A leading pro-democracy and non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the attempted assassination of the Deputy Senate President Professor Ike Ekweremadu and members of his family in Abuja.
HURIWA has also warned against what it termed ‘targeted violence’ against notable political opposition figures and credible leaders of the organized civil society community especially as the general election nears. HURIWA alleged that several of their members including the national coordinator have come under increasing threats of attacks on their lives because their independent opinions that are different from the views of the powers that be currently in Abuja and other federating units. “The level of intolerance of opposing views by government officials all over the Country is heartrending. Threats to the lives of credible opponents of the massive corruption going on under the nose of the current Presidency is frightening”.
Expressing dismay at the rapidly deteriorating security situation all over the country leading to the free reign of freelance armed hoodlums and bandits of all ramifications, the Rights group said it was regrettable that rather than comprehensively reorganize, reform and recharge the collapsing Nigerian policing institutions and supervise the Nigeria Police force to get these officers to discharge their statutory duties for which huge public expenditures are made, what we have seen is the consistent and systematic manipulation of all the armed security forces by the presidency and affiliate officials to embark on politically tainted and Ethno-religiously focused operations far removed from the statutory functions for which such bodies were established in the first place.
“The police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and all the organs of the armed forces in Nigeria have in one way or the other been polluted politically and diverted to embark on political assignments to satisfy the political objectives of those who wield temporary political power even as these institutions are now challenged to an extent that there is now a free reign of all shades and colours of freelance armed attackers such as kidnappers, armed Fulani herdsmen, terrorists and mass murderers who have in the last three years unleashed spectacles of vicious and blood cuddling violence that have resulted in the killings of thousands of innocent Nigerians. DSS for instance recently attempted to overthrow the constituted authority at the National Assembly with over 100 hooded and well-armed operatives directly controlled by the disgraced and dismissed Director General Alhaji Lawal Daura but such heinous crime against the constitution has been swept under the carpets of impunity. The climax of this uncontrolled chaos and anarchy is that opponents of the powers that be can no longer sleep with their two eyes opened.”
HURIWA has therefore called on all patriotic Nigerians to add their voices to the strident call by HURIWA on security forces to comply only with the duties clearly spelt out in the grund norm of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and stop becoming slaves to temporal wielders of political powers whose stay in office is ephemeral. HURIWA warned such deviant and politically corrupted security officers that a day of reckoning will soon come when they would be decisively sanctioned for these grave crimes against humanity.
“The attempt on the lives of the Deputy Senate President and his family members has come at a time that he has been bombarded by politically motivated attacks by government officials and partisan mobs embedded in a lot of supposed law enforcement agencies including a phantom presidential panel on anti-graft.”
“This attempt to kill one of the most vocal critics of the administration with just three months to election, must not be swept under the carpet of impunity like dozens of other unresolved but heinous crimes in the last three years, but Nigerians must mount pressure on heads of armed security forces to discharge their duties or be dismissed.”
“The international community must closely monitor the choreographed systematic breach of security, threats to lives and actual killings of opposition voices and persons with a difference of religious affiliations from those currently exercising executive offices.”
HURIWA recalled that the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, and son escaped an assassination attempt at about 4am on Tuesday.
The armed men discreetly evaded the security at Ekweremadu’s Apo Quarters residence, to gain entry into his house.
The attackers, who could not immediately shoot in order not to attract the attention of the security personnel on duty, took hold of his son, and commanded him to lead them the Senator’s bedroom.
It was at the Senator’s bedroom that a struggle ensued, leading to the arrest of one of the assailants with dangerous weapons and housebreaking devices, while the rest managed to escape.
The arrested member of the gang has, however, refused to divulge any information on the operation and has been handed over to the police.
Ekweremadu, his wife, and one of his sons were in the house at the time of the attack.
It could be recalled that the lawmaker narrowly escaped an attempt on his life in Abuja on November 17, 2015.
Although the 2015 incident was reported to the security agencies, nothing has been heard about the matter till date.