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Friday, 27 April 2012


Shocked at the extent of extensive physical damage  to the Abuja corporate office of ThisDay Newspapers and media offices in Kaduna State following coordinated bomb attacks by suspected armed Islamic fundamentalist and the unfortunate loss of innocent lives of scores of Nigerians, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has tasked the Federal Government to provide effective and efficient protection by armed security operatives of media houses in Nigeria because of the significant role the media plays in the sustenance of Democracy and respect for the fundamental rights of Nigerians.

The group also condemned the bomb attacks on the media houses as reprehensible, wicked, atrocious and dastardly crime that should not go unpunished. The group also affirmed that perpetrators of the atrocious acts are emboldened by the total lack of commitment on the part of the Judiciary to quickly bring those arrested to swift justice even as it canvassed invitation of the United Nations to intervene.

The Democracy inclined Non-Governmental Organization-HURIWA, faulted the policy of selective protection by soldiers paid with tax payers' money of only Government institutions, offices and big hotels patronized by top Government officials and consequently demanded that Government provide protection equitably to institutions of significant national value including media houses because of their vulnerability to attacks. The Group also said ordinary Nigerians in the markets and places of worship ought to be effectively protected from these violent attacks and targeted mass killings by armed insurgents.

HURIWA said Government should throw the gate of military recruitment open so as to attract volunteers who should be processed to ascertain their past criminal records and be recruited, trained, adequatelly equipped with technology-driven combat weapons and deployed to help in securing the lives and property of Nigerians in all parts of the country because according to the Rights group, Nigeria is currently waging a war declared by armed religious insurgents bent on distabilizing the polity and the number of serving military operatives and combat equipment seemed lacking substantially.

In a statement authorized jointly by the National Cordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Officer Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] in reaction to the spate of well coordinated and successful violent attacks of selected media houses in Abuja and Kaduna, the Rights group also demanded the sack of all security chiefs for the apparent intelligence failure and also the immediate sack of Information minister Labaran Maku for allegedly deceiving Nigerians to disregard the well publicized security alert issued by the United States Embassy in Nigeria which had earlier warned of impending bomb attacks in Abuja.

On why the Government should consolidate security surveillance around media houses in the Country, the media focused rights group said Media practitioners play important nation- building role similar to those other category of government officials who now enjoy selective intensified security protection by armed security operatives just as HURIWA said that terrorist are aware that the fastest way to weaken a political entity is to destabilize free media practice and the exercise of freedom of expression because the media provides the only medium through which majority of the populace critique the activities of the deadly armed splinter group which consequently weakens their support base.

HURIWA stated thus; "We condemn the monumental show of incompetence and total lack of effective capacity on the part of the leadership of the nation's security community to tackle these unprecedented vicious cycle of bloody attacks against innocent Nigerians. We strongly condemn the inability of President Jonathan to exercise his constitutional duties of primarily providing protection of lives and property of the citizenry. We are shocked that the minister of information misled Nigerians not to believe a professional and watertight security/terror alert published by the United States of America's Embassy in Nigeria which may have accounted for the apparent laxity on the part of Nigerians in Abuja which makes them susceptible to surprise attacks by armed religious insurgents. If Nigerians were not misled by the information minister they may have maintained heightened state of alert."

"The nation’s judiciary and the heads of the justice sector in the Public service and the Nigeria Police Force have through their show of incompetence and criminal compromise, allowed for the proliferation of these bomb attacks because the armed insurgents have seen that Government and the judiciary are unwilling to bring those already arrested to justice or take effective justice to these bloody marauders who are making lives intolerably insecure all across the Country. We suggest that any suspect arrested for terrorism be taken for prosecution to the International Crimes Court in The Hague Netherlands under the supervision of the United Nations secretary General's office because Nigeria's local Court system has failed to play its constitutional role".

"HURIWA is worried that so far no single high profile perpetrator of the ongoing violence has been convicted in the competent courts of law and even when the low key members of the armed insurgency arrested are taken to Court, the judiciary in Nigeria has clearly showed that it has no competence and capacity to try these mass murderers. Terrorist arrested in Nigeria should be taken to the International Crimes Court and made to face prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity just like the former Liberian President Charles Taylor who has been convicted."

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