The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Tuesday, called for the setting up of a judicial commission of enquiry into the security challenges currently confronting Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement signed by Comrade Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike, the group’s executive director, and made available to THE WHISTLER in Enugu.
The group described Nigeria’s security challenge as ‘threatening both human lives and property of the natives, especially as accusing fingers continued to point at the military, police and certain lawless natives in the crime’.
The group stated that, “Confessions made by many Nigerians, including some freed victims of the terrorists, indicate that security agents and some natives collaborate with the terrorist Fulani killer gang to commit these dastardly human rights infractions.
“All over Nigeria, we experience these heinous human rights violations by Fulani herdsmen hugely aided by security agents and the rural communities, but no efforts have been made by the federal government to interrogate this wickedness.
“We make haste to say that government’s failure to check the evil activities of these evildoers leads to its commission in large propensity.”
The group recalled that bandits recently turned the Nike-Ekwegbe-Opi junction road, the only access road connecting the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Rivers states ‘into a war theatre where numerous unsuspecting journey makers were abducted in the glare of policemen and soldiers at the many extortion checkpoints on the road’.
“Of these victims were students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) who were returning to school after the ASUU strike, officials of Enugu State government and the former secretary to the government of Enugu State, Dr Daniel Shere.
“A week before this raid, three kidnapping incidents occurred at the Four-Corner/Nvene area of Ozalla Community in Nkanu West LG area of Enugu State. The abduction took place beside an army checkpoint.
“While the kidnapping incidents lasted, the soldiers didn’t only watch the terrorists operate, they were said to have monitored the counting of ransom brought by the families of the victims.
“Besides, the terrorists bore Ak-47 arms and barreta pistols with which they terrorise their victims. At Agbogwugwu, a neighbouring community to Ozalla, the former PDP youth leader, Okoye, was kidnapped for ransom.
“Men of God are not left out by these perpetrators. The terrorists have brutally attacked the Church of God during which some worshippers were murdered and others abducted. The prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Archbishop Kanu, was kidnapped some years back.
“His revelations after he was freed were threatening. Last Monday, Rev Fr Malachy Asadu of St Theresa’s Catholic Diocese, Nsukka, was kidnapped on his way to his Parish after a diocesan ecclesiastian meeting.
“Few months ago, at a Mass in a Catholic Parish in Owo, Ondo State, the Fulani terrorists invaded the Mass and murdered several worshippers. Previously, too, Chief Olu Falae, former secretary to the government of the federation, was abducted in his farm on Owo Road, Akure, Ondo state.
“The Abuja-Kaduna road has, at a time, become a ‘no pass area’ because many commuters have been kidnapped there. The height of Kaduna kidnap was the attack of a train and abduction of its passengers. The whole of the Middle Region had been sieged by terrorists and we can go on.”
Against this background, the group demands, among others, “The inauguration of a judicial commission of enquiry to understudy the activities of these criminals and publish its findings and recommendations for full implementation.
“Request the international community and diplomatic institutions in Nigeria to intervene and help Nigerians prevail on the ailing APC government to take fast and positive steps in arresting this scourge.”
The group urged governors of the victim states or regions to pull resources together with the aim to protect the lives and property of their citizens pending the period the federal government would take action.
It also recommended encouraging and boosting the operations of indigenous security organisations, interrogating the local, rural communities where these terrorists live and operate from.
The group also tasked the National Assembly to enact a law that would give the host governors the power to control the operations of security agencies operating in their states or regions, especially with respect to the protection of lives and property of the natives.