Posted by News Express | 14 May 2013 | 3,325 times
A democracy-friendly Non-Governmental Organisation, the Human Rights Writers' Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has unreservedly backed President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of partial state of emergency in the terrorism afflicted north-eastern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. It urged all democrats, including leading political opposition figures, “to rally round the President in this bold attempt to once and for all clinically tackle and frontally confront the hydra-headed monster of violent terrorism anywhere in Nigeria.”
HURIWA in a statement released this evening in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, asked President Jonathan to disband the Presidential Committee on amnesty for terrorists headed by Minister for Special Duties, Mr. Tanimu Turaki (SAN) because, according to it, the continuous negotiation with mass murderers will inevitably undermine the Constitution of Nigeria and embolden law breakers and prospective terrorists and criminals to have a false sense of confidence and belief that terrorism and violence pays.
HURIWA also asked military chiefs to ensure that operatives of the security agencies that will actively implement the state of emergency in the affected states respect the fundamental human rights of innocent civilians and to “professionally and competently separate innocent Nigerians from armed renegades so as not to commit atrocious criminal acts of gross human rights violations of Nigerians safeguarded by the constitution.”
HURIWA demanded that journalists accredited to cover the military beat and human rights activists with credible background be embedded with the military operatives who would implement the state of emergency to serve as conscience of the nation and report all human rights violations dispassionately.
The rights group reminded President Jonathan that even under a state of emergency, “military operatives are not only bound to respect the rules of engagement but are obliged by law of Nigeria, the Geneva convention and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights to absolutely avoid the use of torture against citizens in conflict with the law but should bring perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law in the competent court of law in compliance with section 6 of the constitution of Nigeria.”
The statement issued after an emergency national executive meeting held to analyse this evening’s Presidential Media Broadcast was signed by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf.
HURIWA stated: “We have reviewed the contents of the national media broadcast made by Mr. President by 7pm of Tuesday, May 14, 2013 and we have decided to throw our total and unconditional support to the declaration of the state of emergency on those states whereby terrorists have taken over and have constituted themselves into alternative government which are clear and present danger to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which jealously guides against any outrageous criminal act that will undermine the territorial integrity of Nigeria as a sovereign entity. Although these anti-terrorism measures were so long and late in coming but they are better late than never because if the President had failed to take these stern measures to salvage Nigeria from collapse then he would have faced very harsh historical judgment.”
•Photo: President Jonathan.
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