“Nigeria under the current dispensation has increasingly being made to look like the undemocratic and unconstitutional Republic of Nigeria by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. Whilst the armed Fulani herdsmen are engaging in coordinated violence across many States and carrying out Ethnic genocides, armed security forces are busy arresting the families of the victims who have mobilized themselves to stop further attacks since the heads of security forces are siding with the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen. These senseless scenarios can only play out in a Banana Republic”.
With the above damning verdict, a prominent civil society organization and a pro-democracy body – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the continued suppression and killing by armed security forces of civil protesters belonging to the minority Islamic movement of Nigeria (Shiite) who are campaigning for freedom for their unjustly incarcerated leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife.
HURIWA has also called for the immediate release from detention of over two years of the immediate past National Security Adviser to the President Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) who is being extra-judicially detained despite obtaining two local court orders from Federal High Courts of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African Court of HUMAN RIGHTS (ECOWAS COURT).
The Rights group has also expressed consternation over the growing list of disappearances of the now proscribed indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) who were allegedly whisked away to unknown detention dungeons by various segments of the armed security forces for months without trial in the competent courts of law.
Similarly, the Rights group has carpeted Federal government functionaries including President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector General of Police Mr. Ibrahim Kpodum Idris, Minister of Agriculture and Internal Affairs, Audu Ogbeh and Lt. Gen. Abdulrahaman Danbazau (rtd) for pandering to the whims of armed Fulani herdsmen by contemplating the deployment of public resources to promote private businesses of cattle rearing by establishing the illegal cattle colonies in parts of Nigeria.
HURIWA said by the provisions of the land use Act recognized by the constitution only state governors and Houses of Assemblies have powers over land allocations in their states even as the Rights group charged the Federal Government to stop dining and wining with suspected mass murderers but to order the armed security forces to deal decisively with terrorists and bring the full weight of the law on the mass killers masquerading as Fulani herdsmen.
The Rights group said it was unconstitutional, that instead of arresting, prosecuting and sending the convicted killers to firing squads for their horrendous crimes against humanity, government officials are debating on measures to reward the armed Fulani herdsmen with the juicy landed assets in the name of cattle colonies at public costs even when the forceful or pretentious confiscation of ancestral landed assets and donation to Fulani herdsmen in strange communities is capable of igniting long lasting asymmetric civil wars.
HURIWA said the decision to pander to the whims and caprices of armed Fulani herdsmen through awards of landed assets to be dispossessed by government from their lawful owners is a violation of the constitutional oath of office sworn to by the President who is Fulani not to let his private affairs to interfere with his official functions.
HURIWA referred President Buhari to the seventh schedule of the 1999 constitution which is the oath of office in which he swore as follows: “That I will abide by the Code of Conduct contained in the fifth schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as President; and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria”.
HURIWA therefore is of the opinion that President Buhari apart from directing armed security forces to decisively crush armed Fulani insurgency should declare the union of Fulani herdsmen as a terrorist organization and also ensure that all those who killed Nigerians have their days in courts of law to avoid the institutionalization of impunity.
On the illegally detained Nigerians such as Sambo Dasuki, El-Zakzaky, his wife and thousands of members of the hurriedly proscribed IPOB, HURIWA demanded their immediate release and the conduct of audits of all detention facilities by stakeholders and the legislature.