(Intersociety & SBCHROs, Onitsha Nigeria: 22nd February 2017)-The leaderships of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) are deeply concerned over the un-repentant and remorseless bad conducts of some senior public office holders under the present Buhari Administration in Nigeria. Of particular concerns are highly despicable and condemnable dispositions of the Nigerian Army headed by Lt Gen Turkur Yusuf Buratai and his sub commanders as well as the image and public information handlers of the present central Government of Nigeria including the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Presidential Spokespersons.
Today, being 22nd February 2017 marks 630 days since the Buhari Administration came on board and took charge of the Nigerian Presidency (29th May 2015) and of these 630 days, a total of not less than 315 presidential lies or falsehoods have been officially dished out and told; on average of two presidential falsehoods or lies in every two days (credit: Intersociety 2017). The lies or falsehoods under reference are barefaced or brazenly told even when caught in the act or contradicted with substantial and sufficient provable pieces of evidence.
The presidential lies or falsehoods of the Buhari Administration have also since late May 2015 defied preponderance of material or physical and mental evidence or such expressly capable of being proven beyond reasonable doubt. It is also on record that the Buhari Administration has never admitted any policy or conduct wrong doing since its inception on 29th May 2015. Even when empirical findings are irrefutably made by leading and reputable international organizations and research institutions, such findings will still be emptily denied by the Buhari Administration. The Buhari Administration is also very notorious in mangling, spinning and suppressing circumstantially unassailable facts and figures.
This advocacy position of ours is sequel to intensification of presidential falsehoods by the referenced senior public office holders in the past few days. The two most shocking and disturbing of ongoing falsehood intensification policy of the Buhari Administration are the statement made in Abuja on Tuesday by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the recent barefaced and provocative lies contained in the press statement of the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which was signed by one Col Aminu IIiyasu.
The said 6th Division of the Nigerian Army had in its statement of 19th February 2017 lied unpardonably, saying that “no single soul was shot and killed and no single shot was fired by the Army and its sister security agencies” during the Pro Trump Rally organized in Port Harcourt on 20th January 2017 by IPOB led Pro Biafra Campaigners . Also, this time around, the Nigerian Army seems to have modified or changed its usual lies of “the Pro Biafra Campaigners arming themselves with automatic weapons and attacking security forces”, to “Pro Biafra Campaigners throwing stones at the Nigerian Army and other security forces at Pro Trump Rally”.
The Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on his part, had yesterday being 21st February 2017, described the news and verifiable information of the killing and injuring of scores of unarmed and defenceless Pro Biafra Campaigners at Pro Trump Rally in Port Court, Rivers State as “disinformation and fake news, worst than insurgency”.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed spoke at the Seventh Edition of the National Security Seminar organized by the National Defence College of Nigeria, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Alumni of the National Defence College. Both the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army and the Minister of Information claimed falsely and wickedly that pictures and videos of the Port Harcourt Pro Trump Rally mass shooting and killing are fake videos and pictures from “old archives”.
We make bold to say that the panicky and intensified presidential falsehood must have been a fallout of the recent Trump-Buhari diplomatic call drama and blunder, said to have taken place in London UK. Possibly the Trump aides at White House had raised a concern and contempt over the killing of unarmed and defences citizens who gathered in solidarity with the new Trump Government; to their Nigerian counterparts in the course of negotiating or arranging for the said Trump-Buhari diplomatic call drama and blunder; forcing the Buhari Administration to “deny same before them” as usual with a firm promise to initiate a country-wide and international rebuttal as we had seen in the past few days. This is more so when it took the Army and the Presidency the whole of 31 days to issue a statement of fake denial in the shooting and killing that took place since 20th January 2017.
As a matter of fact, the gloomy diplomatic and circumstances trailing the Trump-Buhari call solely forced Nigerians including Intersociety to cast a serious doubt over the reality and efficacy of the said sketchy diplomatic call. Till date, controversies so generated have remained unresolved. Such unresolved controversies include whether it was actually President Muhammadu Buhari or a hired third party that received and responded to the said Trump call. There is also gross misrepresentation of facts in the Trump statement as contained in the Nigerian Presidency’s side of the statement; when the two are elementarily compared. Another part of the controversies is the choice, timing and location of the said diplomatic call. The question as to whether President Muhammadu Buhari can coherently memorize, talk, hear or be heard till date has remained unanswered by the Presidency as well.
On the false claims by the Presidency and the Nigerian Army that “no single soul was shot and killed and no single shot fired” at Pro Biafra Campaigners at the Port Harcourt Pro Trump Rally of 20th January 2017; we are not surprised at an Administration that has revolutionalized and institutionalized lies and falsehoods and made them to go scientific and across borders. We make bold to say again that 15-20 unarmed and defenceless Pro Biafra Campaigners or more were killed with scores of others shot and critically injured at the Pro Trump Rally on 20th January 2017. Most of the shootings and killings were carried out by the Nigerian Army.
Out of scores of injuries so sustained, there are empirical records of 37 persons that sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds or injuries while at least ten others were attacked and injured with sharp edges of guns or gun butts. As it has been the murderous tradition of the Nigerian Army, over 13 of the dead bodies of Pro Biafra Campaigners were taken away by security forces including the Police with many of them picked and criminally taken away by soldiers in their military vans.
We are therefore not surprised at the fake denials made by the Nigerian Army and the Presidency. The authorities concerned must have thought and concluded that having recovered and taken away the bodies of the slain Pro Biafra Campaigners, there are no more traces indicating that they shot and killed scores of them at Pro Trump Rally.
Unknown to them, some bodies of the slain activists were courageously saved and recovered by the leadership of IPOB and their supporters alongside scores of others shot and wounded. The recovered bodies and the wounded were saved and hospitalized with their families fully traced and contacted.
Dead Victims: For the avoidance of doubt and to the shame of the Presidency and the Nigerian Army and its 6th Division; the following are names of three out of 15-20 Pro Biafra Campaigners shot and killed by the Nigerian Army at the Port Harcourt Pro Trump Rally on 20th January 2017; whose bodies were recovered: (1) Uwakwe Justus Ikechi. He hailed from Ikenga-Eziudo in Ezinihite-Mbaise LGA of Imo State and was buried on 16th February 2017. (2) Ndubueze Johnson Okoli. He was 20yrs before he was killed and hailed from Ihie Village in Owere Ezukala, Orumba South LGA, Anambra State. He was buried on 3rd February 2017. (3) Kenneth Mathew. He hailed from Akwa Ibom State and his corpse is still lying in a Port Court mortuary. Two other recovered bodies of the slain activists are still lying at the UPTH mortuary.
Of over 13 other slain Pro Biafra activists whose bodies were criminally picked and taken away by soldiers in different parts of Port Harcourt on 20th January 2017, one dead body was picked at GRA/Mummy Broad and two along Ada George Road and by Garrison area, while seven others were picked around Okporo Road. Out of four slain Pro Biafra Campaigners deposited by IPOB and its supporters at the University of Port Court Teaching Hospital (UPTH), two have been transferred and buried, while two others are still there and placed under tight security. The corpse of Citizen Kenneth Mathew from Akwa Ibom State deposited in another mortuary is yet to be buried.
Shot And Critically Injured Activists: Names and contacts of some of those injured in the Pro Trump Rally on 20th January 2017, numbering 30 are: (1) Udo Effiong Asukuah – 08160108853; stabbed by a soldier with dagger and gun butts in his hand and stomach. (2) Mrs Ojeanya – 08039487398; a soldier used the sharp edge of his gun to inflict a deep cut at her back. (3) Wisdom Ugochukwu Agor – 08105894254; shot in his leg by a soldier and matched with boot on his stomach. He also had his head broken with a stone thrown at him by a SARS operative. (4) Mrs Sandra Nwachukwu – 08134060786; hit with a plank in her eye, jaw and rips by soldiers. She can only see with one eye presently. Her picture is attached below. (6) Tizath Brownson Israel – 07055067265; terminally injured by soldiers in his legs and hands while trying to escape via a high perimeter fence. (6) Gideon Bassey – 08187435187; hit in his knee with gun butts by SARS operatives.
(7) Dr. Chinyere Sunday – 07036141652; matched on her knee by soldiers using their boots resulting in serious dislocation. (8) Bassey Ben – 08032727547; sustained a knee injury when trying to escape from soldiers pursuing him by jumping over a gutter. (9) Friday Nsoro – 09034298923; hit on his knee by soldiers using gut butts. (10)Ibemera Ugonma – 07068561700; soldiers hit her with guns very close to her breast. (11)Sammuel Orji – 09074690063; shot in his buttocks by a SARS operative with fired bullets piercing his laps. (12) Chikaodinaka Obasi – 08038860966; hit and shot by soldiers in his waist and heads using gun butts. (13) Magboh Nkeiruka- 09026117666; shot and brutalized by soldiers. (14) Okoye Sunday Collins- 07035852787; shot and brutalized by soldiers.
(15) Stanley Okechukwu-08064808692; shot and brutalized by soldiers. (16) Oforegbu Victoria-08087107605; brutalized by soldiers and sustained injury in her hands. (17) Martin Anochirim; 0803843868; shot and brutalized by soldiers. (18)Emmanuel Chikwe- 0806891915; shot and brutalized by soldiers. (19) Daniel Friday Ukeh-08069091629; his leg was hit and broken by soldiers. (20) Odinakachi Chinyere Ekeh (27yrs) – 08181787328; his leg was hit with gun butts and broken by soldiers. (21) Peter Etim Ebe; 08170128483; pushed and thrown off the bridge by soldiers. He felled and sustained broken legs. (22) Arinze Ujobundu-08030972081; hit and injured in his neck and hands by soldiers.
(23) Uko Herald- 07033092543, 0909331037; hit on his face by soldiers. (24) Ifeanyichukwu Benson-07067535083; shot in his laps and crippled by soldiers. (25) Kingsley Ahamuefula- 08063227052; shot and hit in his waist by soldiers. Others shot and wounded during the Port Harcourt Pro Trump Rally are (26) Ifeanyichukwu Okoli from Imo State, (27) Uchenna Ajogu- 08132421712 from Enugu State, (28) Ugwuagbo Emmanuel- 08063313700 from Enugu State, (29) Emmanuel Ike 09021340517 from Imo State; shot by the police and had the fired bullets bursting his spinal cord; and (30) Odinakachi Chinyere- 08181787328; sustained bruises and cuts in her legs with ankle dislocation as a result of severe beatings she received from soldiers.
As the Presidency and its Army are shamelessly busy intensifying their falsehoods, the authorities of Amnesty International, UK, has just yesterday, 21st February 2017 released its latest 2016/7 Special Report in which it stated that “over 177 unarmed and nonviolent Pro Biafra Campaigners were killed between January and May 2016 in the Southeast Nigeria and the involvement of soldiers escalated the extra judicial and other unlawful killings”. The AI Special Report may most likely have excluded the 2nd December 2015 and 17th December 2015 similar killings in Onitsha in which not less than 30 unarmed Pro Biafra Campaigners were killed including dumping of three of those they killed at Onitsha General Hospital mortuary on 21st December 2015. The Special Report of AI also may most likely have excluded the Pro Trump Rally killings under reference, resulting in not less than 15 deaths.
Nigerians should expect more disclosures in coming weeks all geared towards shaming and taming the ravaging, menacing, rampaging and riotous presidential falsehoods and lies in Nigeria.
Attached below are the following pictures: (1) funeral poster of Uwakwe Justus Ikech, (2) lifeless body of Ndubueze Johnson Okoli and his funeral poster, (3) lifeless body of Kenneth Mathew; and (4) Mrs Sandra Nwachukwu (inflicted with bruises leading to loss of one of her eyes).
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052