From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Coalition of 44 Eastern Nigerian Human Rights, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Intellectuals has blacklisted the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba, over his alleged comments about ‘genocide enabler(s)’.
The groups noted that the recent public utterances of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, were also clear and additional indication that the present Government of Nigeria has designated the two regions as ‘hatefully and religiously a must crush.’
The coalition in a statement signed by Barr. Austin Okeke-Global Leader, Igbo Board of Deputies (Worldwide) and Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) among other groups condemned the order by the IGP to policemen to shoot-at-sight suspected youths describing it as intending genocide in the areas.
The groups, observed with deep shock, sadness and dismay the frightening moves by the Acting IGP Baba and the authorities of the Nigerian Army and other branches of the Armed Forces to Southeast and South-south Regions into society of beasts and barbarians.
‘The Coalition is therefore sensing and fearing that Eastern Nigeria is remotely designated by the Government of Nigeria and its security forces and justice agency as “a major threat to widely suspected state jihad project” and therefore must be crushed under the cover of “anti ESN/IPOB operations”.
‘Till today, Nigerian Government has failed to credibly prove that “IPOB/ESN” carried out the recent attacks in the two regions with fresh facts emerging and discrediting the Government’s claims. The Government of Imo State, for instance, has stated that “70% of over 400 citizens arrested over recent mayhem in the State are not Igbo or citizens of the two regions”; meaning that the attackers are likely linked to the Government or jihadists imported into the two regions.
‘We also have reason to circumstantially believe that the Nigerian Government sees “ESN” as a major threat to its clandestine and policy support for jihadist activities of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the two regions including forceful occupation of farmlands, bushes and forests and mass killings, abduction, rape and killing of Christian women or their forceful marriage and conversion to Islam.
‘The Coalition is not surprised at the recent uncultured, frightening and genocidal comments and incitement by the Acting IGP Usman at the flag off of the so called “Operation Restore Peace” held in Enugu (on 18th May 2021) and Port Harcourt (on 19th May 2021). Going by unprintable things said by the Acting IGP including open threat and authorization of genocide against Christians of Eastern Nigeria, the Coalition wishes to conclude that such morally disreputable and savagely comments are literally jihad and ethnic cleansing enabler and therefore must not be taken for granted.
‘The Coalition hereby designates the Acting Inspector General of Police as “Genocide Enabler”. He has also been blacklisted in the non charlatanistic Human Rights Community and soonest we shall take further steps to forward his name to relevant international human rights, diplomatic and intergovernmental quarters for their records and needful actions.
‘We strongly condemn a situation whereby it looks as if it is only the lives and safety of security personnel that matter in the country especially in Eastern Nigeria with little or no Government attention or priority given to killing, maiming and abduction of unarmed and defenseless citizens.
‘We are also strongly opposed to grossly lopsided citizens’ security and protection arrangements by the present Government of Nigeria; arrangements widely perceived to favor Muslims of the North and the Southwest especially the Muslim Fulani population and hostile to Christians of the South and the North,’ the coalition stated.