HURIWA raises the alarm over President Buhari’s use of armed forces to trample on the civil rights of Nigerians

Posted by News Express | 20 August 2019 | 938 times

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•Prof Wole Soyinka (speaking) and Femi Falana (SAN)

A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has warned of the dire consequences of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent misuse of his powers to use the armed security forces to emasculate civil rights of Nigerians.

The rights group stated this in a statement on Monday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf.

It stated that its position is coming against the backdrop of the reported attacks by armed security forces in Lagos targeting participants at a town hall meeting in which the Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka and civil rights leader, Femi Falana (SAN) amongst a plethora of other Nigerians were disallowed from holding the scheduled peaceful assemble of pro-human rights advocates.

“The danger in allowing the continuous deployment of military forces to stop peaceful and constructive civic engagements is that constitutional democracy may collapse under the heavyweight of authoritarianism, and the consequences will be huge to such a level that it could result in Nigeria becoming a massively failed state,” HURIWA noted.

The rights group therefore demanded the unconditional release of all those arrested in connection with any form of non-violent civic engagements because of the exercise of their fundamental freedoms enshrined in chapter four of the 1999 constitution which absolutely do not constitute any treason, adding that what indeed treasonable and obnoxious is the persistent and illegal use of security forces by government to crush civil rights actions by Nigerians, which in some cases, have resulted in arbitrary mass arrests and illegal detention.

HURIWA cited section 39(1) which states that “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.

“No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.”

HURIWA also stated that the actions of the security forces are in clear violations of the aforementioned constitutional provisions and that the government is replacing constitutional democracy with an authoritarian police state.

The rights group recalled that operatives of the Nigerian Police, Army and the Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday sealed off the venue of a symposium where the Nobel laureate, rights lawyer, Falana SAN, and other speakers were to speak on the insecurity situation in Nigeria.

It also recalled that Police vehicles were positioned around the venue located at 46 Ibijoke street, Oluyole bus-stop, Oregun, Lagos.

HURIWA, quoting the conveners in a report, stated that the programme tagged ‘Democracy, State Repression and the State of Insecurity in Nigeria’, was organised by Coalition for Revolution (CORE) just as it also recalled that CORE, a group led by the detained 2019 Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, and its allies, recently vowed to resume protests demanding revolution in Nigeria.

Source: News Express

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