The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) on Wednesday urged the United Nations, European Union, African Union, and international human rights organisations to investigate what it described as “unprovoked genocide” carried out by security agencies against members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at Emene, a suburb of Enugu on August 23, 2020.
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Media and Publicity Bureau, Chief Abia Onyike that such investigation was needed to bring the “state sponsored murderers to justice.”
SummitNews recalls that on Sunday, August 23, a detachment of Nigeria Police, Army, DSS attacked members of IPOB at the premises of Community Secondary School, Emene, where they were holding their regular meeting, and in the process killed about 21 IPOB members.
ADF said the bloody incident was avoidable, describing it as a continuation of genocide against the Igbo race which started in 1966.
The group maintained that the perpetrators of the Enugu massacre should be compelled to pay for their crimes against humanity, saying that no law exists in the country that authorizes law enforcement agents “to open fire and murder unarmed citizens, under whatever guise, without investigation and judicial prosecution.”
The statement reads: “The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has taken note of the avoidable bloody crackdown carried out by a combined team of the Nigerian Police, Army, SSS, SARS and other Security outfits against members of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) who were holding a peaceful meeting at Emene Enugu on 23rd August, 2020 and wishes to state as follows:
“ADF unequivocally condemns the brutal massacre of over 21 Igbo youths in this latest phase of the Igbo genocide, the longest, most continuous and unresolved genocide in the political history of the African continent. The first phase of the Igbo genocide was from 1966-1970 and was used to inaugurate Africa’s age of pestilence as the first post-colonial genocide in the continent.
“ADF believes that this brutal massacre of unarmed and defenseless citizens who were meeting in an open space to discuss their affairs is the height of political impunity and arbitrariness on the part of the security agencies. We totally agree with the Assistant Inspector-General of Police(AIG), Zone 13, Danmallam Mohammed who described the assault on IPOB members by the security agents as “unbecoming and unfortunate.”
“ADF notes the ominous dimension whereby the only two Igbo personnel on the DSS side were the only casualties of the shooting on the side of the security agents. The security personnel were mainly Hausa-Fulani and the only victims were the Igbo elements in the security contingent. The emerging theory that they were gunned down by their colleagues for purposes of covering up the cold-blooded atrocity, which they may have vehemently opposed, should not be discountenanced.
“The time has come to compel the perpetrators of such pre-judicial killings to pay for their crimes against humanity. There is no law in Nigeria that authorized law enforcement agents to open fire and murder unarmed citizens, under whatever guise, without recourse to investigation and judicial prosecution. Nigeria is not a banana republic _where_ trigger-happy warlords are let loose to unleash mayhem on peaceful citizens without recourse to due process.
Chief Abia Onyike, ADF Chairman, Media and Publicity Bureau
“The so-called proscription of IPOB which was hastily undertaken by the Federal Government ought to have been lifted by now. After all, other more deadly and armed terrorist organizations such as the Fulani Herdsmen( categorized by the United Nations as the world’s fourth terrorist organization) are yet to be proscribed by the Nigerian government. Moreover, the set of Igbo leaders who allowed themselves to be used for the illegitimate exercise have since regretted their actions.
“ ADF wishes to make it clear that the agitation of self-determination is not a political crime, provided that such a quest is carried out on the banner of peaceful agitation as was propounded by Mahtma Ghandi of India. The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political rights gives all people’s the right to self-determination.
“The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights provides that “All Peoples shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.”
“ On 13th September, 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution with an overwhelming majority votes whereby the world body recognized and supported the rights of all Ethnic Nationalities to self-determination, sovereignty and Independence.
“They defined self-determination as “the principle and practice whereby a nation, for example, an Ethnic Nation is in control of its own land, it’s own resources and its own governance, independent of any other subtending political structure.”
“The Nigerian Government should learn to engage/ negotiate with the IPOB and other separatists fighting for self-determination and discontinue its present brazen policy of brutal massacre of peaceful agitators, such as IPOB.
“ADF calls on the UN, AU, ECOWAS, EU, USA, Britain and the International human rights organizations to immediately institute an investigation into the unprovoked genocide, for the purposes of bringing the state sponsored murderers to justice.
“The time has come for the international Community to demonstrate to us that they regard us as part of humanity and that Igbo lives also matter.”