Being text of the Press Conference addressed by the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) in Lagos on Thursday, 25 Feb 2021.
The Human Rights Monitoring Agenda, a mass based organization in its usual patriotic duty deems it fit through this press conference to condemn in strong terms the unjustifiable killings, kidnappings, banditry, rape, inter and intra ethnic wars and other heinous crimes that hold sway in different parts of our great country. Without mincing words insecurity of life and property has become a disgraceful trademark for our much raped country by factions of the ruling class that are united in mission but divided in strategy in continuing rapacious subjugation of the people and the country. No doubt, at the level of our organization we have a resolute commitment to fight economic, social and political injustice and if necessary to install a new order.
The present state of Nigeria as a nation appears that the sovereignty of Nigeria is now in the hands of the criminals in different shades and content that holds the jugular of the State and trample upon the lives of the people. The response so far from the livers of power is a gross violation of the Oath of Office sworn to by the President.
The fact needs to be stressed that right to life of the citizens of this great country is constitutionally protected. Without mixing words, we are forced by the dwindling state of security and moreso not impressed by the recent address of the Minister of Defense, Gen. Bashir Magashi, who recently proclaimed that unarmed citizens should begin to defend themselves against highly armed bandits. As regards our position as voice for the masses, it is our conclusion that such Minister does not deserve such post for one more day.
The constitution is the supreme law of the country and from whom government through the people derive all powers and authority. However, Chapter 2 in section 14 stated clearly that the Primary objective of government is the security and welfare of the people.
For the minister to encourage the people to now start defending themselves is an indirect acceptance of the failure of government in its fundamental duties and this means such government does not deserve to exist any further. Encouraging harmless citizens to take up battle against harmed and well sponsored elements, including by some political office holders with state resources, is a direct call to anarchy.
We wish to hereby request immediate withdrawal of the minister’s statement with public apology.
We also wish to appeal to all pro-bandit elements both within the government and the people to please give peace chance to reign.
The Nigerian people should please note that under no circumstance shall we consider the option of lawlessness by attacking unharmed fellow citizen on the basis of ethnicity or tribe.
We have come to realize that the most recognized vulnerable group are the youths and urgent need is required for their plight. Our Government’s efforts so far has not been
enough to establish worthy programs that can empower and equip the teaming youths in Nigeria to be engaged in profitable ventures. Instead selfish and visionless politicians furnish them with weapons to be their thugs and to cause violence during elections. This has resulted into youths resolving into criminality as a means of livelihood. This vacuum among other acts of ignorance is gradually being exploited by enemies of the nation to swindle the nation into a state of anarchy.
HURMA holds very strongly that ethnic profiling of crime in the country should be outrightly condemned and crime and criminality should be comprehensively prosecuted wherever they may occur without ethnic or religious bias.
We have seen hope and wish to give same to Nigerians by the recent action of President Muhamad Buhari in the recently appointed four new military chiefs amid mounting calls to do something about widespread insecurity in the country. Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, the new service chiefs are to tackle issues of threats of banditry, kidnappings, and clashes between herders and farmers. Nigerians should exercise patient and expect positive outcomes from these new service chiefs.
The leadership of the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) shall intensify its discussion with patriotic elements among the members of the ruling class and as well progressive and peace loving elements in the international communities to ensure that things are restored back to normal soon.
Generally our beloved nation is gradually being projected as failed state that:
• surrenders its sovereignty to killers, bandits, rapists and arsonists;
• a State that rewards indolence, criminal negligence and corrupt practices;
• a State that renders impotent its juridical and legislative arms of government;
•a State that its economic policies pauperized its citizens;
• a State that is carefree and indifferent about the fastest growing of internally displaced people’s camp in Africa;
• a State where there is a consensus among the members of the ruling class to unconscientiously pillage our collective patrimony.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE
As hopeless as some are unpatriotically projecting our situation in this country, we have an unshakeable belief that our teething problem is not insurmountable. We make the following suggestions as a way out of the doldrums:
1. Our people must take their destiny into their hands by organizing themselves by democratically enthroning a government that will have people as its cornerstone.
2. Economic policies that will ensure equitable and fair redistribution of wealth must be struggled for and be attained, a life more abundance will definitely reorientate the mass of our people to pursue life and happiness as against banditry.
3. The State must invest in modern system of agriculture and animal husbandry. The cultural, pastoral and nomadic cattle’s rearing method that breeds cattle rustling and violate attacks among the citizens must be put an end to by providing a modern way of doing agricultural business.
4. The apparatus of the State must be overhauled to reflect the heterogeneous nature of the State without compromising merit and competence.
5. The mercenaries of the State must be overhauled to accommodate fresh thinking and initiative.
6. The State as a matter of urgency must wake up all its social mobilization platforms from slumber with the mandate to redirect the social consciousness of our people to live in peace and harmony.
7. Our international borders must be well secured to prevent unrestricted migration to our country on alter of ethnic loyalty and solidarity.
Another Nigeria is possible in our lifetime.
We thank you all.
Lekan Alabi Esq.
Comrade Buna Olaitan Isiak
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