Southeast groups to drag Buhari, FG to ICC over alleged ethnic cleansing

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By Damian Duruiheoma, Enugu

A group of elite organizations in Igboland comprising of the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), World Igbo Congress, Igbo World Assembly, Alaigbo Development Foundation among others have perfected plans to petition the International Criminal Court (ICC) over President Muhammadu Buhari’s genocidal comments against Ndigbo.

The groups also raised an alarm over reported ethnic cleansing allegedly being perpetrated by the federal government through its security agencies in the southeast.

In a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day emergency security meeting of the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) and concerned Igbo stakeholders in a joint press conference in Enugu, Thursday, the groups alleged that apart from killing innocent youths in the southeast, several cases abound where security operatives kill innocent Igbo youths and set their corpses and houses ablaze in order to obstruct traces of the act.”

In the communiqué, read by the president of ASETU, Chief Emeka Diwe, the Igbo groups said they had launched the Igbo Human Rights Violations Portal (IHRVP) with which to collate details of the various extra-judicial killings and abuses and use same to petition the ICC.

“We hereby launch the Igbo Human Rights Violations Portal (IHRVP), whose mandate includes the collation of details of all victims of the killings by Fulani herdsmen, extra-judicial murders and other human rights violations in Igboland for onward action in the International Criminal Court. This will be coordinated in conjunction with the State Bar Associations in Igboland and volunteer senior legal practitioners and activists,” the communiqué said.

The communiqué also expressed disappointment over what it termed the genocidal comments credited to President Buhari, describing it as another act of insensitivity from the president.

The communiqué, therefore, demanded that President Buhari retracts the statement and tenders an apology to Ndigbo.

It stated, “We are appalled by the statement made by President Muhammadu Buhari in which he threatened to respond to Ndigbo in the language of the genocidal civil war of 1967-1970 which consumed over three million innocent Igbo lives. This is just another strong act of insensitivity from the President given his litany of non-inclusive and discriminatory actions against Ndigbo. It is appalling that President Buhari, who has never spoken strongly against the atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen and bandits, is threatening to visit another festival of blood on Igbo people.

“We demand that he retracts that statement, tenders an apology to Ndigbo and puts off all arrangements geared towards enforcing that genocidal threat.

READ ALSO: Attack on IPOB members ethnic cleansing – Fayose

“We equally wish to put the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the African Union, ECOWAS, United States of America, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel on notice of the public encouragement given by the president to uniformed officers and the general public to engage in genocidal behavior against Ndigbo.”

The communiqué, which totally condemned the killing of policemen, soldiers and other law enforcement personnel as well as the burning of key national security and political infrastructure recently witnessed in Igboland, described the acts as very reprehensible.

It equally condemned the continued attacks by killer herdsmen in Igboland, expressing worry at the inability of the security operatives “to track and bring these merchants of death to justice over the years… This has fuelled deep anger and mistrust in our land.”

It stated that the rise of non-state actors to defend Igboland indicates a gross inadequacy in governance.

“The political leaders must step up their efforts to offer satisfactory leadership to the people. Our Governors must rise to the occasion and protect our people. They must rededicate themselves to delivering the primary purpose of political governance, which is the security of lives and property.

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“The Governors should make judicious use of their security votes and security apparatuses to ensure that the situation in our land is promptly addressed in their capacities as the Chief Security Officers of their States,” the communiqué stated.

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