Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

…Says Right to life is irretrievable if violated:

Prominent Civil rights advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has thrown her weight behind the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who spoke against the high rate of insecurity in the country and told the members of his Church to defend themselves against attackers.

HURIWA recalled that the respected Cleric Pastor Adeboye stressed that there is nowhere in the Bible that God said His children should not defend themselves.This is coming as the Chairman of the Katsina State Traditional Council of Chiefs and Emir of Katsina, Dr Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, has raised the alarm over what he described as the multifaceted worsening security challenges facing the residents of the state.

The Rights group recalled that speaking during the church’s July 2022 Holy Ghost Service in a viral video, Adeboye said enough is enough, adding that henceforth, “it’s fire for fire. “I don’t want to say much because I know whatever I say, some people may want to twist it. I have searched the Bible from cover to cover and there is nowhere where God said a child of God cannot defend himself. If you find the place, let me know. He said that if they slap you on the right cheek turn left; He said that one. If they now slap the left what did he say? When God is silent, do you know the meaning of that, it simply means over to you.“I am only talking to my children. Only my children come to the Holy Ghost Service. There are certain things television cannot transmit. Not at all. Glory be to God for television that can transmit across the world. Glory be to God. But when the Almighty God knows that it is out of laziness that you sat back at home, you will be hearing the testimonies of those who were present. There’s something called corporate anointing. The Bible says fire begets fire. There are certain things you get because you are there… Oh! Some jokers said churches should not open for three months. Who is your commander? God of Boko Haram? Let the devil try any nonsense, from now on, it is going to be fire for fire.”

Against the backdrop of the admonition by Pastor Enoch Adeboye on the necessity of embracing self defence to save their lives from being wasted by armed terrorists, the Rights grpup said that just like the the Zamfara State’s governor authorised his citizens to bear arms, the Reverend gentleman was right to mobilise his members to do all they can to remain alive because as it were only the living can worship God. 

HURIWA spoke further on THE implications of embracing self defence which it says are multifaceted and affirmed that It shows the collapse of the centralised system of government due to the incompetence of the head of state and head of government to safeguard the lives of the citizens and the safety of their legitimately obtained assets/property.  Another implication is that it has open the floodgates for other states to take similar lawful steps to protect their citizens for the time being until such a time that Nigeria has an effective and functional President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  If the people don’t protect themselves because government at the centre can’t protect them because of criminal dereliction of duty on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari and the collusion and compromises of the National Assembly that failed to provide oversight responsibility to demand action from the President to stop the killings of Nigerians. The National Assembly has the power of impeachment of a failed President which President Muhammadu Buhari is but Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila are ‘ERRAND BOYS’ OF THE FAILED PRESIDENT SO AS HIS PUPILS  THEY CAN’T MOVE AGAINST THEIR PRINCIPAL BECAUSE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY’S INDEPENDENCE HAS BEEN MORTGAGED SINCE 2019. The last implication is for the national Assembly to impeach the President so we don’t have arms proliferation in Nigeria.  

The decision by the Zamfara State governor to ask citizens to pick up arms for the purposes of self defence is constitutionally permitted under Section 33(2) (a) which states and I quote “a person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section if he dies as a result of the use to such extent and in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably necessary- (a) FOR THE SELF DEFENCE OF ANY PERSON FROM UNLAWFUL VIOLENCE OR FOR THE DEFENCE OF PROPERTY. “

Fundamentally, the primary purpose of government as clearly spelt out under section 14(2) (b) is “THE SECURITY AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE SHALL BE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT.” So the Zamfara State government’s innovative way of safeguarding the lives of the citizens of that state is necessitated by the overwhelming failures of the President,  Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to dispense and discharge his constitutionally mandated primary obligations as President who has the command and control of the Armed Forces as stipulated in Sections 218, 217, 215 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended. And because the RIGHT TO LIFE WHICH IS SACROSANCT AS PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 33(1) MUST BE SAFEGUARDED BY ALL MEANS FROM EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION,  IT IS PERMISSIBLE FOR THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO OPT FOR INDIVIDUAL SELF DEFENCE SINCE THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT HEADED BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI HAS FAILED IN THIS VERY CRITICAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE LAW DEMANDED OF HIS OFFICE as contained in the following provisions: 

“section 215 of the 1999 constitution There shall be –

(a) an Inspector-General of Police who, subject to section 216(2) of this Constitution shall be appointed by the

President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force;

(b) a Commissioner of Police for each state of the Federation who shall be appointed by the Police Service Commission.

(2) The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of Police and contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a state shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of the Commissioner of Police of that state.

(3) The President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those direction or cause them to be compiled with.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Governor of a state or such Commissioner of the Government state as he may authorise in that behalf, may give to the Commissioner of Police of that state such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the state as he may consider necessary, and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with:

Provided that before carrying out any such directions under the foregoing provisions of this subsection the Commissioner of Police may request that the matter be referred to the President or such minister of the Government of the Federation as may be authorised in that behalf by the President for his directions.

(5) The question whether any, and if so what, directions have been given under this section shall not be inquired into in any court.

Section 217 of the 1999 constitution 

 (1) There shall be an armed forces for the Federation which shall consist of an army, a navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly.

(2) The Federation shall, subject to an Act of the National Assembly made in that behalf, equip and maintain the armed forces as may be considered adequate and effective for the purpose of –

(a) defending Nigeria from external aggression;

(b) maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea, or air;

(c) suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly; and

(d) performance such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

(3) The composition of the officer corps an other ranks of the armed forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal

character of Nigeria.

section 218 of the 1999 constitution

 (1) The powers of the President as the Commissioner-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation shall include power to determine the operational use of the armed forces of the Federation.

(2) The powers conferred on the President by subsection (1) of this section shall include power to appoint the Chief of Defence staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of Air Staff and heads of any other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly.

(3) The President may, by directions in writing and subject to such conditions as he think fit, delegate to any member of the armed forces of the Federation his powers relating to the operational use of the Armed Forces of the Federation.

(4) The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the regulation of –

(a) the powers exercisable by the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation; and (b) the appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of members of the armed forces of the Federation.

(3) Lastly, on my take, I will say  that we are passing through the worst phase in our national life because of the abysmal failures of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to do just the basic constitutionally obliged duties such as protecting Nigerians from MASS KILLERS WHO ARE ALLOWED TO ROAM ABOUT FREELY AND KILLING NIGERIANS. Zamfara State has provided the most practicable solution that is constitutionally permitted.I will ask all state governors to take same steps to defend their people. 

*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko is Executive Director of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA). 

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