The Prominent Civil Rights Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged the Governors, Legislators, Ethnic Leaders and Civil Society leaders from the South East of Nigeria to be proactive in arresting the bad security situation caused by killer herdsmen and other terrorist groups that is now bedeviling the region.
This was contained in statement signed by the Group’s National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director; Miss. Zainab Yusuf wherein HURIWA rejected the Community Policing agreed by the Inspector General of Police and the South East Governors and charged the South East Leaders to mount unrelenting pressure on the political authorities to borrow the South West Amotekun Model.
“Given the current security challenges in contemporary Nigerian society, there is a need to revisit this model of community policing for the purpose of preventing and curbing crimes particularly the killings and other forms violence occasioned by Armed Fulani Herdsmen.
“Therefore, responding to the recent governance and security challenges confronting South East Nigeria requires concerted efforts by a multitude of stakeholders in government, business and civil society and interventions at several points intersecting political, economic and security governance.
Taking up the challenge as a foremost Civil Rights Group, with the single agenda of building a formidable and economically strong united Nigeria based on rule of law and respect for rights, equity and justice, do make this statement rejecting the Community Policing template agreed by the Inspector General of Police with the South East Governors and urging various stakeholders to mount pressure for the South East to adopt the South West Amotekun model”, the statement noted.
Continuing, HURIWA expressed worries that the evil activities of the murderous Fulani Herdsmen are taking place in all parts of the South East and despite the cry of the people especially in the face of the emphasis the Federal Government places on Agriculture, none of the herdsmen have been arrested and tried by the law enforcement agencies; yet the evil acts continue unabated.
More worrisome, according to HURIWA is that law enforcement agents posted to the region have continued to conduct themselves in manners that suggest that they are an occupation force preying on the people rather than protecting them.
“The destructive activities of rogue herdsmen on farms in communities in the South Eastern states of Nigeria are becoming worrisome and frightening. With their hordes of cattle, they have been invading farmlands with reckless abandon and making a mess of the crops which the poor village farmers toiled to put in place. Sadly, in some cases, these killer herdsmen even violently attack and kill the farmers if they have the gut to question them”, HURIWA added.
Citing section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (ad amended), HURIWA stated that Amotekun has the legality and authority of the Houses of Assembly of the South West state which exercised their Constitutional powers as enshrined in the Constitution, just as the group revealed that the resort to Amotekun Model is because government has failed in its primary duty to protect lives and property. “Too many people have been killed and many more are being killed every blessed day, essentially because government has not lived up to the bill of protecting lives and property of Nigerians.
“There are citizens’ rights. In fact, the right to life and safety is paramount and it remains the reason of all other rights. What other right will be useful or necessary if the right to life (Section 33 subsection 1 of the Constitution) is compromised? The governors of the South East should resort to self-help to protect their people just as the South West Governors did.
“Is it not even strange, if not curious, that in spite of the many cases of massacre, pogrom and lethal raid of communities across the country, no one, yes, no one has been arrested, prosecuted or jailed for the sundry heinous crimes against the rest of Nigerians?
Is it that the Fulani herdsmen who have been in the vanguard of the attacks, killings and abductions across the land enjoy unofficial immunity? Is it not clear that they are treated specially, preferentially and with kids’ gloves? They seem to be carrying on with the confidence: “if the president be for us, who can be against us?”
Therefore, HURIWA tasked the Governors of the South East to jettison the Community Policing and take a great and bold initiative of the South West Amotekun Model to checkmate the killing of citizens by armed Fulani Herdsmen and other forms violence in the region.
More so, in a related development, Human Rights Writers Association has condemned the ceaseless and unending violent attacks of the Christian dominated Southern Kaduna State by armed Fulani herdsmen whilst the Kaduna State Governor Nassir Elruffai speaks from both sides of his mouth and does nothing to stop these incessant killings with the latest being the killing of 21 villagers in Kagoro, in Laura local government area council of Southern Kaduna State by armed Fulani herdsmen who were said to be hiding on top of the Kagoro hills.
HURIWA recalled that Laura Youth had last month told the World that there were armed Fulani herdsmen camping on top of Kagoro hills but both the Kaduna State Governor and his commissioner for internal security disputed this claim.
The Rights group said the recent attack today has validated the allegations by the Kaura youths just as the Rights group added that there should be immediate declaration of a State of emergency in Kaduna State so soldiers and armed security forces can continuously comb the forests and hills to decimate and degrade the armed Fulani herdsmen camping in those places even as the Rights group said the citizens should form vigilantes to defend their lands and their lives.