ADVOCACY CENTRE CALLS FOR RESTRAINT; CESSATION OF ONGOING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN OYIGBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE AND ASSOCIATED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
PRESS RELEASE: ADVOCACY CENTRE CALLS FOR RESTRAINT; CESSATION OF ONGOING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN OYIGBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE AND ASSOCIATED HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) has being closely following, observing and monitoring ongoing curfew imposed on Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State following the ugly situation that resulted from the #EndSARS Protests including burning of Police Stations, killing of Army Personnels, Police Officers, looting and vandalization of properties among many others.
We strongly condemned the violence, killings and other atrocities that got associated with the #EndSARS Protests in the area and other parts of Rivers State following its alleged hijack by some lawless youths with the intention of derailing the once peaceful demonstrative actions of the youths to end Police Brutality and demand for good governance among others.
We have however observed through reports being monitored, also through ADVOCACY CENTRE’S “One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in the Niger Delta” in the area that men of the Nigerian Army whose personnels were allegedly killed and their arms carted away with by suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) are carrying out both land and air operations with helicopters and Armored Personnel Carriers similar to what is obtained in the war against Boko Haram Insurgency in Sambisa Forest in Borno State right here in Oyigbo, Rivers State.
While Advocacy Centre is not against efforts by both the Rivers State Government and Federal Government through the security operatives to smoke out those who have allegedly killed security personnels who work tirelessly day and night, leaving their families at home to provide security for us and the public with poor salaries and welfare packages, it is important that the ongoing military operations are carried out within rules of engagement and should wear a human face because we are not at war as obtained within either Boko Haram or Peacekeeping Operations in Borneo or South Sudan. The duo of Rivers State Government and Federal Government through the security formations should endeavour to avoid massive human rights violations and abuses as being alleged through invasions of houses to search for the alleged perpetrators of the dastardly act who would no longer be anywhere close to Oyigbo by now for fear of being arrested and their weapons that must not have been hidden in any house by the hoodlums for fear of being found.
ADVOCACY CENTRE is visibly worried that with residence of a metropolitan city like Oyigbo including the elderly ones, the sick, pregnant women, children and other vulnerable members of that Local government locked down indoors for over 10days now and counting that some of them may already be dyeing silently in their houses.
ADVOCACY CENTRE believes that two wrongs cannot make a right and called on the Rivers State Government to kindly lift the Curfew imposed on Oyigbo local government area and Ikoku in Port Harcourt without further delays to enable affected persons who are yet to fully recover from the impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic lock downs to breathe!
ADVOCACY CENTRE demands for justice for all the Army and Police Personnels as well as civilians killed in Oyigbo Local Government Area and other parts of Rivers State within this #EndSARS period.
We sympathize with the Federal Government, the Nigerian Army, the Police Authority, the Rivers State Government and all the families affected by the killings and ugly incidents that played out and still developing in Oyigbo. We also call on our youths to stop all forms of killings be it of security operatives or any other person no matter the level of provocation or situation but seek redress through the law court as laid down by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as Amended.
FYNEFACE DUMNAMENE FYNEFACE,
Environmental Justice Activist, Human Rights Defender and,
Executive Director, ADVOCACY CENTRE.