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Monday, 1 June 2015

Stop your sermons, take action, group tells President Jonathan

The group condemned the killing of students in Yobe State.
A non-governmental organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has tasked the president, Goodluck Jonathan to find and enforce effective and sustainable panacea to the widening cases of terrorism and violent killing of innocent Nigerians in the North East and North Central states rather than resort to issuing media statements that sound like evangelical sermons.
The group said this in a statement reacting to the president’s response after the reports of the killing of about 29 school children in Yobe State last weekend. Mr. Jonathan, in a statement issued by his media aide, Reuben Abati, said those who committed the crime would “go to hell.”
HURIWA in its statement, jointly signed by its National coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, said the remark by the President is not only un-presidential but smacks of a “panicky presidency.”
It tasked the federal government to work, more seriously, towards a functional, effective, efficient, result-oriented and fool proof pro-active intelligence-driven measures and mechanism which will stop the spread of these “evil acts” of mindless slaughter of innocent Nigerians by suspected terrorists in North East and suspected hired Fulani mercenary fighters who are eliminating local farmers in the North Central states of Benue and Nasarawa.
“Nigerians elected and swore in President Jonathan and not ‘SAINT JONATHAN’, therefore it is not in the place of the President of Nigeria, a constitutional leader to dictate who will go to ‘hell’ or not but it is the duty of the President to provide security of lives and property of Nigerians everywhere,” HURIWA, said.
The group condemned the Yobe killing, describing it as inhuman, brutal, primitive, and illegal; and charged the federal government to ensure that the wheel of criminal justice administration is not undermined by the active conspiracy of the government funded contraption known as presidential amnesty committee headed by the Special Duties Minister.
“The Nigerian government must be focused; decisive and constitutional in the fight to combat terrorism. Government must protect Nigerians from this unwarranted violence that is spreading like wild fire. Perpetrators of mass killing must be charged before courts of competent jurisdiction and prosecuted by patriotic and professionally competent officials from the office of the Federal Attorney General. We are sick and tired of hearing sermons from the presidency each time that bloody pogrom takes place,” the group said.
The group also challenged the Federal Government to step up radical and comprehensive law reform measures and the criminal justice administration in Nigeria so as to stamp out the regime of impunity which, it said, is the root cause of the growing spate of terrorism and violent killings of innocent Nigerians by armed non-state actors.
HURIWA noted that pragmatic solution to the unprecedented scale of violent crimes and terrorism in Nigeria can only be achieved through effective multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional mechanism to be worked out and collectively implemented by the Federal Government with all relevant tiers of government including the national assembly, state governments and relevant stakeholders in the civil society.
It stated that the offices of federal attorney general and that of chief justice of Nigeria must actively collaborate to work out fool- proof mechanism on quick dispensation of justice to criminal elements that are posing serious security nightmare to Nigeria.
The group urged Mr. Jonathan to compel the justice ministry and the hierarchy of the nation’s judiciary to join the coordinated war against terrorism by competently generating sound and scientific-based evidence for the prosecution and conviction of suspected armed terrorists who are currently being detained.
HURIWA said any measure or political arrangement that is extra-legal or that entails release of suspected terrorists under any guise of political amnesty is tantamount to extending official seal to the ongoing regime of impunity and anarchy in parts of Northern Nigeria.

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