Security agents must stop recruiting armed robbers, rights’ violators – HURIWA

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Says Nigeria’s security architecture has collapsed or compromised:

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Wednesday, asked the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to thoroughly screen potential officers before recruitment to ensure persons of questionable character with criminal records are not employed.

Besides, HURIWA has raised alarm that the nation’s security architectures which are in the hands of officers of Fulani ethnicity are compromised or have even collapsed given the gross incapacity and unwillingness of the security agencies to decisively decimate, degrade and destroy the armed Fulani terrorists unleashing terror in the entire North West of Nigeria despite their declaration as terrorists by the Federal High Court, Abuja division at the instance of the Federal Attorney general and minister of Justice.

HURIWA said there is need urgently for the National Assembly members to put the interest of Nigeria, the national security interests far and above their myopic ethno-religious sentiments and carry out comprehensive investigation of the hierarchies of the armed forces of Nigeria and especially the heads of the internal security institutions who are all without exception men of same Fulani ethnicity and Moslems just as the armed terrorists operating in the North West. HURIWA said it is inconceivable that a competent court of law can declare as terrorists those tormenting Nigerians but yet the overwhelming force of the Armed forces of Nigeria are not been unleashed on the terrorists apparently because of their ethno-religious affiliations with those running the security architectures at the moment.

HURIWA said the news that dare-devil terrorists have killed 19 soldiers and a police officer attached to the Deputy Governor of Kebbi State, Samaila Dabai Yombe only early this morning shows that the Nigerian government has willingly compromised, contaminated and damaged the nation’s security institutions due to Etjnic considerations.

It was learnt that they were killed in a fresh ambush in Kanya, Danko/Wasagu Local Government Area of Kebbi State. The Deputy Governor narrowly escaped death in the ambush. The Deputy Governor confirmed the incident. HURIWA said the failure of the heads of these internal security institutions and the Army to defeat these terrorists ought to be a cause for national emergency just as the Rights group wondered why the National Assembly has continuously shirked their national duty of oversight to compel the Armed forces to behave as a National and not a regional institution. HURIWA said another bad side of the armed forces is the seamless manner that armed robbers get themselves enlisted into these armed security forces.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, called on the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya; amongst others, to conduct due diligence and root out the bad eggs under them. HURIWA wonders why President Muhammadu Buhari whose security strategy is so porous has yet to hire a much more patriotic and competent person as his national security adviser but has continued to pamper the current National Security Adviser whose office has failed spectacularly to offer functional tips on how to crush terrorists.

The group recalled that the Rivers State Police Command recently arrested and detained four police officers attached to its Puff Adder Tactical Unit for alleged extortion of about N200,000 from a 200-level student of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Kingsley Dike.

According to the victim, he was in a vehicle on his way home March 4, 2022 at about 10 pm when the policemen stopped and searched him and his colleague and later took them to their base in the Aluu community even after “nothing was found” on them.

Dike said at the station the “police officers ordered him to remove the code” on his phone and later threw them in the cell and directed them to write a statement indicting themselves as “internet fraudsters”, which they complied with, out of fear of being killed.

The students explained the officers thereafter gave them “an account number” where they transferred the sum of N200,000 before they were released.

HURIWA made reference to a report by PUNCH Newspaper on December 11, 2021 that captures how Yahoo boys befriend, bribe policemen, soldiers to evade justice and how Yahoo boys apply for police and army jobs to be unnoticed. Fine report here:

HURIWA further reference the Chief of Civil Military Affairs (Army), Maj Gen Markus Kangye, who this week, said the Nigerian Army received and treated over 500 complaints about human rights violations across the country between 2016 and now.

Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The incessant cases of police operatives and soldiers getting involved in robberies all around Nigeria is worrisome. The problem is traceable to poor quality of supervision and the failure of intelligence at the point of recruitment.

“Under normal circumstances, the police and the army ought to maintain a well-secured national data of finger prints of convicted criminals so the institutions can quickly determine the background of potential and prospective recruits to weed out criminals before their enlistment.

“The case of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, in an alleged damning collusion with drug baron is still fresh in the minds of all Nigerians. These tendencies for criminality is the reason there is deficits of trust of the police by citizens. Security agencies must sit tight and weed out the too many bad and rotten eggs amongst them.”

Emmanuel Onwubiko
March 09, 2022

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