The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) has called for an immediate stop into the extrajudicial killings and other forms of genocide operations taking place in the Southeast zone, as well as the abductions and disappearances of young men daily.
This comes in the heels of public outcry and anguish over the alleged indiscriminate arrests and killings in the Southeast States, with fingers being pointed at police and soldiers as the perpetrators.
The NFF, which made the call in a statement signed by her Communications Officer, Angela Nkwo, made reference to findings obtained by a leading research and investigative rights group, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law.
In its recent report, it stated how soldiers, police and other Nigerian security operatives presently deployed to the South East hatefully and falsely label and abduct innocent citizens, especially the citizens of Igbo ethnic nationality, “spilling their bloods for gallantry”.
Further, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law said “there had been open killings numbering up to 170, secret abductions and permanent disappearance or feared unlawful execution in custody of no fewer than 550 persons and general arrest and abduction of not less than 2100 persons, with those arrested and or abducted presently held in different open and secret dungeons located within and outside the south east and the Makurdi Prisons in Benue State where over 300 were recently found to have been transferred and kept”.
In the report, from 24th – 30th May 2021, it was documented that 30 open and secret killings occur by soldiers and police in the south east, with most of it occurring in Imo State where scores of corpses have been freshly traced to the mortuaries of the Government medical centers.
The group called for the immediate and thorough investigation with release of all persons who have been accused or alleged to be involved in terrorism, assassination, prison break, murder, amongst others from the police, army, DSS, and other security sister agencies, including students rounded up in exam halls or in churches.
Further, it called for an immediate stop into the extrajudicial killings and other forms of genocide operations taking place in the south east, as well as the abductions and disappearances of young men daily.
The group, a biennial public policy forum that brings together self-identifying feminists, appealed to the Nigerian government to embark on massive reorientation of all security operatives on the rules of engagement under a democratic dispensation.
NFF expressed deep concerns over the wider implications of the criminal activities that daily affect women, turning them to widows mourning the death of their children and husbands, saying there has been an “Increase in untold hardship, as well as the health complications of stress management, fear and anxiety. More so, is the potential increase in the number of out of school children trafficked as domestic servants, sex slaves and surrogates”.
The feminist group therefore, called on the Southeast Governors to rise up to the oath of their office to protect their people and stop the massive human rights abuses under their watch.
According to NFF, it is regrettable that Nigeria is on the verge of no return saying the “Consequences will be too much to bear for women, girls and other vulnerable members of the community during any crisis. We must not forget the start of the Covid19 pandemic” even as they called on the authorities to be patient and constructively address concerns fairly
The NFF appealed to security operatives to discharge their duties with a human face and respect for other people’s rights noting that Nigeria is a signatory to international conventions where suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Recently, there has been an upsurge in arrests and abductions of people especially young men in the Southeast, even as scores have been discovered dead in government morgues with claims that they were dropped off by security operatives.