Group urges Buhari to declare state of emergency on human rights, national security



By Chimezie Godfrey

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged President Buhari to declare a state of emergency on human rights and national security in the country.

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the National Coordinator, HURIWA, who stated this on Wednesday in Abuja in a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline, decried the poor state of human rights and collapse of law enforcement in the country.

“We are here to inform the Nigerian government that human rights situation in Nigeria has deteriorated requiring the immediate declaration of a national state of human rights and national security emergency by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It would seem that we have reached the precipice and if emergency measures are not adopted them national doom is inevitable, he stated.

Onwubiko noted that the Nigerian police force has lost its constitutionally required potency to prevent violent crimes just as most police officers are basically concerned with other duties but policing Nigeria and Nigerians. 

He lamented that the level of professionalism in the Nigerian police force has dramatically nosedived and indiscipline has become a common currency among the ranks, file and officers cadres of the Nigerian police force.

Onwubiko stressed that policing in every part of Nigeria has failed and with the collapse come the wanton violations of human rights including right to life.

“Because of the fact that policing in most parts of Nigeria has collapsed, Human rights situation has deteriorated abysmally requiring as we said earlier a declaration of a state of Emergency.

“Let us stop the grand deception and take steps to protect the citizens,” he said.

The Human Rights Activist reiterated that the Nigeria police force is no longer a potent force for good, adding that this has constituted a grave threat to national security interests of Nigeria.

He said that there has to be deliberate policy to address these problems of failures of national Security.

He said, “HURIWA is by this briefing, urging the president and the National Assembly to wake up.

“The states in Nigeria must set up federal highways police/ military protection and patrol troops to confront the rising incidence of kidnappings.

“Kogi/ Kaduna federal highways have become kidnappers den and police is nowhere near enough to crack this disturbing security phenomenon because most of these police operatives are allegedly involved in the multibillion dollar franchise of kidnapping for ransom payments.

Onwubiko decried the poor state of Police detention facilities all across Nigeria and pointed out that they must be opened up to credible civil society groups to monitor welfare of detainees because cases of extralegal killings are high.

“We advocate the setting up of Human rights departments in the departments of state services (DSS), EFCC, ICPC and the restoration of functioning human rights departments in the Police to check abuses of human rights and to train operatives to stop the wide spread use of torture and arbitrary executions of crime suspects.

“We urge President Buhari and the National Assembly to invoke the constitutional provision allowing military training and the use of Fire arms for all law Abiding young Nigerians even as we call for the liberalization of ownership of gun licenses.

“Nigerians need to be Alive first to speak of human rights which in any event are inevitable and sacred. 

“Mass killers need no rehabilitation but prosecution and sanctions just as we need to fortify security around our prisons to house mass killers.

“President Buhari should stop official impunity from spreading,” he stressed.

Onwubiko further said that if a functionary of government fails to carry out his or her duties especially that of preventing or reducing violent killings, there must be consequences.

“We can’t continue keeping heads of different security institutions in the states whereby kidnappings, terrorists attacks and wide spread violence are going on.

”Fire and prosecute Commissioners of police and heads of DSS offices in the states whereby violent crimes escalate,” he said.

He noted that sacking service chiefs is not the solution but fishing out saboteurs of the counter terrorism war who are insiders in government, and therefore urged President Buhari to dismiss saboteurs who are obstructing the war on terror.