Nigeria: HURIWA condemns Deputy Speaker’s oversight on root causes of South East unrest

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, for failing to address the root causes of the unrest in the South East in his recent comments on the economic impact of sit-at-home orders in the region.

HURIWA, in a statement on Monday, argued that blaming the symptom instead of the disease is a gross oversight that fails to address the critical issues at the heart of the problem.

“Hon. Kalu had spoken about the economic losses incurred due to sit-at-home orders in the South East and proposed a project called Peace In The South East (PISE) to restore normalcy in the region,” HURIWA said.

“However, HURIWA, in the statement signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, chastised him for failing to appropriately distribute blame for the origins of these sit-at-home orders, highlighting the fact that the sit-at-home orders began as a response to the illegal rendition of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who was detained by Nigerian security agencies and the Kenyan government.”

HURIWA also questioned Hon. Kalu’s silence on Asari Dokubo, who allegedly confessed to operating a private army in the East and is suspected of creating and operating the “unknown gunmen” responsible for violence in the region. HURIWA wondered why the Deputy Speaker had not called for his arrest or demanded accountability.

Continuing, HURIWA suggested that Hon. Kalu seems to be seeking unmerited publicity using his political position and is ignoring critical issues that are contributing to instability and insecurity in the South East.

“In doing so, he is burying his head in the sand, ignoring the brutal military actions carried out by the central government in the South East, and the resultant loss of lives, particularly the killings of Igbo youths by security forces, as documented by Amnesty International,” HURIWA said.

HURIWA concluded by calling upon Deputy Speaker Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu to recognize the root causes of the problems in the South East and address them with the same vigor he demonstrates when discussing the economic impact of sit-at-home orders.

Additionally, HURIWA called for a comprehensive and impartial investigation into the allegations regarding the use of force and violence by certain groups in the South East to enforce compliance with the sit-at-home orders.

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