We, the Igbo Ekunie Initiatives, IEI, comprised of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora; IEI, wishes to draw the attention of the international community to the existential crisis in the South East, engendered by the activities of the Nigerian security agencies, especially the army and the police that have been taking nefarious steps to dismantle the security cohesion of entire South East region of Nigeria thus ushering an unprecedented level of anarchy, hopelessness, and despair in a region that before the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari was unarguably the safest and most peaceful part of Nigeria.
With grave concern, we have noted on one part the total lack of will of the Federal Government security agencies to live up to its statutory functions of providing security in the South East region and on the other part, the aforesaid security agencies are using the resultant security breakdown as an excuse to unleash mayhem on the Igbo people of the South-East Nigeria which include the killing of unarmed civilians, injuring and killing of college students, ethnic cleansing, community dislocation, and societal upheavals.
The government has also routinely been accused by several human rights organizations of having a hand in the instigation/provocation of violence through harassment, extortion, torture, kidnappings, and maiming of innocent people in Igboland
It is consequently a disappointment of epic proportions that the current administration that purportedly came into power through democratic means on the premise of positive change, now represents a throwback to military rule as is now evident in the scale and scope of extrajudicial executions, detentions and egregious human rights violations unleashed on peaceful citizens all over the country, especially in the South East.
We submit that the crude resort to harassment and illegal detention of innocent citizens in the entire South East, in violation of court orders, constitutes an assault on our democracy and betrays the sacrifices made by the many who lost their lives in the struggle to return Nigeria to constitutional democracy based on the rule of law.
We totally condemn in its entirety the deliberate attempt to replicate in the South East the havoc and massive destructions that has been visited upon the North East Region and we also denounce the emergence of the so-called Unknown Gun Men (UGM) who have been burning and destroying government properties in the entire South East region including the Imo State and Anambra State prisons, INEC Offices in Enugu and Awka
In the same vein, we unequivocally condemn the killing of Security personnel and members of vigilante services by the Unknown Gun Men and hereby demand the immediate stop of such atrocious bloodletting. The Government should without further delay constitute a commission of Inquiry to investigate and reveal the identities of the so-called Unknown Gun Men with a view to bringing all those involved to book.
South-East Nigeria has been rated as one of the safest regions of the country but recent events have shown that it is no more feasible because of Nigeria’s security forces. The way things are going in Igboland, the safety of life and property of the region are no longer guaranteed. The daily shootings, extortion, kidnappings, and maiming of civilians by these security forces should be condemned by all right-thinking Nigerians and the International community at large. This reality has put the Igbo as endangered people in Nigeria whose lives are recklessly cut short with impunity.
We call upon the Federal Government to take charge of the security situation in the South East and also to become awake to the responsibility of governance and begin to take immediate and measurable steps to live up to the constitutional duty of providing security to all Nigerians and maintaining law and order in the South East to arrest further drift to anarchy and descent to chaos.
In this regards, we vehemently insist on the total overhaul of our national security architecture by immediately correcting the lopsided makeup of the Nigerian Armed forces and the Police by including men and women from the South-East into the Security agencies to reflect the federal character constitutional requirement and give South-East a sense of belonging in the decision and execution of security policies that are of utmost importance to the South East region.
We call for restraints from all Nigerians and for the youths and adults in Igboland to rise above all provocations and continue to be law-abiding and avoid taking any unguided steps that will play into the hands of our enemies who would relish the pleasure of plundering our region to wipe out all the extraordinary achievements we have managed to make in spite of the huge plights, predicaments and afflictions that we have suffered in Nigeria.
Finally, we call upon the United Nations, EU, and other international institutions to undertake an urgent visit to the South-East part of Nigeria on a fact-finding mission to assess the overall security situation of the place and thereafter take all necessary actions and precautions to forestall the impending implosion and balkanization of the entire West African region.
Chief Chigbo Uzokwelu
President Igbo Ekunie Initiatives
Mr John Asiegbu
Secretary Igbo Ekunie Initiatives