The trio of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu; leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), Mr Peter Obi; former governor of Anambra State and Dr Ike Ekweremadu; deputy president of senate have been named by a coalition of rights groups based in the South East as most distinguished personalities of the zone in 2016.
The coalition which consists of 12 human rights group, operating under the aegis South East Based Coalition of Human Rights Organisation(SBCHROs) stated this yesterday in Onitsha, Anambra State during a press briefing to mark the 68thanniversary of the universal declaration of human rights in 2016.
Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, the Chairman Board of Trustees of the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law(InterSociety), who addressed journalists on behalf of the coalition said, “Nnamdi Kanu in addition to renewal of the prestigious Prisoner-of-Conscience Award bestowed on him earlier this year; we have again resolved to name him as one of the three Igbo Distinguished Personalities of the Year 2016.
“These are in recognition of his nonviolent and peaceful campaign for the emancipation of the Igbo Race using nonviolent and peaceful means. Against all odds, he has spent 14 months in detention without trial and his group IPOB has lost over 250 of its members to security agents.
“The most striking aspect of Kanu’s advocacy style that gladdens our heart is his pacifist approach, in spite of State provocations and use of deadly violence in policing his group’s nonviolent activities has maintained his non violent stand,” Umeagbalasi stated.
Former Anambra governor, Mr Peter Obi and Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu who were also announced, Umeagbalasi said have both distinguished themselves as true sons of Igboland, through their style of governance and courage in governance respectively.
Obi was applauded for being a “true embodiment of Peopling Governance, Input and Output legitimacies, and as a pacesetter and formidable standard of performance measurement for incumbent and upcoming elected public office holders particularly the governors or Federal elected public
Ekweremadu the coalition said was chosen “on account of his bold and courageous disposition against all odds. He towered and withstood the executive persecution and leprous treatment simply because he came from a federal opposition party and insisted that the Igbo Race is too important in Nigerian political landscape to be left out in the sharing of the principal leadership positions of the 8th National
Assembly of Nigeria.”
Assembly of Nigeria.”
The groups involved included; International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law(Intersociety), Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast Zone, Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy, Human Rights Organization of Nigeria, and Global Rights & Development International.
Others are; Society Advocacy Watch Project, Anambra Human Rights Forum, Southeast Good Governance Forum, International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative, Igbo Ekunie Initiative (Pan Igbo Rights Advocacy Group) and Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch.
Meanwhile, the coalition has revealed that over 9,700 persons have lost their lives either to attack from security agencies or to attacks from Boko Haram, Fulani Cattle brearers and others.
It expressed dissatisfaction that security agencies are constantly arresting unarmed civilians in the south east, while groups like the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breaders Association have continued to be tolerated despite being a violent organization.