Abduction of over 30 travelers: Go after Fulani herdsmen or retire, Intersociety blasts Gov. Mbah, Enugu CP, Zone 13 AIG, 82 Division GOC
"Sit up, unmask and go after Jihadist Fulani herdsmen or retire from Army & Police, Intersociety tells Enugu CP, Zone 13 AIG, 82 Division GOC
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has called out the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 13 of the Nigeria Police Force, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Government of Enugu State following the recent abduction of over 30 travelers by suspected Jihadist Fulani herdsmen.
Intersociety made the call in a press release entitled “False gallantry over unlawful killing of “three sit-at-home enforcers” in Awgu and silence and inaction over abduction of over 30 travelers by Fulani jihadists in two days on Enugu roads: Enugu CP, Zone 13 AIG and 82 Division GOC must sit up, unmask and go after Jihadist Fulani herdsmen or retire from Army and Police“.
The organisation expressed ‘deep shocked and dismay’ after some police officers gloated over what it termed “false gallantry over the unlawful killing of “three Sit-at-Home enforcers”, while Fulani herdsmen are having a field day kidnapping and maiming innocent citizens in the axis.
The statement, jointly signed on behalf of International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law by Emeka Umeagbalasi (Board Chair), Chinwe Umeche Esquire (Head, Democracy and Good Governance) and Obianuju Joy Igboeli Esquire (Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law), reads in full:
“The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law is deeply shocked and dismayed that more than 30 defenseless citizens of the South-East were abducted in two days in three different locations in Enugu State by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen-with the Enugu State Police Command, the Zone 13 of the Nigeria Police Force, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Government of Enugu State looking the other side and choosing to be deaf and dumb.
“Saddening and shocking too is that the security formations above mentioned have busied themselves with false gallantry over the unlawful killing of “three Sit-at-Home enforcers”, said to have been killed at the wee hours of 2.am in Mgbowo, Awgu, Enugu State.
“From our fact checks including contacts made to reliable sources in Mgbowo in Awgu, the circumstances leading to the killings including their timing, legal and operational basis have been mired in controversies. Intersociety is therefore strongly condemning the two dastardly acts and call on the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Military and the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other Jihadist fighting parties laying siege on the South-East to respect the dignity of human person and sanctity of human life. They must also leave the defenseless citizens of the South-East and their properties alone.
Questions Before The Enugu State Police Command Over The Killing Of “Three Sit-at-Home Enforcers”
“What are the true identities of those killed? Where and when were they killed and over what offense? Were they armed and on rampage when terminally shot and killed? What types of weapons were they caught rampaging with when shot and killed? Where they unarmed when instantly or later killed? Were they killed over an offense in written law already or about to be committed? Can Sit-at-Home be enforced in the hours of the blue law such as 2.am? When have ‘Sit-at-Home’ become a violent crime in Nigeria attracting instant death at offense apprehension or offense attempted apprehension? Which law in Nigeria or Enugu State authorizes Police or Army to kill (instead of arrest) “those enforcing or about to enforce Sit-at-Home at the wee hours of 2.am if true?” What proportionality of force was used leading to their killing? Is it true that the slain were arrested alive by a security patrol team in a residential location in the named area and extra-judicially killed in custody and false-labeled? Were the publicly displayed ‘un-prohibited firearms’ (Pump-Action Guns and Machetes) truly recovered from the slain? Were the slain truly armed ESN members?
Police And Army Continued To Protect And Cover-Up Fulani Jihadist Activities In Enugu
“Intersociety had severally reported that “not less than 22 communities and villages have been under the siege of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and other assembled jihadists since 2022”. Their jihadist activities are also fueled and escalated by partisanship and complicity of the deployed security forces including the Military and the Nigeria Police Force.
“Apart from shielding the jihadist activities of the Fulani Herdsmen and others, the Police and Military authorities also deployed diversionary tactics to cover such atrocities including choosing to be ‘deaf and dumb’ or maintaining criminal silence whenever such atrocities are linked to the Jihadists; to the extent that even when publicly forced to speak, the narratives will be changed and blames falsely shifted to “ESN or IPOB or Unknown Gunmen or Kidnappers”.
“The above is so bad that it seems to have become “an atrocious operational policy” for the Nigeria Police or the Nigerian Army or Military and their chiefs to publicly mention “Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen” in any media briefing or press statement highlighting patterns and trends of violent crimes in Nigeria or any part thereof: the South-East. It has also become the “beginning of wisdom” for any of the Governors in the South-East to refrain from mentioning or fingering Fulani Herdsmen in the violent crimes ravaging the South-East.
“It must be recalled that Intersociety had in Nov 2022 carried a field study across Igbo Land or South-East to ascertain how secured or otherwise the Igbo communities with highest concentration of military and police checkpoints or roadblocks were in the hands of violent criminal entities and their violent criminal activities with particular reference to violent crimes or offenses of kidnapping, highway robbery, carjacking, ritualism, “violent” cybercrimes and sexual violence and abuses including farmland and bush-path abductions and sexual abuses including captivity rape, etc.
“In the end, out of a total of 81 Igbo communities monitored, it was found that they have highest concentration of the violent criminal activities above mentioned despite playing host to the highest number of military and police roadblocks or checkpoints. The areas also recorded the highest number of military and police roadblock extortions and the terrorist activities of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. The activities of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen were also found to have dominated most of the bush-based violent criminal activities.
How Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen Abducted More Than 30 Passengers In Two Days
“Between Sat, Sept 16 and Sunday, Sept 17, 2023, more than 30 passengers and other road users were abducted and disappeared by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. The abductions had taken place in at least three different locations including Edem-Nrobo-Ezikolo-Abbi Road in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State where armed Jihadists on Sat, Sept 16, 2023 attacked a passenger bus traveling to Nsukka killing one Citizen Sunday Nwa-Ugwuja from Apapam Village in Ezikolo-Abbi, shot and wounded others and abducted several others into the nearby forests.
“On Sunday, Sept 17, along Eke-Affa-Egede Road in Udi, Enugu State, another group of Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen launched an attack on a bus carrying a Catholic Priest (Rev Father Marcellinus Okide) of St Mary Catholic Church, Amofia-Agu in Afa, Udi and several other passengers; abducting the Priest and six others. Earlier on Friday evening of Sept 15, 2023, not less than fourteen passengers traveling from Enugu town to Obollo-Afor in Nsukka in a fully loaded bus were attacked and abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen along Ugwuogo-Opi-Nsukka Road.
“Not less than eleven passengers were also attacked and abducted by Jihadist kidnappers on Sunday night (10pm), Sept 17, 2023 along Ogbokolo-Otukpa-Enugu Federal Road. The abducted had boarded ‘Benue Link’ Transport Company when they were attacked and abducted. Among Enugu communities under the siege of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen since 2021 and 2022 are some communities in Awgu, Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Udi, Isiuzo, Uzo Uwani, Igbo-Eze South, Igbo Eze North, Enugu-Ezike, etc.
“Specifically, jihadist activities of the Fulani Herdsmen have severally been reported in Ugwuogo-Nike, Nkanu East (Ekpawfu, Amengunze, etc), and Isiuzo including Eha-Amufu and others since 2020/21 while those of Uzo Uwani dated back to the April 2016 Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen attacks that claimed 48 lives.
Enugu CP, Zone 13 AIG And 82 Division GOC Must Unmask Jihadist Herdsmen Or Retire
“The unchecked activities of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the South-East have not only risen to an apogee but also mandatorily required that the trio of Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Kanayo Uzuegbu, AIG-Zone 13, Tony Olofu and GOC, 82 Division, Major Gen Hassan Taiwo Dada must sit up, unmask and go after the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and their atrocities in Enugu State in particular and Ebonyi and Anambra States in general or they retire voluntarily from the Army and the Police.
“The trio must also tackle security challenges in Enugu State without being selective and partisan or widely perceived or seen as “errand boys of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen and the MACABAN”. The trio must as a matter of uttermost urgency and extreme public importance speak out including addressing a joint or separate press conferences so as to keep the South-Easterners abreast of the abductions and efforts put in place (if any) to rescue the victims and apprehend the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen responsible.” Read more.