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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

HURIWA Calls for Probe of Gov. Shettima; Canvasses Residential Identity in S/East

 Following last Sunday’s foiled bombing of churches in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Human Rights Writers association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called for an immediate and thorough probe of the statements credited to the Borno State governor,  Alhaji Kashim Shettima, that members of the Boko Haram sect would extend their onslaught to the southern part of the country.
The group said the statement credited to the governor, should be thoroughly probed to ascertain whether the Sunday June 15, 2014 attempt to bomb five churches in Owerri, Imo State has any connection.
“We are worried that in less than 78 hours after this bizarre media comments credited to the Borno State governor that Boko Haram will attack the Southern states if the uprisings are not crushed in the North Eastern States, these satanic bombers actually proceeded to plant explosives to inflict maximum chaos in the heartland of Igboland but for the swift intervention of the police and vigilant private guards at the winners church. 
“We hereby demand the probe of that statement and advise politicians to watch their tongues to avoid providing fuel for the ongoing insurgencies. Those entrusted with the onerous task of providing good governance and leadership as governors must guard against utterances that may be misconstrued as providing tonic for the armed terrorists to continue or intensify their war against the Nigerian people and the Nigerian state,” HURIWA said in a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, and made available to Factfinders Online.
The rights group however commended the gallantry and prompt response of the Imo State Police Command, while calling on the traditional rulers, politicians as well as the security agencies in the South-East to act quickly in ensuring that the citizens are protected from terrorism.
The statement reads further: “We commend the gallantry exhibited by the Imo State police command in responding promptly to diffuse the explosives planted at the premises of Winners chapel in Owerri, Imo State. The Imo state commissioner of police and his management team should be commended and encouraged to keep up the tempo of prompt, decisive and effective law enforcement.  We also asked the Imo State police command, the state security services' directorate in Imo State and the military institution to set up effective counter terrorism task force to check activities of terrorists who may be plotting to invade the state.
“Similarly, the entire South East police and security institutions must set up efficient anti-terrorism task force and embark on widespread enlightenment campaign to educate the populace on strategies for identifying and reporting would -be terrorists.”
As an immediate response to the threat to lives and property, HURIWA called on the governments of the states in the south-East to immediately embark on the introduction of biometric identification cards for all residents of the region and for traditional and religious leaders to keep tabs on all persons within their jurisdiction.
The group then warned politicians to be circumspect with their public statements and avoid careless talks on the ongoing insurgency to avoid providing psychological boost for the armed terrorists, while calling on prominent investors and business owners based in the South East region to work out and implement fool- proof security measures to prevent any possible bomb attacks just as the group has demanded the setting up of Youth-led volunteer groups in the South East to monitor suspicious strange movements and to enlighten the populace on ways and means of remaining ahead of the terrorists.
“HURIWA has therefore called on Nigerian political leaders to close ranks and work as a united front to wage successful and unrelenting battle against armed terrorists because the danger in making divisive and deeply partisan statements from both the ruling People’s Democratic Party and the Opposition All Progressives Congress concerning the ongoing terrorism is that these agents of destabilisation will have the belief that they are indeed winning in their war against corporate Nigeria and may be motivated to intensify their war crimes,” the statement concludes.

7th June 2014.

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