The Network on Police Reform In Nigeria (NOPRIN) has described as unprofessional,inflammatory, and apparently malicious the claim by the Department of State Security (DSS), through a statement issued by the DSS spokesperson, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja that it has uncovered 55 shallow graves at Umuanyi Forest near Aba in Abia State.
The DSS claimed that not less than 55 unidentified persons were buried in the graves by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB)
whom the DSS accused of engaging in kidnapping and extrajudicial killings.
The DSS specifically accused IPOB members of the kidnapping
and killing of five identified Hausa-Fulani men whose remains it claimed were buried in the same forest.
But in a prompt and sharp reaction, the Abia State Government on the same day issued a statement denying knowledge of shallow graves in any forest in the state.
The government said it does not have such a report and that even ‘within the populace here, nobody has raised such alarm.’
Abia State Government further said it checked with the security agencies in Abia and they confirmed that the information did not emanate from any of the security units in Abia.
‘Both the DSS in Abia, Police and Army have all denied ever issuing such information’
NOPRIN in a statement considered the claims by the DSS as reckless and unprofessional, and capable of inflaming ethnic and religious passion and precipitating reprisal attacks against innocent people in the North.
The claims are embarrassing and bear some semblance of malice
and attempt to set up IPOB members and provide a pretext to further crack down on them, Okey Nwanguma said in the statement.
“NOPRIN calls on President Buhari to take urgent and concrete steps to clear the air on this very sensitive issue in order to prevent the dangerous backlash it is capable of causing.
The DSS needs to provide
the evidence it has for making such wild claims
We call for an independent investigation of the DSS claims. If the leadership of the DSS authorized the issuance of the statement, which was circulated on Saturday, then we may have reached a new depth of
low in the management of national security in Nigeria. Intelligence and security agencies need to be professional and neutral at all times in discharging their functions in order to be taken seriously in a
deeply divided and diverse society such as ours.
Nwanguma warned that these are difficult times for every Nigerian and agencies of the state do not need to add to that trouble.
Source: Oriental News