Call off your summer break, HURIWA urges National Assembly •Canvasses war council, liberal arms ownership

Posted by News Express | 2 August 2014 | 2,642 times

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as ruthless and reckless, the decision of the National Assembly to proceed on prolonged summer break at this precarious period of the highest manifestation of insecurity and anarchy across Northern Nigeria, urging the leadership of the legislature to call off the unwarranted annual recess and partner with the executive arm of government to tackle the rising security nightmares.

The rights group also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a national war council charged with the onerous task of mobilising all law-abiding Nigerians to brace up to face the unprecedented security challenges foisted on the nation by the armed insurgents terrorising the country. It equally repeated an earlier appeal to the Federal Government to liberalise the process of acquisition of arms by citizens deemed mentally sound and free from criminal activities, so as to enhance the right to life especially of villagers in the frontline of the counter insurgency, who have borne the highest brunt of the murderous attacks by insurgents.

In a statement issued in reaction to heightened state of insecurity in the North-East and North-West Nigeria, as well as the increasing state of anxiety among residents of the nation’s capital, Abuja, who are apprehensive of threats of terror attacks by the armed Islamic terrorists, HURIWA through its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said it was cruel, heartless and uncaring for the national legislators and their immediate family members to jet out at public expense, in the name of summer break to Europe and choice tourists sites in the United States at this time, while most law-abiding citizens are bombarded by the systematic and murderous attacks of the armed insurgents.

Insisting that the current summer recess by the National Assembly is absolute dereliction of constitutional duty by the legislators, the rights group regretted that since 2011 when the insurgency became unprecedented, the National Assembly has failed abysmally to explore the use of section 220[1] and [2] of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which permits compulsory military training for citizens, to fashion out more creative and effective panacea to the rising gruesome killing of Nigerians by armed insurgents, or even make law(s) to liberalise ownership of weapons  to check the rising cases of genocidal killing of villagers by gun-wielding armed terrorists.

Citing failure of the National Assembly to attend to the pending request by President Jonathan for a foreign credit facility to procure necessary combat infrastructure to battle insurgency, the rights group noted: “Although we have made our position known regarding the request for $1 billion (USD) loan demand by the Federal Government to enhance the counter terrorism war, in which we proffered alternative internal funding mechanism rather than foreign loan, but by not attending to the pending request by the Presidency for whatever it is worth, has shown members of the National Assembly as lacking the necessary comprehensive apprehension of the extent of threats against the sovereignty of Nigeria that is posed by the armed terrorists now on the verge of assuming territorial ownership and control of parts of Borno and Adamawa states. We call on the government to set up a war council to mobilise Nigerians to contribute significantly towards defeating the nation’s common threat, which is armed insurgency. The National Assembly ought to be on seat by now to even create other extra-constitutional means of tackling the increased challenges of insecurity posed by the armed insurgents as this is not the time for merry-making summer holiday, but a perilous time that demands that all patriotic hands must be on deck to workout realistic and effective solution to the spiraling violence.” 

•Photo shows Head of the National Assembly, Senate President David Mark.


Source: News Express

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