Posted by News Express | 7 August 2017 | 1,553 times
A pro-democracy and Non-Governmental Organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the early morning massacre of scores of worshippers at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu in Anambra State by armed attackers.
HURIWA accused the Federal Government-controlled security forces in Anambra State of abysmally failing in their constitutional responsibility and duty to the citizenry by “the clear lack of coordinated security operations in that part of Anambra State which made it much easier for hoodlums who were allegedly well armed to drive straight to an important place of worship on a solemn day to commit horrendous mass murder.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was “absolutely unacceptable that humongous budgetary releases are made towards maintaining armed security forces in Nigeria but when the occasion calls for the operatives to exercise their lawful obligations of safeguarding the lives and property of citizens they are not only found wanting but scampering for lazy excuses for such a devastating security breach which occasioned the gruesome massacre of dozens of unarmed and law abiding citizens.”
HURIWA maintained that the serial and spectacular inability of Nigeria’s federal Police to secure Nigerians all across the length and breadth of the country supports the urgency of now to bring about the state policing institutions to be composed of well trained, well motivated and well mobilised Police operatives to secure all parts of Nigeria.
The rights group has demanded the sack of the State Police Commissioner and the Director of State Services (DSS) for sleeping on their constitutional duties which allowed armed freelance killers to embark on this despicable rampage with far reaching damage to many precious lives of worshippers.
The group, however, asked state houses of assembly and governors to set up armed vigilante to be stationed in communities and made up of well trained, motivated and paid volunteers from the communities to bridge the apparent lacuna noticed in the modus operandi of existing security forces which are centrally located only in major cities or attached to politicians as bodyguards.
HURIWA, quoting what it described as impeccable source, said that an unspecified number of people have reportedly been killed at the church.
“A witness said some gunmen, who concealed their identities with masks, broke into the church around 6am when the first mass service was holding just as the eye witness affirmed that the armed mass murderers after they gained entry identified a particular man whom they shot."
HURIWA also recalled that the gunmen then reportedly went on rampage and “shot at the remaining worshippers numbering over 100.”
HURIWA condemned "this atrocious and primitive attack on soft targets as an outrageous and barbaric act which must not go unpunished. Government must wake up from slumber and play its legal duty of protecting the lives and property of the Nigerian citizens.”
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