Posted by News Express | 17 April 2020 | 663 times
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned what it called “the genocide of Nigeria’s impoverished citizens by security forces enforcing the draconian lockdown measures ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari over the outbreak of COVID-19 and appealed to world leaders to immediately intervene.
HURIWA said that it is worried that although extra-legal killings by armed security forces, especially “the highly unruly” members of the Nigerian Police Force have gone on for many years, the coming of the current administration headed by a former military dictator has heightened the regularity of the dastardly criminal acts of state-sponsored murders by the security forces.
The rights group also noted that in addition to the level of impunity and lawlessness that have trailed this unwarranted high tolls of extrajudicial killings by the armed security forces controlled by the office of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed forces.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said that it has in the past few days issued clarion calls on Presidency to caution the armed security forces to check the incidence of extralegal killings of citizens.
It expressed regrets that it would seem that this and many other appeals from right thinking patriots and groups have gone without been heeded by the Federal Government which is signposted by the renewed brutal attacks of citizens by armed security forces.
HURIWA said: “We condemn all these atrocious state-sponsored killings by the police, the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps (NCSC) and the Nigerian Army. The killings of Nigerians hungry and desperate to buy foods for the starving members of their families locked up in the guise of a lockdown by the Federal Government as a measure to contain the spread of the Coronavirus disease in the country without commensurate provision of much needed food reliefs is a crime against humanity which would never be swept under the carpets.
“The police operatives responsible for these attacks on Nigerians in Anambra and Abia and the soldiers and NCSC officers that similarly deployed lethal weapons to kill unarmed citizens in Aba (Abia State), Warri and Sapele in Delta State must be arrested, prosecuted and punished severely for these killings or they would be sent to the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands for crimes against humanity.
“The policemen who killed five traders in Kaduna whilst seeking to enforce the draconian COVID-19 curfew ordered by Governor Nassir El-Rufai have still not been arrested, prosecuted and sanctioned in accordance with the principle of rule of law.
“This show of official impunity and the reckless disregard for the respect of the human rights of Nigerians is the very same reason we are making the present appeal to world leaders to speak out and put President Buhari under pressure to name, shame, dismiss and punish the killer armed security operatives responsible for the spate of coordinated genocides of extralegal killings of citizens under the guise of enforcement of the stay-at-home order made by the Governors and President Buhari.”
HURIWA said the Federal Government owes the obligations to stop the killings because under a 1996 international law, the United Nations adopted the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
HURIWA recalled that Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday claimed security operatives killed 18 civilians during enforcement of a total lockdown in major cities in the country over the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
HURIWA however condemned the rights commission for failing to utilise the newly legislated operational independence by not only barking without biting but for not prosecuting these killer security agents who have gone out of control due to official impunity.
“The same Executive Secretary of the NHRC will go the UN Human Rights Council and put up shameful defense of the human rights records of Nigeria rather than presenting an unbiased and uncensored human rights position in Nigeria. This same commission recently gave the President an award even with the dirty human rights records since 2015,” the rights group said.
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