We at the South South Zone of the Civil Liberties Organisation, C.LO, are seriously disturbed by the level of carnage allegedly perpetrated by Nigerian soldiers at Obigbo in Rivers State. Scores of citizens were reportedly gunned down while the lucky ones were chased into the bush where they stayed for several days, facing starvation.
It is wrong, unacceptable and unjustifiable for a country’s army to be let loose on its people for whatever reason. It is very disturbing that the Obigbo carnage by the military took place few days after the same military was let loose on peaceful protesters at Lekki in Lagos. This is condemnable, and we vehemently condemn it. It shows how unrepentant, insensitive and callous the Nigerian state and its military are. It is lamentable that while other countries are using their military to secure their territories against external aggression, Nigeria is using its own to kill defenceless citizens, repress their voices, oppress and intimidate them and terrorize the society. This is very worrisome as it has become the culture of the Nigerian state to unleash its military on its citizens at will.
Gen, Buhari, the commander in chief and Gen. Tukur Brutai should stop, forthwith, the reckless deployment of soldiers to civilian occupied places on flimsy excuse of maintaining law and order as the soldiers have proved that they lack the capacity and professionalism to do so. An army of occupation that sees citizens of the country as enemies is the least qualified to be used for maintaining law and order. Whether they are smiling like crocodiles or dancing like pythons, they are known to be reckless, callous, extremely brutal in their operations especially when dealing with armless and harmless citizens including, women and children.
The massacre in Obigbo, Rivers State, few days after the Lekki massacre by soldiers shows how trigger happy and unreasonable the soldiers are when dealing with civilian population. This massacre was reportedly instigated by the state governor.
We demand the immediate resignation of the commander in chief, the Army chief and Defence minister for always unleashing the army on civilian population at will, thereby leading to gross violation of human lives.
We call on the international community to prevail on Gen. Buhari to ensure that those soldiers who, perpetrated genocide at Obigbo and by so doing, further projected Nigeria as a country that takes delight in killing its own citizens, should be fished out for prosecution in accordance with the law. Those involved in this carnage in any way, including those who instigated them, must not go scotfree.
The world should not continue to turn away its eyes from genocide being perpetrated by the Nigerian state.
Zonal Director, Civil Liberties Organization, CLO