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Post-Election Violence: HURIWA Canvasses National Conference

April 19, 2011

A pro-democracy and development focused non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, (HURIWA) has blamed the widespread organized violence and arson in parts of the North to failure of intelligence and the indecision of the hierarchy of the nation’s security community to take proactive measures to prevent it even when signals were clear before the Presidential poll that sporadic politically – Motivated violence could mar the outcome of the exercise.

A pro-democracy and development focused non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, (HURIWA) has blamed the widespread organized violence and arson in parts of the North to failure of intelligence and the indecision of the hierarchy of the nation’s security community to take proactive measures to prevent it even when signals were clear before the Presidential poll that sporadic politically – Motivated violence could mar the outcome of the exercise.

The group has also canvassed the convocation of a national conference made up of representatives of all ethnic, political, religious and civil society
communities, to work out a national agenda for national reconciliation and
ethnic harmony.

HURIWA which observed that insecurity has become a major challenge of the
current and incoming federal administration also tasked President-elect Goodluck Jonathan to implement effective mechanism to empower operatives of the nation’s security community with contemporary skills and techniques of intelligence gathering so as to check the growing crisis of insecurity across Nigeria.

It also called for the immediate reforms of the nation’s Immigration Services to ensure that the operatives are well motivated to stop them from compromising with illegal aliens who have infiltrated most parts of the North with assorted firearms. “The Nigeria Immigration Service must be sufficiently equipped with the necessary tools and skills and the operatives well paid and motivated to stop them from compromising with illegal aliens who are usually the couriers of suspected small arms and other firearms usually deployed in times of crises by hoodlums in Northern  Nigeria,” HURIWA averred.

The group said the rioters apart from denying other citizens of their
constitutionally guaranteed inalienable freedom of right to life which amounted to a crime against humanity have also flouted sections 22 of the Constitution which provides that the national ethics shall be discipline, integrity dignity of labour, social justice, Religious tolerance, self-reliance and patriotism. It therefore charged President Jonathan to protect the lives and property of Nigerians since the primary purpose of government is to provide security to the citizenry.

In a statement jointly issued by its National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel
Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs, Ms. Zainab Yusuf, the
Rights group which stoutly condemned the spate of targeted killings of
supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Northern parts of the country challenged the Federal government to ensure that the culprits and their sponsors are identified, arrested, investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned by the competent court of law to send a powerful signal that political violence is unprofitable to the perpetrators.

HURIWA stated thus; “while we strongly sympathize with the families who have lost their bread winners in the political violence that have occurred in most parts of Northern Nigeria, we equally challenge the incumbent President whose re-election precipitated the crisis to ensure that heads of the nation’s security direct their operatives to decisively quell the growing conflicts and arrest the perpetrators and their sponsors for judicial sanctions by the competent court of law”.

“We are worried that heads of the nation’s security organs never acted on time to prevent the crisis from happening since it was crystal clear even to the toddlers that the pre-election tension will inevitably snowball into major post-presidential election conflagration but these security chiefs sat back and watch helplessly as Nigerians are massacred by political and religious zealots.”

“It is unfortunate that the Nigeria police, the State Security Service (SSS) and other vital security outfits sat back and allowed political hoodlums armed to the teeth to strike in most parts of the North before they (the security agents) belatedly raced to try to stop the spread of the civil unrests,” it claimed.

“We hereby call on President and President-elect Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to set up a Presidential Commission on Inter-ethnic and Inter-religious dialogue even as a conference of all ethnic nationalities should be organized rapidly to set a new agenda for national peace and harmony,” HURIWA stated.

 

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