Tension In Anambra State Govt House As Amnesty Int'l Tasks Obiano Over Killings Of Pro-Biafra Activists

Written By Chima Onyekachi
12th December 2016

Amnesty International, Al, has tasked Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, to investigate the extrajudicial executions of peaceful Biafrans in the state. It is noteworthy that Anambra state has witnessed the most gruesome mass killings of innocent Biafrans who were on peaceful protest and demonstration. The International Human Rights watchdog began a petition online tagged “ADDRESS IMPUNITY: INVESTIGATE THE KILLINGS OF BIAFRA ACTIVISTS NOW!”, urging people to sign the petition on their website.

Al, stated that since August 2015, Nigeria security forces has executed not less than 150 members of Indigenous People of Biafra on peaceful assembly, injuring and abducting hundreds of them. Al, affirmed that extrajudicial executions are unlawful and violates the right to life as guaranteed by the Nigeria constitution and international law. The human right watchdog also revealed that supporters and members of IPOB have been arrested, some in their homes and have been subjected to various forms of torture, enforced disappearance and charged with treasonable felony which carries the death penalty.

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state has been urged by Amnesty International to initiate a prompt, independent and impartial judicial commission of inquiry into the killings of Biafra activists and other serious human rights violations by the Nigeria security forces. Willie Obiano has been called upon to promptly establish a commission of inquiry into the extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearance of IPOB members and supporters with a view to bringing the suspected perpetrators to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.

Amnesty International has done right in speaking against the extrajudicial execution of Biafrans but the international human rights watchdog must be aware that actions will not be taken by the state or federal government because they are accomplices to the crimes against the people of Biafra.

Willie Obiano, through his actions has shown a strong collaboration with President Muhammadu Buhari in the killing of innocent Biafrans in Anambra state. Though political associates to the governor has always insisted the governor has no control over the security agencies stationed in the state as directives to the security forces in the state comes directly from Abuja. Does that mean that Willie Obiano preferred to remain silent while several directives for summary executions of his people came from Abuja?

Biafrans who were on evangelism in Anambra state were targeted and shot on August 19, 2015. Also, on December 17th 2015, Biafrans who were jubilating over the news of the release of their leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, by the Abuja High Court were also targeted and shot at in Anambra state. The worst of the summary execution of Biafrans occurred on May 29th and 30th May 2016 at Nkpor-Onitsha in Anambra state.

Rather than speak against the extrajudicial killings of innocent Biafrans in the state by the Nigeria security forces, the Anambra state government led by Willie Obiano through his commissioner of information will always release press statements defending the atrocities by the soldiers and criminalizing the peaceful protesters. Obiano visited the mosque in main market Onitsha and doled out millions of naira to the Muslims, after the false reportage from the Nigeria media that the mosque was burnt down during protest. But he did not deem it fit to visit St Edmunds Catholic Church Nkpor after it was invaded by Nigeria army on the eve of the Biafra Heroes Day, rather the state environmental workers were sent to clean up bullet cases and empty tear gas canisters used against innocent Biafrans in the church and its environs.

Anambra state is gearing towards another election and Willie Obiano is expected to seek re-election. Expectantly, he may be seen wearing clothing with the portrait of Biafran hero Odumegwu Ojukwu to woo the people for their votes. The people of Biafra in Anambra state will not be deceived by cheap gimmicks from Obiano and his cohorts. Justice must prevail over the killing of thousands of innocent Biafrans who were murdered because they seek their right to self-determination. Obiano can ignore the demand from Amnesty International for an investigation, but he should be aware that no matter how long it takes, he must explain his role in the summary execution of peaceful Biafran protesters.

- The Oriental Times

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