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HURIWA condemns extra-legal killings in handling IPOB, Shiites

By Editor
07 February 2017   |   1:57 am
“The current hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force has sadly returned the policing institution to the late Sani Abacha’s infamous police state characterized by excessive use of force...

“The current hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force has sadly returned the policing institution to the late Sani Abacha’s infamous police state characterized by excessive use of force to disperse peaceful protesters, extra-legal executions of perceived opponents of the government at the center and the abridgement in the most cruel and violent way the fundamental right to freedom of peaceful assembly guaranteed under chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended)”.

With the above, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned the incessant physical attacks by armed police of peaceful civilian protesters belonging to either the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) or the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or Shiites.

Calling for an end to the incessant high-handedness and deployment of brute force to disperse peaceful demonstrators, the rights group affirmed that the shameful actions of the police and the military constitute grave threats to democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and constitutionalism.
In a statement by its national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the national media affairs director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA strongly condemned the “extra-legal killings of over a dozen members of the peaceful IPOB recently who assembled in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in support of the newly inaugurated President of the United States of America Mr. Donald Trump.”

The group said it has resolved to send strong worded protest letter to the office of the President of the United States to demand that he uses the standing of his nation in the United Nations Security Council to compel the Nigeria government to arrest and prosecute all the armed security operatives who have been indicted over the “killings of members of both the Indigenous People of Biafra and Shiites Islamic movement.”
HURIWA expressed shock that the police could be deployed to attack demonstrating IMN members who are only demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should respect a binding and subsisting order of the competent court of law that the detained leader of Shiites in Nigeria Sheikh El Zakzaky be freed unconditionally.

It stated: “In civilized climes, the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice would have by now been arrested and prosecuted by the police for openly urging the President to disrespect several binding orders made by the court of law. Why should the Police obstruct law abiding group of Nigerians who are publicly urging the President to respect the constitution by abiding by the Court order and release their leader?”

HURIWA lamented that “the Nigerian government under Buhari has so far failed to investigate the illegal killings of hundreds of IPOB members and the Shiites which were carried out by members of the armed security forces.”

The rights group warned that the current brutal attacks of peaceful demonstrators by police seriously threaten the sustenance of democracy and constitutionalism.

And alleging that “the hierarchy of the Department of State Services (DSS) has embarked on deliberate clampdown of vocal Christian leaders opposed to the incessant killings of farmers all over Nigeria by armed Fulani terrorists,” HURIWA has also raised the alarm, calling for caution to avoid catastrophic religious crisis in the country.

HURIWA specifically condemned the invitation for interrogation by the DSS of the Edo State-born Pentecostal leader and founding pastor of Omega Fire ministry Worldwide, Reverend Apostle Johnson Suleiman, who had called for self-defence against the “unbridled but primitive attacks of Nigerians by well armed and well-coordinated Fulani herdsmen.”

HURIWA has totally condemned the unwillingness of security forces in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration whose leadership are majorly dominated by Hausa/Fulani Moslem Northerners who have done nothing whilst armed Fulani terrorists kill thousands of Christian farmers all across Nigeria and mostly the Christian-dominated communities in Kaduna, Benue, Plateau and Taraba states. The group wonder why the DSS does not want Nigerians under attacks by Fulani hoodlums to adopt self Defence to stay alive even when chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) makes right to life a sacred fundamental human right.

HURIWA said the invitation was believed to be connected to Suleman’s alleged inciting comments that Christians should defend themselves against attacks by Fulani herdsmen even as the group lambasted the DSS for failing in its constitutional duty of preventing the frequent bloodsheds by armed Fulani terrorists. HURIWA said what the DSS would have done was for the Director-General to resign forthwith rather than turning his aggression against the innocent Christian leader who as a father has played the fatherly role of asking his followers to defend their right to life.

In a statement in reaction to the invitation the civil society group warned the officials of the DSS to stop painting the graphic impression that there is a deliberate attempt by the Presidency to Islamize Nigeria by deploying government’s armed agencies to intimidate, harass and physically brutalize Christian leaders only because they refuse to keep silent whilst armed Fulani terrorists kill their members and parents without the Nigerian security forces ever adopting fool proof strategy to arrest, prosecute and punish these armed hoodlums who are operating without let or hindrance.

HURIWA said it amounts to double standards for the DSS to go after Christian Leaders for speaking out in defence of their members even when leaders of other ethno-religious communities in the core North are not arrested even when there are proven cases of abduction and false marriages of child brides as has happened in Katsina Emirate.

“We are shocked that the DSS that couldn’t stop the genocides of Southern Kaduna, Agatu community in Benue and the attacks of Enugu and Abia states all by armed Fulani terrorists is now in a dangerous hurry even at the threat of igniting inter-religious warfare to arrest Christian Leaders whose only ‘crime’ is to counsel their members not to standby and allow their lives be taken away by armed marauders.”

“The invitation to Apostle Johnson Suleiman is an invitation to anarchy and this divide-and-rule tactics of the Alhaji Daura-led DSS hierarchy is absolutely condemnable, reprehensible, illegal, unconstitutional and totally unjustifiable. Let all Nigerians of goodwill speak out now before this current leadership of DSS drag Nigeria into a needless religious war.”