Biafra Killings: Biafra Writers Chides Nigerian Army Over Continuous Denial Of Amnesty International Report”
Rejects Buratai’s Investigative Panel
By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
For Biafra Writers
16tth March 2017
The Biafra Writers’ Forum(BWF) and the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB have chided the Nigerian army over their continued denial of Amnesty International report on the extra-judicial killings of IPOB members agitating for a sovereign state from Nigeria.
The Writers’ group posited that instead of accepting the responsibility for their atrocities and inhumane actions against peaceful and innocent civilians in the country, the Nigerian military who have defied every rule of engagement in their operations continues lying through their teeth amidst boundless pieces of evidence on display.
BWF noted that the recent establishment of a compromised investigative panel to look into the killings of rallying IPOB members on 20th January during the swearing-in of the US President, Donald Trump, constituted dependent individuals loyal to the Nigerian army, wondering if the outcome of their report will be genuine and authentic having initially denied the report by Amnesty International.
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In a statement issued by BWF, it read; “In a yet another damning report released by Amnesty International after their thorough investigation on the murderous killings and deadly suppression of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), during their pro-Trump rally in Igweocha(Port Harcourt) on 20th January, 2017, the murderous Nigerian army who shamelessly denied the report, continued lying that no Biafra activist was killed during the rally.
“Hardly any allegations of crimes under international law and human rights violations by the Nigerian security forces, and in particular the military, are investigated. If an investigation is carried out, there is no follow up. Because no one has been seen to be held to account for serious human rights violations, an already pervasive culture of impunity within the military has been further strengthened.
“We hereby reject in its entirety the charade played by the Nigerian army in the constitution of a compromised and dependent investigative panel to look into the extra-judicial killings of IPOB members after first denying the substantial and indisputable allegations leveled against them.
READ THIS: Biafra: IPOB-Trump Rally: Murderous Buhari Sanctioned Killing Of Biafrans After Being Omitted From Trump's Inauguration Guest List
“While the military authorities have responded with counter-allegations against the IPOB without disputing the weighty claims in the AI report, we believe there is a need for an independent investigation into the excessive use of force and brutal killings that is fast becoming a daily routine by the Nigerian military.
“We also hope that the political leadership in Nigeria would take drastic steps to remind the leadership of the military of their obligations to citizens, especially in a democracy. That IPOB/MASSOB and other groups peddle violence, as contained in the statement by the military, cannot be an excuse for the tragedy reported by Amnesty International, AI.
“It is particularly noteworthy that this is not the first time that Amnesty International would be accusing the Nigerian army of widespread human rights abuses. However, the graphic video being currently circulated makes the accusation much more compelling and rather unhelpful for the bastardized image of the country.
MUST READ: BIAFRA: AGAIN, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDICTS THE NIGERIAN ARMY OF EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, BLASTS BUHARI OVER NNAMDI KANU, EL ZAKZAKY'S UNLAWFUL DETENTION.
“Thanks to social media, such images usually spread like wildfire and can only worsen the relationship between the military and the civil populace, especially under the current fragile political environment.
“Therefore, dismissing the report and accusing AI of pandering to the predilections of pro-Biafra groups would not help in resolving the crisis of confidence that is fast eroding the credibility of the Nigerian armed forces in the eyes of the ordinary Nigerians. Even when the military seeks for our sympathy and support for the sacrifices they make on behalf of the country at a most difficult period, nothing can justify the summary execution of citizens who are merely exercising their fundamental human rights to protests, rallies, and assembly.
“It is regrettable that the Nigerian army who are empowered and constitutionally backed with the sole responsibility of protecting and safeguarding the lives and properties of defenseless civilians in the country, have constituted themselves into a deadly terror group used as an instrument of destruction, torture, intimidation, extra-judicial detentions and illegal execution of hapless citizens of the country.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is today challenged on several fronts, ranging from the prevalent crimes of the Islamic fundamentalist insurgents, Fulani herdsmen killings, kidnapping, oil pipeline vandalism to armed robbery, but it is quite unfortunate and shameful that in spite of all these grievous security threats and challenges, the Nigerian military abandoned them to brutally suppress the legitimate struggle for Biafra’s freedom which they perceive as a national threat.
READ THIS TOO: BIAFRA: WHY DASUKI, KANU, EL ZAKZAKY MAY NEVER GET JUSTICE IN NIGERIAN COURTS ~ AZUKA ONWUKA
“However, because of their operative rules and with insufficient training for their new roles, it is no surprise that there have been cases where the military evidently overstepped their bounds and engaged in activities that highlight conflicts between them and the civil populace.
“However, no matter the provocation, the rules guiding the use of the firearm by the military forbid deploying excessive force, especially against civilian citizens. Even a plea of self-defence neither avails nor exculpates the military from the murder of defenseless civilians.
“Under customary international law, anticipatory self-defence is lawful if the necessity is immediate, overwhelming and when there is no other choice. But much more importantly, the self-defence so applied must be proportional to the aggression being confronted.
“The baseless argument of the military that it intervened in the last Onitsha Biafrans' agitation out of necessity to “prevent re-enforcement of the Biafrans apparently surging ahead from the far side of the strategic Niger Bridge at Onitsha,” is, to put it mildly, spurious and unfounded. And even if such imperative necessity existed, indiscriminate shooting at peaceful protesters cannot be a way of resolving civil conflicts, especially in a democracy. It is unacceptable and that message must be made clear to the military by the highest political authority in Nigeria.
READ TOO: Biafra: Buhari And Others Must Face ICC For The Extrajudicial Killings Of Biafrans--IPOB
“The Nigerian military and other sister security agencies must begin to accept and admit responsibility whenever they engaged, in an uncivilized manner, with not only the IPOB but other citizens of the country as it is not even in their best interest to issue denial statements on each occasion they operated against the law or rules of engagement”, as over a thousand Shiite Muslims did not just drop dead in the middle of the day on their own.
By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Published By IkeChukwu NwaOrisa
For Biafra Writers