The prominent civil Rights advocacy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to accept responsibility for the escalation in the targeted killings of Christians by terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen and step up actions to prevent the spread rather than weep like a child.
The Rights group was reacting to the statement by the Federal minister of information Mr. Lai Mohammed who raised alarm that the targeted killings of Christians by boko haram terrorists was meant to divide Nigeria and cause religious war. The group said the Federal government was complicit because it failed to take steps to prevent the killings and also show unwillingness and lack of political Will to go after the mass KILLERS and their sponsors. “The government spends more time spreading propaganda and does nothing to ensure that the targeted killings are effectively checked. Why shed the crocodile tears now?”
However, in a media statement by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said the bulk of the blame stays at the desk of the president for a number of fundamental factors that centrally borders on the president’s insensitivity to the critical constitutional requirements of respecting federal character principle in the appointment of top internal security team of the federal government in which case he populated the security architecture with persons of Moslem North to the exclusion of all other segments of a very complex and secular society like Nigeria. “Even when the international land borders are shut, those bordering most Northern states are reportedly opened to the extent that a house of Representatives member from Katsina raised a point of order in the parliament blaming the Nigerian Customs for failing to shut the borders between Niger Republic and Katsina State. There is no sincerity of purpose in the prosecution of national security strategy and even amongst the top officials there’s a chasm between the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Staff to Mr. President. How do you secure a Country when the Presidency is in an organized chaotic situation”?
HURIWA said that the President must obey FEDERAL CHARACTER PRINCIPLES because in its words: “How can the current administration continue to breach the constitution by refusing to balance the strategic security appointments to reflect the federal character principles of Nigeria? How can the entire internal security team be made up of persons of one region and religion essentially such as comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS); Nigerian Customs Services; Department of State Services (DSS); Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and even the Director General of National intelligence Agency (NIA)?”
Aside the deliberate scheming out of other component parts of Nigeria in such sensitive positions in the internal security institutions which must be remedied without further waste of time, HURIWA also blames president Buhari for failing to arrest, prosecute and sanction legally all the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen and their sponsors who actively participated in most of these targeted attacks against Christians in Benue, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, Enugu, Taraba and lately Delta states. At a point in time even the media office of the president actively started playing the public relations role of Miyetti Allah cattle dealers by seeking to exonerate armed Fulani herdsmen from the attacks.”
“Mr. President must ask himself the hard question of why no single mass murderer that killed over two thousand Benue Christian farmers including two catholic priests has faced the long arm of the law. Why are all the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen paraded by the police not being prosecuted?”
“Mr. President! It does not require rocket science for your government to appoint persons of all ethnic and religious affiliations to head the various strategic national security institutions in line with the federal character principle of the constitution. It does not take rocket science to arrest and prosecute all mass killers irrespective of their religion.”
Section 14(3)(4) states as follows: “ The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
“The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognize the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”
HURIWA accused the President of discriminating against other Ethno-religious communities in matters of appointments into internal security institutions which offends the constitution as stipulated in Section 42(1) as follows: “A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:- (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.”
The current government should pursue policies that would unite all the divergent interests in the Country and ensure that there is equity and equality before the law for all citizens so nobody is treated as a second class citizen. The government must show good examples rather the extremely divisive ways of selective law enforcement whereby mass killers from a section of Nigeria are treated as sacred cows and even a presidential commission is being planned to rehabilitate terrorists.