Connect with us

Latest News

Destruction Of ESN Exposes South-East To Fulani Herders’ Attacks – HURIWA



Delta Lawmakers Pass Anti-open Grazing Bill

The recent Sunday night’s attack on a farm settlement by suspected Fulani herders in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Council of Enugu State resulting in the gruesome deaths of many innocent Igbo farmers has confirmed the agenda of the government to destroy the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and make the South-East vulnerable to attacks.

HURIWA specifically accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the likes of the Imo State Governor Mr. Hope Uzodinma and the ‘fake’ setting up of the Ebubeagu Security Network by the “increasingly ethically weak” governors of the South East of encouraging the attacks.

In a statement by its national coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said: ” The genocide which was halted by the emergence of the fiercest vigilance organisation in the South-East of Nigeria known as Eastern Security Network has now restarted after the Federal Government in collusion with the South- East governors have bombed the Eastern Security Network out of existential position to confront and defeat any deadly incursions by armed Fulani terrorists into the Igbo heartland.

“It is more worrisome that this  incident in Enugu and that of Ebonyi State in which over 50 lives of Igbo villagers were lost are coming few months after the orchestrated attacks on the ESN camps across the south eastern states, which recorded killings of its members made up of youths who decided that they can no longer trust the political leadership in the South-East since most of them are not even living in the South-East and so neither do they have any commitment nor care about the South-East unlike their counterparts from the South-West who took the gauntlet by setting up their own South-West vigilance group that is known as AMOTEKUN.

READ ALSO: Our Conditions For Giving Land To Fulani Herders – Ortom

“Since the ESN came into existence in December 2020, as a reaction to the Igbo’s perception that they are targeted by Muslim Fulani herders, whom they accuse of grazing on farmlands and committing crimes against local residents, there have been little or no reported incidents of attacks in the region.

Record has it that prior to the advent of the ESN, the destructive activities of rogue herdsmen on farms in communities in the South-East were worrisome and frightening. They, with hordes of cattle invaded farmlands with reckless abandon, making a mess of the crops which the poor village farmers toiled to put in place. Sadly, in most cases, these killer herdsmen even violently attack and kill the farmers if they have the gut to question them.

“These evil activities took place in all parts of the South: from Abia to Imo; from Anambra to Enugu and Ebonyi. The people were crying especially in the face of the emphasis the Federal Government places on agriculture. None of the herdsmen were reported to have been arrested and tried by the law enforcement agencies. Yet, the evil acts continued unabated.

“This matter has been of great concern to HURIWA as a media affiliated civil rights body, and we have followed lamentations and reports of what the rural farmers went through before the advent of the embattled ESN.

“We cried out when Ozuitem community in Bende area of Abia State was invaded and attacked by the herdsmen and nobody did anything. People were slaughtered and property destroyed. A month later, another community in the same Abia State, Ndi Okereke Abam in Arochukwu council, was equally attacked by the herdsmen. Nothing was done.

“In the early hours of April 6, 2019, the herdsmen attacked farmers’ settlement in Anambra West Council of Anambra State. They set the farm houses ablaze, killed the men and raped the women they captured, yet nobody came to their rescue.

“Could the youths have kept beating about the bush while their people were being taking to slaughter houses day after day? What about the dastardly attack on Umuawa-Ibu community in Okigwe council area of Imo State? In all these cases, HURIWA cried to high heavens, petitioned here and there, and complained everywhere, yet the authorities never cared.

“In Enugu, on June 14, 2019, the same herdsmen attacked a commercial bus carrying traders, mainly women returning from the market along Agbani-Ugbawka road in Nkanu East council area and abducted three young women after they had robbed the traders. The internal outcry over these atrocities became deafening. Reportedly also, these herdsmen also butchered a whole family and a Catholic seminarian on apostolic work in Nkanu.

READ ALSO: Presidency Wants IGP To Publish Names Of Fulani Herders On Trial Nationwide

“The story is the same in Ebonyi and Imo States. In Imo State, armed Fulani herders reportedly unleashed terror in Oguta, Ohaji-Egbema and Orlu as well as other parts of Igbo land. The killing of Ozoemena Iriaka from Umuekpu in Agwa community in the same Oguta council area was added to the list of casualties of these murderous herdsmen.

“For almost a decade, people of South-East endured the agony of murder, rape and molestation at the hands of killer herdsmen; a minority group that appears to be ‘sacred cows’ because they control all state apparatus and hence are unleashing violence on the people.

“Even, the international community has rated these herdsmen as the fourth deadliest terror group in the world, yet the Nigerian authorities kept mum. Despite these atrocious acts, the authorities looked the other way, may be, to create the scenario that elicited the criminalization and annihilation of the only vigilance group (ESN) that is working to stop the killing of farmers in the South-East by branding them outlaws.

“Undoubtedly, recent happenings have revealed that the destruction of ESN was not just a coincidence but a systematic, well- planned plot in getting the South-East exposed so that these armed herders can go in and attack just as they did on Sunday night in Enugu state as reported by major news platforms across the country.

“Furthermore, compared to the Eastern Security Network, we wish to state that the Ebubeagu Security Network of the South-East governors has failed in its entirety to address the security challenges in the South-East zone as it has rather  compromised the security of the Igbo nation states.

“Observably, from the realities on the ground, the Ebubeagu Security Network only exists on the pages of newspapers as their operatives and operations cannot be found in any community of the south eastern states.

“Unlike their counterparts from the West who have made effort to combat terrorism in their territory through Amotekun, we wonder why governors of the South-East have allowed themselves to become fragmented for fear of displeasing their masters. Unfortunately too, some of the Igbo political leaders have allowed themselves to be cajoled and intimidated to the point where they now deny their own identity.

“Undoubtedly, the unending assault on the country’s grundnorm by the institution which has the onus to promote and protect it, has rendered Nigeria a lawless state. Any national or state government that fails to protect its people through national security apparatus has created a lacuna for the latter to seek self-defence as an alternative to reliance on government security outfit.”

HURIWA’s statement continues: “Besides self-preservation, any interest groups or individuals could exploit the absence of law and order in a country to promote their goals. Whether the ESN was purposely launched as an instrumentality to further actualize a long-term agitation for Biafra Republic as being alleged is another discourse. What is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf is the state of anarchy in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Ethnic and Religious Hatred and the Deceitful Campaigns in Nigeria By Salihu Moh. Lukman

“Nigeria’s government could tackle the general insecurity menace through the establishment of state police and the enactment and enforcement of the Forestry Laws in every state in tandem with the peculiarity of their geographical features to curb forestry offences and regulate farmers and herders face-off.

“Terrorism/insecurity is a global menace. It takes an ethnic colouration in Nigeria due to the existing fragile state of the federation and the present government’s failure to keep the country as one entity beyond forceful cohesion mechanism.

“Therefore, government must create a feeling of belonging among the various people of the federation through its policy. With this, every challenge would take a national outlook with a common way forward. South-East governors must be put under social pressure by the good people of the South-East to protect them or allow the people bear lawful arms to protect themselves and their ancestral lands. Self-defence is a universal human right.”


Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Latest News

BREAKING: PDP Chairman Beaten To Coma Dies



Peter Nweke

Peter Nweke, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Ezza North local government area, beaten to coma, is dead.

Nweke died from injuries he sustained from attacks by hoodlums suspected to be political thugs on Saturday during the Governorship and Assembly elections.

Police spokesperson, Onome Onovwakpoyeya confirmed the death of Nweke on Sunday.

She said Nweke was beaten up and rushed to the hospital unconscious where he was later pronounced dead by a doctor.

The police officer said the police had launched an investigation into the death with a view to arresting and prosecuting anyone responsible.

Nweke’s younger brother, Samson Nweke also confirmed the death.

Continue Reading

Latest News

BREAKING:Court Orders INEC to Paste, Transmit Results Electronically



INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu

Hours before the Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assembly elections, a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically transmit the results of the polls in accordance with its regulations and guidelines.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a judgment, also ordered the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) immediately after the completion of all the polling units voting and results’ procedures in Akwa Ibom.

The judge further directed the commission to conspicuously paste the publication of its result posters EC60(E) at polling units after completing the EC8A result sheets in the state.

He equally ordered INEC to enforce the observance and compliance of Section 27(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 in the distribution of electoral materials during the conduct of the polls in the state by engaging the services of independent, competent, and reliable logistic companies who are non-partisans or known supporters of any political for the distribution of electoral materials and personnel.

Egwuatu held that since the electoral umpire averred in its filed affidavit that it was aware of its responsibilities under the law and had not failed to carry them out, granting the prayers sought by the applicants would not do any harm to the commission but instead, energise its performance.

He gave the judgment following a suit filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, Uduakobong Udoh, including 13 state’s House of Assembly candidates for the March 18 elections.

Recall that the applicants, in the originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/334/2023 dated and filed on March 15 by their lawyer, Moses Usoh-Abia, had sued INEC as sole defendant.

The applicants, who sought seven reliefs, prayed the court for an order of mandamus compelling INEC and all its agents to comply with and enforce the provision of Clause 37 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the Saturday’s governorship and house of assembly elections in Akwa Ibom.

They also prayed the court to mandate the presiding officers of all polling units to conspicuously paste the publication of result posters EC460(E) at the polling units after completing the EC8A result sheets.

They sought an order of mandamus compelling the commission to mandate the presiding officers of all polling units in the state to electronically transmit or transfer the result of the polling units, direct to the collation system and use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) immediately after the completion of all the polling units voting and results procedures.

They said this was in compliance with the provision of Clause 38 of the guidelines for the conduct of the polls.
The applicants equally prayed for an order directing INEC to enforce the observance and compliance of Section 27(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 in the distribution of electoral materials during the conduct of the polls by engaging the services of independent, competent, and reliable logistic companies who are non-partisans or known supporters of any political for the distribution of electoral materials and personnel, among other reliefs.

Justice Egwuatu had, on Wednesday, granted leave to the applicants to proceed with a judicial review, filed requisite motion and put INEC on notice, following an ex-parte motion moved by Usoh-Abia.

Upon resumed hearing on the matter on Friday, Usoh-Abia said that he had complied with the earlier court order and that their motion was served on INEC on Wednesday.

The lawyer said despite the service of their process, the commission was not represented in court.

The judge, however, said that he noticed INEC:s counter affidavit and a preliminary objection to their originating summons in the court file.

He said the application was filed on Thursday.
Responding, Usoh-Abia said though they were yet to be served by the commission, he was ready to proceed with the matter due to the urgency of the case.
He said the motion, dated March 15, had 26-paragrph affidavit with nine exhibits.
The lawyer urged the court to direct the electoral umpire to comply with its regulations and guidelines of Clauses 37 and 38 on the conduct of the elections.

He said the order was necessary because the commission, in the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly polls, failed to transmit results of the elections in the state and across the country.

He argued that INEC created the regulations and guidelines pursuant to Section 148 and 60(5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 to guide the conduct of elections and collating of election result among others.

Usoh-Abia said INEC’s refusal to comply with the law had resulted in serious prejudice; and had foisted uncertainty and frustration on his clients at their various polling units and wards.
The lawyer said if the order was not granted, the same scenario would repeat itself in the Saturday’s poll.

But INEC, in its preliminary objection, said the suit was incompetent and the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it.

The commission argued that the applicants had not established a justifiable action against it.

It also said that the applicants acted in contravention of the practice direction by commencing the suit via originating summons.
Delivering judgment, Justice Egwuatu said he was satisfied that the applicants had complied with the practice direction rules in the filing of their application.

He also said that he was satisfied that a cause of action had been established against INEC in the paragraphs of the applicants’ process.

The judge, therefore, ordered INEC to direct all its presiding officers to comply with Clauses 37 and 38 of its regulations and guidelines for the conduct of tomorrow’s election in Akwa Ibom.

He held that the commission had the legal duty to act in accordance with the law.

The judge, however, refused to grant other reliefs.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Govt Postpones 2023 Census



Emefiele Sick, Can't Meet With Reps - CBN
President Buhari

The 2023 population and housing census earlier scheduled for 29 March has been shifted to May.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mohammed said that the decision to shift the census was necessitated by the postponement of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from 11 March to 18 March.

He also disclosed that the council approved N2.8 billion for the National Population Commission (NPC) to procure some software to be used for the conduct of the census.

“There was a memo presented by the National Population Commission, seeking some software to allow them to conduct the census in May this year.

”I believe because of the rescheduling of the elections, they cannot commence the census as scheduled.

“They sought council’s approval for a contract to procure software for the census at the sum of N2.8 billion,” he said.

Continue Reading

Top Stories

%d bloggers like this: