HURIWA Knocks Tinubu Over Silence on S/East Economic Hemorrhage

HURIWA Knocks Tinubu Over Silence on S/East Economic Hemorrhage

… Describes silence and inaction as disconcerting and disturbing

…Urges Tinubu to fulfill his promise, dialogue with agitators

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Monday, described as disturbing, the silence of President Bola Tinubu on the continuous economic hemorrhage in the South-East geopolitical zone occasioned by the heightened situation of insecurity in the five states in the zone as well as the sacrilegious and illegal sit-at-home enforced by some so-called Biafran agitators, especially those led by Finland-based Simon Ekpa.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged the President to fulfill his campaign promise to dialogue with agitators including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a way of restoring lasting peace in the country, especially in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The group urged the former governor of Lagos State not to follow the path of his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to free detained IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu despite an Appeal Court judgement granting freedom to Kanu.

The group asked Tinubu to prove to Nigerians that he is a democrat by respecting the rule of law and the dispensation of justice. HURIWA implored the President to respect the sanctity of his promise made on November 24, 2022 during the presidential campaign of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital. The then-APC presidential candidate had promised to dialogue with agitators to end the insecurity in the zone.

The group lamented that by August 2023, it would have been 730 days since the South-East zone began to observe the weekly sit-at-home exercise as declared by proponents of separatist state of Biafra, to press for the release of Kanu who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in June 2023.

For 730 days now, every Monday, beginning from August 9, 2021, sit-at-home had been consistently observed in the zone, grounding economic activities and causing an estimated loss of N7.6 trillion in productivity, potential investments as well as loss of lives and properties, according to a Guardian report.

Since the commencement of the exercise in 2021 and this year, 105 Mondays of the 520 working days have been lost in terms of productivity or any real economic activity. This leaves the South-east region with 415 days in which her people are expected to go to work. Of the remaining 415 days, public holidays declared by the government further deplete the available productivity period in the zone.

“Aside from the financial loss, thousands of innocent traders and youths have been killed in the unfolding genocide in the South-East zone.

“Yet, the President since his swearing in on May 29, 2023, about two months now, has been silent on the killings in the South-East zone,” HURIWA’s Onwubiko stated.

“In fact, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, last Saturday, launched Operation Hakorin Damisa to end the killings and security challenges in Plateau State.

“The special operation squad comprises of 300 troops with seven Mines Resistance Armoured Personnel Vehicles, hundreds of Motorcycles, Buffaloes Patrol Vehicles and Armoured Personnel Vehicles.

“Yet, the COAS and other heads of security agencies have perpetually ignored the South-East where killings are ongoing daily for the last two years now.

“The continuous inaction and absolute silence of President Tinubu on the heightened situation of insecurity in the South East is disturbing. The President must fulfill his election promise by entering into constructive dialogue that will lead to the immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from the illegal detention of the DSS.

“More alarming is the silence of the President on the economic hemorrhage being inflicted by Simon Ekpa’s illegal sit-at-home and his ability to enforce these illegal orders in the South-East. Tinubu’s silence and inaction is disconcerting. Tinubu should speak and act on the worsening security situation in the South-East to show his statesmanship as a leader for all Nigerians irrespective of whether they voted overwhelmingly for him or his rivals.”

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