The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Wednesday, requested that appropriate legal steps be adopted to investigate the role of Asari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta militant leader, who claimed that he had a private army that carried out security operations in the South East in collaboration with the Nigerian military.
HURIWA, in a statement by its national chairman, Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, said such a claim was an affront to the sovereignty and dignity Nigeria, and a threat to peace and stability in the region. The body, therefore, called for the immediate arrest of Dokubo and his trial for treason and terrorism for his involvement in illegal armed activities.
The body further urged the Nigerian military to adopt more non-kinetic methods to address the rising insecurity in South East.
Onwubiko was reacting to the claim by the chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, that the sit-at-home order in the South East had ended due to the efforts of the troops and other stakeholders.
According to Lagbaja, the army, through Operation Udoka, alongside other security agencies, had restored normalcy, law and order in the region. He added that the army had quelled attempts by criminals to disrupt economic activities in the South West region where some separatist groups have been agitating for self-determination.
HURIWA urged the army to embrace more non-kinetic methods, such as dialogue, persuasion, education, and enlightenment to win the confidence of the people and address their grievances.
HURIWA expressed worries that there had not been sustained genuine dialogues with credible and nationally reputable civil rights activists of South East extraction towards fighting insecurity in the region. It called for improved partnership between the office of the Chief of Army Staff and credible stakeholders of the region.
The group also said that the army should respect the rights and dignity of the people and avoid excessive use of force or brutality. It also called for a proper investigation of all the killings that had occurred in the region in the last four years.