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NBA body tasks Buhari on insecurity

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
26 July 2022   |   4:06 am
The Human Rights Institute of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-HRI) has challenged President Muhammed Buhari to immediately tackle insecurity across the country, which is his constitutional responsibility as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Obiagwu

The Human Rights Institute of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-HRI) has challenged President Muhammed Buhari to immediately tackle insecurity across the country, which is his constitutional responsibility as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. 

This charge was contained in a communiqué issued by the institute at its first Human Rights Summit held at the NBA House, Abuja on July 15, 2022. 

The body is worried that such a sensitive facility like the Correctional Centre (prison) in Kuje, Abuja, could be attacked by armed men for almost three hours, at the end of which over 600 prisoners, including terrorism suspects, were released.

Before then, they pointed out, the country was also shocked when terrorists attacked worshippers in a church in Owo, Ondo State, in which over 35 people were massacred. 

The chairman of the Institute, Chinonye Obiagwu (SAN), lamented that it is now over seven years that the Chibok schoolgirls were abducted from their school by Boko Haram terrorists and many of the girls have still not come back home or returned to their families. 

Chinonye said: “Survivors of numerous abductions and kidnappings across the country pay millions of naira in ransom to secure their release, and most are killed or still remain in captivity, including hundreds of passengers.

The summit noted that under section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, security and welfare of the citizens are the primary purpose of government.

“The responsibility of the government is, therefore, to protect the citizens from violations of their rights including the right to life,” he said.

According to Obiagwu, President Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has the primary responsibility to ensure that the constitutional obligation of his government is carried out. Where he fails to do so, as it seems at the moment, then there is a failure of governance. 

“Nigerians now live in terrifying fear of their lives. On daily basis, there are news of unlawful killings across the country. Despite huge sums of money spent on security and law enforcement, including huge military spending and billions of Naira as security votes by state governors, there are little or no results in tackling criminals and terrorists, and safeguarding the life and property of citizens. 

‘’The summit was also concerned that without a secured polity, Nigeria will be unable to successfully and peacefully conduct the forthcoming general elections in 2023. The situation of insecurity is, therefore, a huge threat to Nigeria’s democracy and portends great danger to the future of the Nigerian State and its governance,” he declared.

Participants at the summit queried how elections would be held in 2023 when every part of the country is unsafe.

The summit, according to Obiagwu, concluded that the President must recalibrate his team and find immediate solution to insecure, which is one of the promises he made to Nigerians during his election.

“If he fails to do so, then history will reckon that he has failed the Nigerian people,” he said.

The summit was attended in-person and virtually by over 450 lawyers from across the country.