Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria,(HURIWA) on Friday, supported the call by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for state police to tackle the worsening security situation in Nigeria.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, stressed that the present security architecture of the country has failed, and there is no need to live in denial about it.
HURIWA wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari undermined the agitation for state police because he thought the Northern Moslems have upper hands in the command and control of the police and in its hierarchical structure. But unknown to President Muhammadu Buhari the overwhelming and skewed domination of the Moslem Northern Nigeria of the police and other internal security institutions did not stop the North from becoming the hotbed of Islamic terrorists because some of those in control of these security infrastructures compromised National security interest due to their extreme Islamic affiliations to terrorists and left the North to become the points for smuggling of sophisticated military grade weapons by Non State actors of Fulani ethnicity.
HURIWA cited the many terrorist attacks in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, and the entire North-East with the most recent one by the Islamic State of West Africa Province in the Ardo Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State where the insurgents claimed it bombed a drinking spot of “a gathering of infidel Christians”. Several lives were lost, and several others were injured in the explosion.
Also, HURIWA cited the abduction of 80-year-old founder of the Solid Rock Kingdom Church, Apostle John Okoriko, Akwa Ibom State, with the hoodlums demanding a ransom of N100m for his release.
HURIWA said with the rising spate of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, bank robbery, ritual killings, rape cases, herdsmen attacks, amongst other vicious crimes, the creation of state police must be quick and the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari must be responsive about it.
According to reports, Obasanjo on Wednesday, said, “Our situation in Nigeria concerns everyone, particularly the case of terrorism. The case has gotten over the issue of community police. It is now state police. It is from that state police that we can now be talking about community police.”
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The general state of insecurity all over Nigeria and especially the crime of kidnapping and terrorism have become widespread because Nigeria is living a lie by claiming to be practicing federalism while the federating units do not legally have powers to control the security institutions.
“Although there are some leeways that may be explored in the constitution for the states to create security vigilante but these crimes of kidnappings for ritual purposes and for ransom payments need to be stamped out. Also, terrorism must be stamped out. It is long overdue.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was right that state police is the way forward as the existing security apparatus of the country has failed just as President Muhammadu Buhari has woefully failed in his constitutional role of protection of lives and properties.
“There has to be a police reform. Nigeria must recaliberate and restructure urgently so the states have express powers over the security of their domains.
“The executive and the legislature must join hands together and impose stiff penalty of death by firing squads on convicted kidnappers and terrorists. The judiciary should also join this effort through the speedy dispensation of justice within weeks.
“Governors like Babagana Zulum should also stop accommodating terrorism through nonsensical and irrational amnesty granted to so-called repentant insurgents whom they claim surrender their arms after killing, kidnapping and raping thousands of innocent Nigerians. Such things as amnesty is intolerable and condemnable as it would buoy more terrorists and kidnappers to continue their heinous crimes knowing well that they would be granted amnesty later in the future. Granting amnesty to bloody terrorists without letting the law take its full course is a sabotage of the Nigerian Constitution”.
“There must be stringent measures against terrorists and kidnappers to serve as deterrent and send strong signals to the enclaves of those Jihadist enemies of Nigeria who suck the blood of Christians while the President, the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and others look away.”
Aprll 22, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).