Posted by News Express | 29 February 2020 | 1,336 times
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to accept responsibility for the escalation in the targeted killings of Christians by terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen and step up actions to prevent the spread rather than weep like a child.
The rights group was reacting to the statement by the Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed, who raised alarm that the targeted killings of Christians by Boko Haram terrorists was meant to divide Nigeria and cause religious war.
The group said the Federal Government was complicit because it failed to take steps to prevent the killings but showed unwillingness and lack of political will to go after the mass killers and their sponsors.
“The government spends more time spreading propaganda and does nothing to ensure that the targeted killings are effectively checked. Why shed the crocodile tears now?” the rights group mocked the Federal Government.
In a media statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the bulk of the blame rested on the desk of the President for a number of fundamental factors that centrally border on the his insensitivity to the critical constitutional requirements of respecting Federal Character principle in the appointment of top internal security team of the Federal Government in which case he populated the security architecture with persons of Moslem North to the exclusion of all other segments of a very complex and secular society like Nigeria.
“Even when the international land borders are shut, those bordering most Northern states are reportedly opened to the extent that a House of Representatives member from Katsina raised a point of order in the parliament blaming the Nigerian Customs for failing to shut the borders between Niger Republic and Katsina State.
“There is no sincerity of purpose in the prosecution of national security strategy and even amongst the top officials there's a chasm between the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff to Mr President. How do you secure a country when the Presidency is in an organised chaotic situation?”
“How can the current administration continue to breach the constitution by refusing to balance the strategic security appointments to reflect the Federal Character principles of Nigeria?
“How can the entire internal security team be made up of persons of one region and religion essentially such as Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS); Nigerian Customs Services; Department of State Services (DSS); Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and even the Director General of National intelligence Agency (NIA)?” the rights group asked.
Aside the deliberate scheming out of other component parts of Nigeria in such sensitive positions in the internal security institutions which must be remedied without further waste of time, HURIWA also blamed President Buhari for failing to arrest, prosecute and sanction legally all the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors who actively participated in most of these targeted attacks against Christians in Benue, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Enugu, Taraba and lately Delta states.
“At a point in time even the media office of the President actively started playing the public relations role of Miyetti Allah cattle dealers by seeking to exonerate armed Fulani herdsmen from the attacks.
“Mr. President must ask himself the hard question of why no single mass murderer that killed over 2000 Benue Christian farmers including two Catholic priests, has faced the long arm of the law. Why are all the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen paraded by the police not being prosecuted?
“Mr. President! It does not require rocket science for your government to appoint persons of all ethnic and religious affiliations to head the various strategic national security institutions in line with the federal character principle of the constitution. It does not take rocket science to arrest and prosecute all mass killers irrespective of their religion.”
HURIWA accused the President of discriminating against other ethno-religious communities in matters of appointments into internal security institutions which offends the constitution as stipulated in Section 42(1).
Said HURIWA: “The current government should pursue policies that would unite all the divergent interests in the Country and ensure that there is equity and equality before the law for all citizens so nobody is treated as second class citizens. The government must show good examples rather the extremely divisive ways of selective law enforcement whereby mass killers from a section of Nigeria are treated as sacred cows and even a presidential commission is being planned to rehabilitate terrorists.”
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