The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has strongly deplored the attitudes of the Nigeria Army to the frequent incidents of unprovoked violent attacks on communities in the South East of Nigeria.
HURIWA said it regretted that the clearly stated rules of engagement for internal security operations are not been complied with by substantial number of soldiers in the South East of Nigeria.
HURIWA said the soldiers, according to the natives, stormed the community at about midnight on Friday and allegedly raided Agudene village, shooting sporadically and forcing the villagers to scamper for safety just as this would be about the second time Akpawfu community was being invaded by soldiers this year, causing the people to flee their homes.
The human rights group wondered how the Army is denying such an operation by their operatives which the villagers and the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Christopher Nnamani alleged that the invasion was by soldiers who they claimed were still in their village as at Christmas morning.
The spokesman of 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, Abubakar Abdullahi had said that he has no brief of any such operation in the said community.
“In the light of this apparent pretension by the military authority in Enugu about this incident, we are of the view that this criminal pattern of sending out rogue military operatives to communities in the South East to harass and drive away citizens from their homes amounted to a gross violation of the Constitution and the Rules of Engagement for internal security operations by the Nigeria Army”, HURIWA said in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko.
“The Chief of Army Staff must call his officers and men to order. How can the Enugu division of the Army pretend not to be aware of such a big operation that lasted many hours whereas some villagers who pleaded anonymity due to fear told newsmen that their people had ran away from the village for safety.”
HURIWA said it is running out of patience with the hierarchy of the Nigeria Army and may be compelled to take other legitimate steps such as either staging peaceful protests to embassies of global leading nations in Nigeria or send a compilation of reports of use of extrajudicial executions of innocent citizens by soldiers to the International Criminal Court ICC.
The group said it would specifically petitioning President Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs including Police heads in Nigeria and Imo State so they are prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
Meanwile, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has accused the Police of having acting like terrorists and also desecrating the Church while arresting Uche Nwosu, a former governorship candidate in Imo State on Sunday.
HURIWA condemned the Imo State Police Command for carrying out the so-called arrest of the Son-In-law of Senator Rochas Okorocha inside the Anglican Church premises, adding that they operated like armed terrorists or kidnappers.
The human rights advocacy group demanded that the Police Service Commission, PSC, investigate the police conducts, which it described as unprofessional.
HURIWA said by this show of criminal brute force the police in Imo State have given life to the widespread allegations in many quarters that operatives of the security services in Imo State and other parts of South East of Nigeria may be responsible for the spate of targeted assassinations and kidnappings that have happened in the very recent time.
HURIWA said this in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National director of media Miss Zainab Yusuf, adding that the fact that the police shot sporadically inside the vicinity of the Church is an unpardonable desecration of the sanctity of the Church
The rights group said the police headed by a Muslim Inspector-General has demonstrated total disregard to the Body of Christ which is an abomination and criminal act because Uche Nwosu is not someone the Imo State Police Command can not quietly invite to their station.