Posted by News Express | 14 December 2014 | 3,298 times
With the inflow into the larger society of trained criminal elements and terrorists released by their colleagues from the poorly protected prisons and detention facilities, the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has asked Nigerians to prepare for the harsh reality of an unprecedented rise in organised crime and other forms of violence in the new year. This may be unavoidable, because, according to the group, the national crime prevention and combat mechanisms have collapsed spectacularly, and there appears to be no concerted effort by the armed security community to step up crime fighting. “Therefore, Nigerians must prepare to use all legal means to protect their sacred right to life to save themselves from the rampaging threats of anarchists and armed brigands operating under different guises.”
HURIWA, which disclosed this in statement made available to News Express, noted that the most disturbing national symptom of a failed law enforcement and crime fighting strategy is the increase in the violent attacks by suspected terrorists and other criminal gangs of prisons and other detention facilities across the country, leading to the freeing of hardened crime suspects and suspected armed terrorists.
Speaking against the backdrop of the latest prison attack in Minna, Niger State, by armed terrorists who reportedly freed over 300 detainees, most of who were suspected criminals and terrorists awaiting trial, HURIWA said the numerous externally induced prison attacks by suspected terrorists without the Nigerian Government ever coming up with fool- proof and sustainable solution to this emerging pattern of insidious threats to law and order portends grave danger to lives and property of largely undefended and defenceless citizens of Nigeria in the coming year. It also called for a comprehensive overhaul of the prison management by the newly-appointed Controller-General of Prisons; and charged the government and stakeholders in the organised private sector to come up with funding mechanisms to build well-protected and fortified prison facilities, as well as a reform programme for the Nigerian prison system, which has been long overdue. Besides, that Federal Government must come up with an effective joint- military and Mobile Police protection units, for the porous Nigerian Prisons.
In the statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA lambasted the Federal Government and, particularly, the Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, for consistently failing to put in place workable mechanisms to put a stop to the embarrassing, but dangerous pastime of prison attacks by elements bent on destabilising the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
The statement also faulted the National Assembly members for paying greater attention to their campaign for re-election in 2015 rather than using their legislative powers to ensure that the current Constitution is comprehensively amended, to bring into fruition the long anticipated state police. And that the senators and Reps had also failed to bring into effect the constitutional provision in section 220 (1), which mandates the National Assembly and the Presidency to put in place a mechanism for the military training of fit and law-abiding Nigerians.
HURIWA noted: ''The immediate impact of the rampant prison breaks and violent attacks by terrorists - of prisons and other detention centres, and the illegal release of crime suspects - is that life of an average Nigerian who has no effective police protection, unlike the political appointees, is open to attack by armed brigands who will feast on them and their property in the coming year. And, if care is not taken to put to an end this sinister trend, then the coming election will be anything but peaceful and violence-free; because these hardened suspected criminals and terrorists now on the loose will find succour in being hired and paid hefty sums of money by desperate political office seekers to inflict maximum violence against their perceived political opponents. Sadly, the Nigerian government does not have any effective crime control and crime combat mechanisms other than the usual fire brigade approach adopted to tackle each crime incident after they have occurred. Nigerian government must make concrete commitment to the constitutional primary duty of providing security to lives and property of the citizenry, to avert full-scale anarchy in 2015.”
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