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Owerri Bomb Scare: HURIWA Canvasses Residential Identity....Advocates Probe Of Borno Governor’s Speech

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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As a way of checking the infiltration of fifth columnists who would want to cause maximum havoc in the South East, a call has gone to the governors of the South East to initiate immediate and comprehensive biometric registration scheme free of all administrative charges of all valid residents of the zone.

Besides, the recent statement credited to the governor of Borno State Alhaji Kashim Shettima that the armed Islamic insurgents would extend their bombing campaign should be thoroughly probed to ascertain whether the Sunday June 15th, 2014 attempt to bomb five churches in Owerri, Imo State has any connection just as politicians have been called upon to be circumspect with their public statements and avoid careless talks on the ongoing insurgency to avoid providing psychological boost for the armed terrorists.

In a statement by HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and endorsed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the political leadership of the South East especially the governors and local council chairmen including traditional rulers were tasked to always stay on their desks in their jurisdictions within the South East and fashion out counter terrorism measures and mobilize their wards and other lawful residents to stave off possible infiltration of the dare- devil terrorists rather than their frequent trips to Abuja and foreign countries on fruitless voyage of discovery. " The houses of Assembly of the South East States should make binding legislations to compel the state governors to spend at least 85 percent of the entire tenure provided under the extant constitution within their states and only travel when it is absolutely necessary to so do for the public interest of the people".

HURIWA has also tasked prominent investors and business owners based in the South East region to work out and implement fool- proof security measures to prevent any possible bomb attacks just as the group has demanded the setting up of Youth-led volunteer groups in the South East to monitor suspicious strange movements and to enlighten the populace on ways and means of remaining ahead of the terrorists.

'We commend the gallantry exhibited by the Imo State police command in responding promptly to diffuse the explosives planted at the premises of Winners chapel in Owerri, imo State. The Imo state commissioner of police and his management team should be commended and encouraged to keep up the tempo of prompt, decisive and effective law enforcement. We also asked the Imo State police command, the state security services' directorate in Imo State and the military institution to set up effective counter terrorism task force to check activities of terrorists who may be plotting to invade the state'.

"Similarly, the entire South East police and security institutions must set up efficient anti-terrorism task force and embark on widespread enlightenment campaign to educate the populace on strategies for identifying and reporting would -be terrorists. We encourage the introduction of biometric identification cards for all residents of South East and for traditional and religious leaders to keep tabs on all persons within their jurisdiction'.

On the statement by Bornu State governor, HURIWA said; 'we are worried that in less than 78 hours after this bizarre media comments credited to the Borno State governor that Boko Haram will attack the Southern states if the uprisings are not crushed in the North Eastern States, these satanic bombers actually proceeded to plant explosives to inflict maximum chaos in the heartland of Igboland but for the swift intervention of the police and vigilant private guards at the winners church".

"We hereby demand the probe of that statement and advise politicians to watch their tongues to avoid providing fuel for the ongoing insurgencies. Those entrusted with the onerous task of providing good governance and leadership as governors must guard against utterances that may be misconstrued as providing tonic for the armed terrorists to continue or intensify their war against the Nigerian people and the Nigerian state. We are not concluding that the statement by the Borno state governor actually encouraged the bombers who invaded Imo state over the weekend but certainly, as patriotic citizens, we are worried that leaders who have easy access to the media of mass communication are engaged in the deployment of these powerful media to make unwarranted and sensational statements capable of creating mixed signals especially in these dangerous times of armed insurgencies".

HURIWA has therefore called on Nigerian political leaders to close ranks and work as a united front to wage successful and unrelenting battle against armed terrorists because the danger in making divisive and deeply partisan statements from both the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Opposition All Progressives Congress concerning the ongoing terrorism is that these agents of destabilization will have the belief that they are indeed winning in their war against corporate Nigeria and may be motivated to intensify their war crimes.