HURIWA faults Ohanaeze on Lack of Protest in South East

HURIWA faults Ohanaeze on Lack of Protest in South East

… Endorses protests against hardships

“The Igbo population residing in the South East of Nigeria are actually citizens who have in the last eight years of the immediate past torturous and miserable tenures of major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) from 2015 to 2023 were singled out for collective punishment by that absolutely nurderous administration.

 IGBOS have gone through some of the most disastrous and catastrophic federal government’s funded terrorism in the name of military action against perceived members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in which President Buhari undertook the public execution through extrajudicial killings of hundreds of innocent Igbo youths.

 The people of South East have endured systemic and systematic government funded persecution by the last administration to a point that Buhari hired a private army run by Asari Dokubo to kill off Igbo youth as attested to by the admission of Asari Dokubo that he worked with his private army on the orders of Buhari to crack down on the so-called secessionist campaigners.”

“So if there hasn’t been any public protest in the South East against ongoing economic hardships, it is not because the people of the region actively support the poor economic policies being systematically unleashed by President Tinubu such as hike in pump price of fuel and the bastardisation of the value of Naira vis-à-vis the dollar which are primarily  responsible for the extremely  high costs of living in which millions if Nigerians are passing through a horrendous, miserable, brutish and cold blooded absolute poverty and economic adversities. Igbos too are affected in the national economic paralysis but in their own case, they are a population that went through years of tortures and persecution by the last administration. The South Eastern people will definitely stage a protest when the time comes and these protests going on everywhere are a sign that democracy is working.”

With the above summation, frontline civil rights group: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has taken exception to the tepid, puerile and illogical reason advanced by the Igbo cultural group: OHANAEZE as to why there haven’t been public protests in South East, just as the Rights group said for the fact that South East has faced years of economic hemorrhage due to the military clampdown of members of the secessionist group (IPOB) and the consequential arbitrary sit-at-home order imposed by armed unknown persons in the South East, the Rights group said the people of the South East have already passed through tortures collectively imposed on them by government and armed non-state actors and are just trying to recover from their losses.

HURIWA also faulted the reasoning of OHANAEZE that seems to be classifying protesters against hardship as those who hate President Tinubu even as HURIWA endorsed the extensive protests in some states of the federation in the North and South West and stated that it is constitutionally guaranteed just as the Rights group urged Nigerians to maintain and expand the tempo of public peaceful demonstrations against economic hardships.

“Public peaceful protests against economic hardships are very good democratic and constitutional means of exercising freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as enshrined in the extant constitution.  Public protests represent the voices of the people and the voice of the people is the voice of God. Chapter 4 of the1999 constitution on the fundamental rights provisions supports Rights to freedom of peaceful assembly.”

HURIWA recalled that the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, had reportedly cautioned the Igbo across the country against participating in any protest on the current economic hardship. The directive was contained in a lengthy statement signed by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Monday.

HURIWA recalled that the Ohanaeze leader described President Bola Tinubu as a good person who has, at various times, been charitable to Nigerians from the south-east region just as he maintained that rather than embark on any protest, Ibos will support President Tinubu’s government. Iwuanyanwu also appreciated Nigerians for the support granted to Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the last election.

HURIWA recalled that the statement by OHANAEZE reads: “I write as your leader at this critical period in our country, Nigeria. Events in Nigeria today are no doubt very disturbing. The economy has turned very bad, a scepter of frustration is everywhere. I have received many entreaties from many parts of the Country requesting me to call Igbos to join in demonstration and violent action in the Country against the Government.

As your leader, I am directing that no Igbo group or community in Nigeria or in Diaspora should join in this action. I am still studying the situation. I have asked Nigerians who approached me the following questions, what did they do when the past government disfranchised Igbo land?”

HURIWA however carpeted the leadership of OHANAEZE for behaving like persons who inhabit the outer space and therefore immune from the austerity measures and the evil policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The statement by the leadership of OHANAEZE is patronising, childish and laughable 

Press statement dated on 20th February 2024.

By Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko


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