- The Nigerian Army has been accused of declaring war on the people of the southeast
- The accusation was made by a prominent Igbo intellectual and professional group, Nzuko Umunna
- The group frowned at the alleged shoot-on-sight order by the Army on its personnel in the southeast region
A think-tank of Igbo intellectuals and professionals, Nzuko Umunna, on Tuesday, May 11 wrote an open letter seen by Legit.ng and addressed it to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.
According to the group, the alleged shoot-on-sight order against Igbo youths to the soldiers in the southeast and south-south regions is a recipe for chaos.
The group noted that such an order amounts to a declaration of war on Ndigbo if it was true.
The open letter titled was signed on behalf of the group by Dr. N Odumuko and Dr. P. Mbanefo.
The letter was copied to the Chief of Defence Staff, minister of defence, chief of staff to the president, foreign embassies, development agencies, international NGOs, African Union, the US Congress and the Nigerian Human Rights Commission.
The letter read in part:
“If the speculation of a shoot-on-sight order were to bear any atom of truth, then it amounts to a declaration of war on the area.
“However, even if, for any reason, the federal government is minded to declare war on the southeast or a part of it, there are standard international conventions and protocols that must be observed.
“One of such is the requirement to publicly and unambiguously declare that a war situation has arisen in such a place so that those who wish to, especially the civilians and innocent citizens, can withdraw from such a place. That has not been done.”
Ohanaeze Ndigbo raises alarm over alleged deployment of Fulani-Hausa military commanders to southeast, Nigerian Army reacts
Meanwhile, Governor Hope Uzodinma has assured residents of Imo that their safety is guaranteed despite the pocket of attacks witnessed in the state in recent times.
The governor made the declaration on Wednesday, May 5 when he presented vehicles and gadgets to security agencies in the state.
Governor Uzodinma also warned criminal elements to steer clear of Imo, saying his administration will not condone any act of criminality in the state anymore.
In a related development, the executive director of the Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu, has said the Nigerian military is struggling to contain insecurity in the country due to patronage and cronyism in their recruitment process.
Nwagwu made the comment during an exclusive interview with Legit.ng recently in Abuja, adding that the training process in the military has been altered so as to be weaker in force, content, or value.