Posted by News Express | 10 April 2020 | 192 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has raised the alarm that while the Federal Government deployed soldiers and regular armed security forces to enforce a two weeks lockdown to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the same government has allowed armed Fulani herdsmen and affiliate armed felons to embark on a rampage and to unleash cocktails of bloodshed in parts of Southern Kaduna State, Benue and Plateau states.
It noted that President Muhammadu Buhari and his officials would need a lot of explanation to make to the world over this “devastating and grave human rights violations”.
The rights group also observed that in another devastating and grave human rights violations in an outskirt of Kaduna State, armed policemen detailed to enforce the curfew imposed by Governor Nassir El-Rufai who is on quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, allegedly killed five youths for allegedly defying the curfew in State, while in Taraba state Jukun militias are reportedly slaughtering Tivs and vice versa.”
It described the police killings as “absolutely unlawful and amounts to extrajudicial killings” which must be transparently investigated by the National Human Rights Commission and other international and local non-governmental organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
HURIWA is concerned that a government that has forced people to remain indoors even amidst poverty, poor electricity and hunger, has equally failed in its primary constitutional duty to safeguard lives and property of the citizens from “attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen.”
Worried by the spate of violent attacks by armed militias, HURIWA has affirmed that the Federal Government has failed in its main duty of securing the lives of the very same citizens that it ordered to embark on a two weeks lockdown.
It wondered whether the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, decided to deliberately deploy armed policemen to only the cities thereby exposing the rural communities to the rampaging bloodshed orchestrated by armed mass killers of different species.
The rights group also noted that no fewer than nine persons were in the last 24 hours feared killed in morning attacks by militias on Mbamena and Jootar communities in Ukum Local Council of Benue State, describing it as “disappointing and shocking”.
HURIWA said: “The attacks on Jootar, a settlement bordering Benue and Taraba, which led to the reported killings of scores of people, could have been avoided if the Federal Government is responsive to its primary constitutional duty to the citizenry even when the same government ordered all economic activities shut.
“In the assault, three persons were eliminated by suspected Jukun militias while the one at Mbamena that led to the death of six was reportedly perpetrated by militias from Tongov area who were allegedly on a revenge mission.
“HURIWA is finding it inexplicable that the Department of States Services (DSS) are unable to arrest these armed hoodlums that are unleashing a regime of incessant killings of Nigerian citizens and thereby making the citizens to lose faith in the ability of President Buhari to secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria and to secure the lives of Nigerians which basically are his primary duty as spelt out in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
“HURIWA is worried that the killings which started since few years back have not been put under control by armed security forces to an embarrassing extent that even in this lockdown, armed attackers, according to a source in Gbra-Zongo village in Plateau State where the event happened, the assailants, numbering about 20, invaded the settlement in the early hours of the day, shooting sporadically into the air and slaughtering four persons including a clergyman and these invaders were never confronted by the Police or other security forces.
“How can armed hoodlums suspected to be armed Fulani herdsmen attack this village for over six hours and were not confronted by the armed policemen or soldiers? This shows that there is either a compromise or failure of intelligence and unfortunately this has continued for over four years but yet there is a federal and state administrations in place.
“These crimes against humanity will definitely be accounted for by President Buhari and his officials unless the government will immediately round up the killers and their sponsors and prosecute them in the complete Court of law.”
The rights group said it has already drafted some investigators to collate information that may be passed on to the President to take action or the group will be forced to appeal to the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands so these police killers are made to face the music.
“HURIWA strongly canvasses the transparent investigations of these crimes against humanity and for the armed police mass killers to be charged for multiple murders in the competent court of law in Nigeria or be dragged to the International Criminal court in The Hague Netherlands.”
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