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HURIWA’s position on service chiefs sponsored, anti-people, say northern elders

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The Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD) has accused the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) of insensitivity to the plight of thousands of people in the region suffering the misfortune of worsening insecurity.

According to the elders, only individuals and groups that are anti-people and anti-progress would attack those calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve the service chiefs of their appointments, in the face of violent attacks occasioned by the heightened insurgency in the North East, banditry and kidnapping in the North West and North Central as well as other heinous crimes.

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HURIWA had issued a statement wherein it attacked the northern elders for calling for the replacement of the military chiefs, who have remained in office, despite the embarrassing precarious security situation in the country.

In the statement by its Executive Director, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA berated the elders for insisting on an overhaul of the security architecture, in view of the almost daily killings of men, women and children in the region.

“We hereby call on Northern leaders and elders to stop the well oiled calculated and orchestrated campaign of calumny and desist from the beer parlour criticisms of the war on terror and return to their communities to show leadership by example to their wards and children.

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“These members of the terror network seeking the destruction of modern-day constitutional democracy in Nigeria are children and wards of these community elders who are now transferring their misdirected anger at the service chiefs,” HURIWA had said.

But in its reaction, CNEEPD berated the Onwubiko-led association, alleging that it was paid to malign its hard-earned reputation.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Zana Goni, CNEEPD challenged HURIWA members and those it claimed were their sponsors to visit communities and territories in Borno and other North-East states without security protection.

The elders, who described HURIWA’s attack as shameful, said its position showed that it is a paid agent of those that do not wish President Buhari’s administration well.

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They urged the discerning public to take note of a statement by HURIWA a few days ago criticising Buhari for not doing enough to check the spate of insecurity across the country. They said it was pathetic that the group could be approbating and reprobating at the same time.

CNEEPD reproduced HURIWA’s attack on Buhari, signed by Onwubiko and one other person thus: “What the President does is to practise his deep-rooted nepotism and favouritism in appointments, whereby he prefers his fellow Fulani/Hausa northern Muslims to hold such strategic portfolios as head of Department of States Services (DSS); Inspector General of Police; Comptroller Generals of Customs and Immigration; Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“The President has failed to use the opportunity of his reflection on the bloody attacks against Nigerians by a broad range of armed non-state actors, terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed Fulani herders and cultists of the last twelve calendar months to tell Nigerians categorically of his pragmatic approach to solving the widespread insecurity and widening spectre of bloody attacks.

“Rather, he went round and round in a circus with no deliverables, playing on sophistry and deception”.

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