushing Nigeria back to the Hobbesian era where life was brutish, short, nasty and disease prone; and where retaliatory and jungle justice and cannibalism were the order of the day. The Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 that ended the 30 years of the Roman Empire Civil War (1618-1648) and created modern State institutions had as its cardinal focus the irrevocable commitment of the State to protect the citizens at all times from beastly and other malicious conducts of criminal-citizens. As a result, the Yorean doctrine of jungle and retaliatory justice and crude individualism was revoked and that of State protection and collective responsibilities invoked.
These are the genesis of the modern social contract upon which the State irrevocably swore before its people to protect them at all times and visit those who threaten their existence and basics of their existence with humanely punishable laws or sanctions. The State further swore irrevocably not to maliciously, vindictively, tribally, whimsically and capriciously deploy public resources and instruments of coercion entrusted in its custody for collective security and welfare; against the citizens or any citizen of the State.
These are also the plain language of the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of the State Policy contained in the Chapter 11 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. In Section 13 of the Constitution under the same Chapter 11, the Constitution firmly directs those holding public offices in the present Nigeria including Gen Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Willie Obiano, Lt Gen Turkur Buratai and retiring IGP Solomon Arase that “it shall be their duty and responsibility alongside others heading other organs of government in the executive, judiciary and legislature, and all authorities and persons, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this Chapter of the Constitution”. The Constitution further directs in Section 14 (2) (b) that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the Government”.
We had on 1st of June 2016 released the first part of this statement .This advocacy intervention of ours followed barbarous, unwarranted, inexcusable, unprovoked, indefensible and ethnic hate massacre of over 30 innocent, unarmed and nonviolent members of the public including activists campaigning for preservation of Igbo Ethnic identity and welfare in Nigeria. Another major reason for our advocacy intervention is necessitated by a basket-load of lies and crude excuses cooked up by the perpetrators to cover up or escape from their criminal liabilities. At least, 30 innocent and unarmed members of the public were massacred on 30th of May 2016 with over 100 others critically injured with live bullets fired by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, officers of the Nigeria Police, etc, dominated by jihadists and ethnic haters. Scores of other innocent and unarmed citizens including Engineer Henry Enekwe have gone missing since then. Between 30th of August 2015 and 30th of May 2016, a period of nine months, over 120 innocent and unarmed Nigerians, associated with Igbo indigenous rights campaigns have been killed by Nigerian security forces and over 270 others have received various degrees of bullet injuries mostly in terminal parts of their bodies.
The first part of this grounded publication was to put the records and facts of the massacre straight and de-contaminate the minds of the public and international watchers from the contaminated pieces of information they have been fed with by the perpetrators using hostile traditional media of the southwest ownership; while this concluding part is to rubbish the claims of the perpetrators and expose dangers inherent in unabated and unaddressed massacre of unarmed and innocent citizens in peace time in Nigeria by security forces using State violence.
We wish to state that it is only in jungle ruled by beasts and sub-humans that such barbarous and butchery conducts under referenced can take place. It is shocking to note that Gen Muhammadu Buhari’s ascendance to Nigeria’s democratic presidency appears to be designed to wipe out the Indigenous Nationality and destroy their idigneous identity. What makes Gen Buhari and his killer commanders like Lt Gen Turkur Buratai and retiring IGP Solomon Arase to believe that they will remain in the corridors of power forever is yet to be comprehended till date. The same thing applies to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State. How can an elected civilian governor suddenly turn against his own people and expose their lives and liberties to their pathological haters? This is a governor who faces a crucial second term gubernatorial poll in November next year?
Why would an elected Governor declare war against his own people just to please some butchery masters at the federal level? Is office of the civilian governorship permanent in Nigeria? Why would a known red-cap chief in Igbo Land violently prevent his own people from honouring their dead heroes; thereby disquieting and disturbing the eternal peace of his great ancestors? It was also on account of Governor Willie Obiano’s conspiratorial roles that retiring IGP Solomon Arase, whose desperation to escape international criminal justice is unhidden; hinged his latest failed labeling of IPOB as “armed Indigenous People of Biafra”. According to Governor Willie Obiano and retiring IGP Arase’s theory; “IPOB is armed because its members were found with dynamites, machetes and Biafran flags”.
As the Governor of Anambra State and its Chief Security Officer, every butchery role played by any branch of his Joint Security Taskforce would not have taken place without his knowledge and approval. From our extensive investigation, the organizers of the 2016 Igbo Heroes Day Anniversary and their supporters did not err a bit in any way. The Governor also admitted in his second government statement that “no house was burnt”, except “two private vehicles at Eke Nkpor, one motorcycle at Afor Nkpor and a security van”.
The organizers of the Igbo Heroes Day, therefore, deserve commendation for conducting themselves in organized and nonviolent manners not minding extensive State violence unleashed on them. Apart from brazen conspiratorial roles of Governor Willie Obiano in the referenced massacre; he handled the situation in grossly poor manner. This is despite the letter addressed to the Commissioner of Police, upon which preemptive State attacks and violence against the organizers and their supporters were carefully planned and executed.
We also found it shocking over the Government of Anambra State’s claims that “its JTF personnel were attacked and shot at with live bullets while providing protection for the protesters”. This is another falsehood of unpardonable proportion. The soldiers and police never allowed the event to take off, not to talk of protecting it. As a matter of fact, peaceful and civil movements into the State for the event were violently disrupted by soldiers and police as early as 10am in the night of 29th of May 2016.
These explain why we held that all the official statements from Police, Army and the Government of Anambra State over the massacre are “official lies containing no iota of truth”. That is to say that no member of IPOB and other pro Igbo Indigenous Rights movements was found with gun and no live bullet was fired at the JTF from same; no weapons of any kind were found on organizers and their supporters; no organized protest was planned other than a prayer procession inside a large cleared virgin land along Nkpor-Umuoji Road and no hoodlums hijacked any protest; and if any, then it was government planted for the purpose of hanging criminal responsibility around the neck of the Igbo Heroes Day organizers and their supporters so as to massacre them like they have done.
The claims by the Nigerian Army that it killed IPOB and other pro Igbo rights activists in self defense and that it acted within the Rules of Engagement, is totally false, roguish and professionally abominable. The event of 30th of May 2016 is never an act of war or internal armed conflict, requiring the Rules of Engagement or act of legitimate self defense; as claimed by the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian Army over-stepped its bounds by involving its personnel in a civil and peaceful event that it later provoked and turned into massacre. As such, all the killings recorded in the massacre are expressly an act of State murder and indisputably crimes against humanity.
For clarity, the Rules of Engagement being corrupted and bastardized by the Nigerian Army are strictly applicable in international or internal armed conflict; derived from the Geneva Conventions of 1949; which, in turn, came from the three war doctrines of Jus Ad Bellum (justification and ground for going to war); Jus In Bellum ( ethical rules of conduct during war, such as ethical standards expected of soldiers in wartime or rules of engagement); and Just Post Bellum (regulations on how wars are ended and facilitation of transition from war to peace). Included in the internationally standardized military Rules of Engagement is legitimate use of force; which is further built around proportionality of force as well as doctrine of self defense.
These clarifications have become irrevocably important following gross corruption and bastardization of the Rules of Engagement and Doctrines of Use of Force and Self Defense by the Nigerian Military. It massacred over 700 Shiite Muslims in Zaria under little or no provocation and claimed “it acted in self defense and within the rules of engagement”. It has again butchered over 30 unarmed citizens and wounded over 100 others in Onitsha last Monday and came up defenseless excuses of acting in “in self defense”, and “in accordance with Rules of Engagement”.
The federal opposition APC (as it then was) once went to court to stop then Federal Government from using soldiers as part of field security during general or staggered elections; today, the same APC led Federal Government has resorted with reckless abandon to the use of soldiers to quell and suppress assemblies organized by unarmed and nonviolent movements. The Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force should also tell Nigerians and the international watchers whether it is within the ambit of the Rules of Engagement to control civil processions and protests with live ammunitions and deadly force.
Our question to the Nigeria Police Force is that are there no longer non-lethal crowd control instruments or devices such as tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, electric tasers, batons, whips, water cannons, long range acoustic devices, aerial surveillance, police dogs, etc and body protective devices such as anti crowd helmets, face visors, body armor (i.e. vests, neck protectors, knee pads, etc), gas masks and anti crowd shields?
Assuming “dynamites”, “machetes” and “biafran flags” were found on members of the Igbo Heroes Day and Igbo indigenous rights movements as the Government of Anambra State claimed; upon which the ICC bound retiring Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, labeled IPOB as “armed Indigenous People of Biafra”; are they proportionate to the well coordinated deadly force and arms applied in the massacre? Is it also part of Army’s Rules of Engagement to open fire with live bullets on a mass of people? Was it all members of the crowd sighted by Governor Willie Obiano’s JTF that were caught bearing “dynamites”, “machetes” and “biafran flags” as “assault weapons”; warranting opening fire on them, killing over 30 and wounding over 100? Most, if not all members of Hausa-Fulani male Muslim population in Nigeria bear machetes and daggers with reckless abandon; how many of them have been arrested and disarmed by Solomon Arase’s Police Force?
Is it also part of the Army’s Rules of Engagement to invade hospitals and abduct the injured or wounded? Even in armed conflict, the wounded are inexcusably protected and entitled to prompt and adequate medical treatments. This is clearly provided in the 1st and 2nd Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Which provision of the so called “Army Rules of Engagement” or the 1999 Constitution authorizes the Army to abduct the corpses of civilian population it killed in peace time and bury them unlawfully in undisclosed mass graves? Is Nigeria no longer a member of the United Nations bound by international obligations? Is Nigeria no longer an inviolable party to the fundamental rules of the international law under the UN System?
Has the Buhari administration not constituted a serious threat to the international peace and security and the principles and purposes of the United Nations? Under the ten basic standards of international law, its third commandment directs member-States of UN as follows: “do not use force when policing unlawful but nonviolent assemblies; when dispersing violent assemblies, use force only to the minimum extent necessary”. Has the Buhari administration adhered strictly to this fundamental provision of the international law as a member of UN? Does shooting people indiscriminately at close range and at their terminal regions including chests, heads, necks, stomachs, waists, and private parts amount to minimum or legitimate use of force?
The essence of these questions is to expose the wicked lies and conducts of the Buhari’s wicked regime and its wicked sub-ordinates, who go on rampage massacring innocent, nonviolent and unarmed citizens of Biafra (the Southeast and the South-south) using State violence to further consolidate their hate policy and revenge for electoral opposition of the areas against the present APC led Federal Government.
Finally, we solemnly join the family of Engineer Henry Ibebuike Enekwe to call on Governor Willie Obiano and his JTF particularly the Onitsha Military Cantonment and the Anambra State Police Command to produce alive or disclose the whereabouts of Engineer Enekwe Henry Ibebuike, who resides beside Mason Chemical Company, near Eke-Nkpor in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State; where he packed in barely a month ago from his Enugu base. He is 32 years of age and an electrical engineer by profession; and married to Mrs. Enekwe Priscilla Obianuju.
He hails from Umuaja Oma-Eke Community in Udi LGA of Enugu State. He left his Eke-Nkpor residential vicinity for his home town in Enugu State by 6am in the morning of 30th of May 2016 after being seen off to his compound gate by his wife (Uju) and was abducted by soldiers on patrol. He has not been seen since then and the last time he called was hours after his abduction. We understand he placed a distress call from his captivity to his younger sister (Helen); a DSS operative based in Ebonyi State and informed her of his abduction by soldiers on his way to Enugu to conclude a house wiring contract with a Lagos based businessman.
He barely started the conversation with his younger sister and her husband who is also a DSS operative; when the soldiers snatched the phone from him and since then he had not called or been heard. Searches from one police and army formation to the other in the State have been carried out by his family, all to no avail. Engineer Henry Ibebuike’s elder brother is Mr. Lawrence Enekwe. Engineer Henry Enekwe’s wife (Uju) has run to Enugu since Wednesday (1st of June 2016) following repeated raids and invasions of the area by soldiers and SARS. His elder brother’s phone number is 08036764445; his wife’s phone number-8136515752 and Engineer Henry’s own is 08066934547. His pictures are attached below.
For: Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Leader SBCHROs & Board Chair, Intersociety
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Comrade Aloysius Attah, Chair, Anambra CLO & Head, Publicity, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348035090548
Jerry Chukwuokoro, PhD, Head, Research & Strategy, SBCHROs
Mobile Line: +2348035372962