A TEXT OF A MEDIA BRIEFING ON FEBRUARY 19TH 2020 BY THE HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
“Hopefully someday in the distant future, it will be possible for the nation to regain the respect of the world in its democratic claims. “
(Professor Wole Soyinka.)
Gentlemen of the media, we are here to inform the Nigerian government through you the members of the fourth estate of realm that human rights situation in Nigeria has deteriorated requiring the immediate DECLARATION OF A NATIONAL STATE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATIONAL SECURITY EMERGENCY BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ( GCFR). It would seem that we have reached the precipice and if emergency measures are not adopted them national doom is inevitable.
To show you how bad the situation is , the Nigeria police force has lost its constitutionally required potency to prevent violent crimes just as most police officers are basically concerned with other duties but policing Nigeria and Nigerians . The level of professionalism in the NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE HAS DRAMATICALLY NOSEDIVED AND INDISCIPLINE HAS BECOME A COMMON CURRENCY OF CIRCULATION AMONGST THE RANKS, FIKE AND OFFICERS CADRES OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE. GENTLEMEN, THERE IS INDEED FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN AND INSTEAD OF RUNNING AWAY WE MUST ALL PUT OUT THIS FIRE. Two STATES OF THE FEDERATION NAMELY ENUGU AND KOGI ARE THE MOST AFFECTED ON THE ISSUE OF BREAKDOWN OF PROFESSIONALISM AMONGST THE PILICE FORCE AND UNFORTUNATELY THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION IS MORIBUND ABD NOT RESPONSIVE TO THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES OF ENFORCING DISCIPLINE. PSC is more concerned ABOUT PROMOTIONS AND THERE ARE WIDESPREAD ALLEGATIONS OF BRIBES FIR PROMOTIONS WHICH MUST BE INVESTIGATED BY AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY IF WR ARE DESIROUS OF FINDING LASTING SOLUTIOBS TO THE SECURITY AND PILICING NIGHTMARES AFFECTING NIGERIA.
In Enugu State we got a report of a certain assistant commissioner of Police who is allegedly deep neck into confrontations with land owners in a lot of communities in ENUGU including Obeagu, Awkunanaw amongst others. As we said previously, petitions against this gentleman were sent to us and we forwarded to PSC but PSC is almost moribund.
This Assistant Commissioner Of police has allegedly served in Enugu state for over two Decades and is said to have worked with more than two governors as their chief security detail. We forwarded petitions sent to us by some persons in Enugu to the Police service commission ( PSC). However, another group has approached is with a counter petition although verbally exonerating the ACP but we have asked that group to put their defence into writing so we similarly forward to PSC hoping that justice; equity and fairness would be done to the communities and the police Assistant commissioner being accused of depriving people of the LAND RIGHTS.
However, I have personally come under considerable pressure by persons who have asked that we drop the case against the assistant commissioner of police in Enugu state who is said to have over stayed his deployment in Enugu but stays on because he is connected even though a group praised him for arresting many kidnappers.
We understand that this show of desperation by these persons mounting pressure on us may lead to threat to our lives. But may we inform them that we have no personal issues with the Said ACP.
Clear conscience fears no accusations.
Gentlemen, looking at the picture of policing in every part of Nigeria, we can sadly say that policing has failed spectacularly in Nigeria and with the collapse come the wanton violations of human rights including RIGHT TO LIFE. Now in Nigeria, LIFE IS CHEAP. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN THE SEAT OF POWER HAS JUST BEEN KILLED CLINICALLY BY ASSASINS IN A WAY THAT SHOWS THAT THERE IS MORE TO IT. CHRISTIAN CLERICS ARE TARGETS OF KIDNAPPERS WHO ARE MOSTLY THOUGHT TO BE ARMED FULANI HERDSMEN AND FOREIGN HERDERS WHO ENTER THROUGH OUR BORDERS AND WONT BE STOPPED BECAUSE THE INTERNAL SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IS DOMINATED BY PERSONS OF SAME ETHNICITY AND RELIGION TO THESE INVADERS. PLATEAU STATE AND SOUTHERN KADUNA KNOWN FOR BEING STRONGHOLDS OF CHRISTIANITY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA ARE WORST AFFECTED LEADING US TO ASK IF THERE IS A SYSTEMATIC GENICIDE HOING ON.
The SOUTH EAST OF NIGERIA IS ALSO ON THE SECURITY SPOTLIGHTS.
We recently undertook two weeks tour of the south east of Nigeria and what we discovered saddened our hearts. Statistically, what we saw indicates that over 97% of the communities in the south east of Nigeria are without any form of policing institutions. WE CHALLENGE THE STATE COMMISSIONERS OF POLICE TO PUBLISH THE DIVISIONAL POLICE OFFICES IN THE SOUTH EAST STATES AND TELL NIGERIANS HOW MANY POLICE OPERATIVES WORK THERE.
We found our to our chagrin that the people of these SOUTH EASTERN communities are left on their own just as police operatives often are attached to state capitals and road blocks extorting passengers and drivers. Millions of IGBO PEOPLE HAVE NO FORM OF PROTECTION AND THE POLITICIANS WHO ENJOY ALL THE SECURITY COVERS HAVE FAILED TO TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE. THIS IS LIKE SETTING OUT A PEOPLE FOR GENOCIDE. SOUTH EAST LEADERS PARTICULARLY TRADITIONAL; YOUTHS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS MUST TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT ATTACKS AGAINST THEIR PEOPLE BECAUSE THE RIGHT TO LIFE IS SACROSANCT.
In the last couple of months, over 100 passengers traveling from south east to the north have been attacked by suspected terrorists , armed Fulani herdsmen and kidnappers and police in those states in the east and middle belt states of Kogi, Benue, Kaduna are not efficient and Effective enough to check the trend of kidnapping , just as a lot of these kidnappings hoodlums are armed and are out and about with their smooth operations in active conspiratorial partnership and collusion with many rogue elements in the security forces.
Because of the fact that policing in most parts of Nigeria has collapsed, Human rights situation has deteriorated abysmally requiring as we said earlier a declaration of a state of Emergency.
We condemn the south east Governors for failures due to political cowardice to follow the great footsteps of south west Governors to set up south east security initiative. SOUTH EAST OF NIGERIA NEEDS REGIONAL SECURITY INITIATIVE NOW.
Since regular policing has failed, is it the so called community policing that will not fail?
Let us stop the grand deception and take steps to protect the citizens.
HURIWA believes that the time is due for every region; states and Local councils to set up armed and well paid security platforms because Nigeria is under a big National security emergency. As they say, NO ARMY IN THE WHOLE WORLD CAN DEFEAT AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME. THIS IS THE TIME TO PUT UP STRONG RESISTANCE AGAINST MASS MURDERERS WHO AS WE KNOW ARE OPERATING FREELY AND THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOTHING BUT ISSUE FRIVOLOUS MEDIA RELEASES THAT ARE PROVOCATIVE AND SIMPLISTIC. The Nigerian Police Force is grounded in the constitution but it has been sabotaged leading to abysmal collapse.
If we read S.215 of the 1999 constitution we will know that it provides for an inspector general of the police who shall be appointed by the president of the Federal republic of Nigeria on the advice of The Nigeria police council from among serving members of the Nigeria force. Sec.215(1)(b)7 also provides for Commissioners of police for each states of the federation who shall be appointed by the police service commission. POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION IS CURRENTLY EMBROILED IN A FIGHT WITH IGP FOR SUPERIORITY ON WHO SHOUP RECRUIT POLICE AND NOT ON WHO SHOULD INSTIL PROFESSIONALISM AND DISCIPLINE. THIS ROFORO FIGHT IS REPLICATED AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS BETWEEN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER GENERAL MONGUNO AND THE ALL POWERFUL CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE PRESIDENT. THESE INFIGHTINGS ARE DERAILING THE COUNTERTERROR WAR AND POSE GRAVE DANGER TO NATIONAL SECURITY. WE WILL GIVE YOUBDETAILS LATER BASED ON AVAILABLE INFORMATION.
The extant statutes say the Command of the Nigeria Police force shall be under the command of the inspector general of Police and contingents of the police force stationed in the States, shall subject to the authority of the Inspector General of the Police be under the command of the police of that state and as we read from diverse literatures on policing in Nigeria we will find out that there is CENTRALITY IN THE COMMAND STRUCTURE OF THE NPF AND AS I SPEAK THE COMMAND STRUCTURE IS DOMINATED BY THE NORTH. THIS IS UNJUST AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
The Nigerian constitution says the president or such other minister of the Government of the federation may give the IGP such ‘lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the IGP shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.
The Nigeria police council may, with the approval of the president, delegates its powers to the IGP or the Nigeria police force.
The truth is that Nigeria police force is no longer a potent force for good. Police has constituted a grave threat to NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS OF NIGERIA.
There has to be deliberate policy to address these problems of failures of national Security.
HURIWA is by this briefing, urging the president and the National Assembly to wake up.
The states in Nigeria must set up FEDERAL HIGHWAYS police/ military protection and patrol troops to confront the rising incidence of kidnappings. Kogi/ Kaduna federal highways have become kidnappers den and police is nowhere near enough to crack this disturbing security phenomenon because most of these police operative are allegedly involved in the MULTIBILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISE OF KIDNAPPINGS FOR CASH RANSOM PAYMENTS.
On the failure of Human rights sector, We blame President MUHAMMADU BUHARI for disabling the National Human rights Commission.
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION is now a toothless bulldog and is administered like a typical civil service institution without the legally guaranteed independency and for three years , President Buhari has refused to reconstitute the governing council.
The Police Detention facilities all across Nigeria must be opened up to credible civil society groups to monitor welfare of detainees because cases of extralegal killings are high.
We advocate the setting up of Human rights departments in the departments of state services ( DSS) , EFCC, ICPC and the restoration of a functioning Human rights departments in the Police to check Abuses of Human rights and to train operatives to stop the wide spread use of torture and Arbitrary Executions of crime suspects.
We urge President Buhari and the National Assembly to invoke the constitutional provision allowing military training and the use of Fire arms for all law Abiding young Nigerians even as we call for the liberalization of ownership of gun licenses.
Nigerians need to be Alive first to speak of human rights which in any event are inevitable and sacred. MASS KILLERS NEED NO REHABILITATION BUT PROSECUTION AND SANCTIONS JUST AS WE NEED TO FORTIFY SECURITY AROUND OUR PRISONS TO HOUSE MASS KILLERS.
President Buhari should stop official impunity from spreading.
If a functionary of government fail to carry out his or her duties especially that of preventing / or reducing violent killings, there must be consequences .
We can’t continue keeping heads of different security institutions in the states whereby kidnappings , terrorists attacks and wide spread violence are going on. Fire and prosecute Commissioners of police and heads of DSS offices in the states whereby VIOLENT CRIMES ESCALATE.
A while ago this is what the press reported thus: Again, NSA Monguno attacks Abba Kyari over police equipment contract.
The story goes thus: A lucrative contract for the procurement of defence equipment for the Nigeria Police Force appeared to have triggered the raging confrontation at the highest levels of the Buhari administration, PREMIUM TIMES has reported.
Freshly obtained documents showed how the national security adviser, Babagana Monguno, tackled President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, for allegedly overriding a previous directive of the president in a contract to procure equipment for the police from the United Arab Emirates.
In the December 9, 2019 letter that was addressed to the police affairs minister and police inspector-general, Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, described Mr Kyari’s action as “reckless and irresponsible”, warning that it was capable of ridiculing Nigeria as an unserious nation before a reliable international partner.
Mr Monguno warned in the letter that Mr Kyari has been getting away with disregarding presidential orders to impose his own decisions — even though he had no constitutional power to issue directives on matters bordering on security. The NSA said only himself, as the head of multiple national security panels and the defence minister have constitutional roles to act on security matters.
The documents appeared a part of a series of circulars issued between Mr Monguno and Mr Kyari between May and December 2019.
The first part of the documents to leak was first published by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday afternoon. It detailed how Mr Monguno accused Mr Kyari of hampering efforts to resolve insecurity in the country, sparking nationwide uproar and call for the president to take charge of his administration’s security measures.
The first memo also carried the same December 9, 2019 date, but was addressed to all crucial offices of national security coordination. The latest memo appeared to have been sent to inform the police affairs minister and the inspector-general on the background of the equipment and how Mr Kyari might be frustrating the procurement process.
It was not immediately clear which equipment were being procured by the Buhari administration from the Emirati, but Mr Monguno disclosed that the International Golden Group, a Dubai-based defence and security dealer, was the firm agreed between Mr Buhari and the UAE Crown Prince in 2016, the memo showed.
Neither the president nor anyone in his cabinet has commented on the crisis at the presidency since Monday. Mr Kyari and two presidential spokespersons, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, rejected requests for comments on the memo Monday afternoon. They also did not return similar requests based on the latest documents that shed additional light into the rancor.
GENTLEMEN DO WE NEED TO REPEAT THAT SACKING SERVICE CHIEFS IS NOT THE SOLUTION BUT FISHIBG OUT SABOTEAURS OF THE COUNTER TERROR WAR WHO ARE INSIDERS IN GOVERNMENT? THE PRESIDENT MUST DISMISS SABOTEAURS WHO ARE OBSTRUCTING THE WAR ON TERROR. WE COMMEND THE NSA FOR HIS UNCOMMON HEROISM EVEN NOT MINDING WHETHER HE WILL SIRVIVE THIS EXPLOSIVE REVELATION. POSTERITY WILL BE GRATEFUL TO HIM THAT HE SPOKE OUT WHEN IT MATTERS MOST. BUHARI PLEASE STOP THESE KILLINGS AND STOP THE EXCUSES. WE ARE TIRED. I thank you for listening.
COMRADE Emmanuel Onwubiko;
NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION