HURIWA CONDEMN ATTACKS ON PROTESTERS IN ABUJA; PRISON BREAK IN BENIN CITY

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*SUSPECTS FIFTH COLUMNISTS HIRED BY CENTRAL GOVERNMENT:

The prominent Civil society body – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has called for judicial commission of inquiry into the prison break in Benin city, Edo State capital just as the group suspects foul play on the part of some reactionary elements paid and hired by either the police or some officials in the central government for the infiltration of the peaceful protesters by paid goons and hoodlums. HURIWA however endorses the dusk to dawn curfew imposed by the Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki to control the uprising by suspected paid agents of the central government.

Similarly, the RIGHTS group has condemned President Buhari’s Government which on one hand recruited some street urchins to stage counter demonstration at the central business District Abuja to instigate street fights with the usually peaceful #END SARS protesters in the city. “It is disingenuous for the Federal government to use public fund to hire jobless street touts to organise provocative counter demonstrations at the same time that the peaceful #endsars PROTESTS are going on. The aim is to create a State of unrest so as to provide the nebulous ground for the invitation of armed security forces to inflict pains and sorrow on the peaceful marchers.”

HURIWA is accusing officials of the government of funding the government backed protest by the motley crowds of street urchins who wore white and green shirts with the inscription of “ we support Swat” boldly written in those shirts just as the Rights group said the central government seems to be swimming in unmitigated shambles and organised confusion going by the fact that the same government funding street urchins and armed thugs to destabilise peaceful protests is the same government that had cynically and illegally announced a ban on demonstrations due to the lingering COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN NIGERIA. This shows that these federal government officials have ran out of ideas on how to constructively engaged the youthful protesters on negotiated settlement out of the fiasco brought about by the widespread use of torture and extralegal execution of the citizens by the now disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

“ We urge the authority in Abuja to stop these divide –and – rule tactics of procurement of badly behaved street urchins with the aim of instigating street fights in Abuja and therefore to create the impression that the peaceful protests have been hijacked. The reported attack. On the ENDSARS Protesters by armed security forces in Abuja whereas the government sponsored protesters are allowed to hold their carnivals at the unity FOUNTAINS , the Rights group said these divisive tendencies of the Federal government smacks of childishness and unintelligent strategy to bring the longstanding #ENDSARS PROTESTS to a constructive and peaceful end”.

HURIWA said peaceful #endsars PROTESTS are legal and constitutional because of a plethora of human rights laws and provisions of Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution in 39 (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom to expression, including freedom to hold opinions and receive and impart idea and information without interference. “Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 provides as follows: Every person shall be entitled to assembly freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any association for the protection of his interests. Furthermore, Section 41 (1) of Constitution provides that: “Every Citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.”

Besides, HURIWA accuses government of deploying discriminatory practices by paying persons from the North to instigate street fights against peaceful marchers who the government and its supporters are alleging to be against the North just as the Rights group said Chapter 4. Section 42. Right To Freedom From Discrimination states thus: “1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or

(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.

2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.

3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the State or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or member of the Nigeria Police Forces or to an office in the service of a body, corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria.”

The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has therefore called for dialogue and peaceful and law based resolutions of all the issues of police extralegal execution because according to HURIWA there is nothing untoward or unlawful for Nigerian Youths to peacefully agitate for an end to police misconduct and extrajudicial killings of citizens by police.

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