…Commends President for directing prosecution of armed Fulani herdsmen

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, State Governors and other elected office holders to take immediate steps to douse upsurge in conflict of ethnicities flaring up across the country.

This is coming as the group applauded President Buhari for diving directives for immediate prosecution of armed Fulani herdsmen.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko declared that provisions of Section 14 (2) (b) of the Nigerian Constitution made it mandatory for the President and Governors to ensure the security of lives and property of all citizens.

The grund norm says “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.

According to Comrade Onwubiko, their attention has been called to the position that it is inaccurate to locate the blame squarely on the desk of President Buhari.

“We accept this key point of correction. We have also been asked by some of our prominent members to correct the impression that there is a deliberate intention of Mr. President to refuse to prosecute armed Fulani herdsmen and that there is no empirical data to believe that there is an agenda to alienate any ethno religious nationalities in the redistribution of national offices. We are glad to hear this second opinion and we respect it.

“However, we will appeal to Mr. President to always respect equity and equality of rights in all his official conducts even as we call on him to either suspend or query his Federal Attorney General and Minster of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) who even in writing told us that arrested armed Fulani herdsmen who were hitherto paraded by the NPF here in Abuja will not be prosecuted because there is no case file.

“The Minister of Justice told us in a response to our request that all the paraded armed Fulani herdsmen since 2015 must be prosecuted. 

“The impression conveyed by the Justice Minister is that a set of suspects are above the law only because of their ethnicity. This perception is damaging to the image of the government. It is totally irregular, unconstitutional and absolutely illegal and we call on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to order the AGF explicitly to either carry out the order to prosecute offenders or be dismissed from public office.  

“We hereby applaud the public statement of President Muhammadu Buhari in which he directed that armed Fulani herdsmen and indeed all criminals must be made to face the full weight of the law. 

“The ball is in the courts of the Justice Ministry to do the needful and for the police to enforce the law by building up strong case against all criminals. These prosecutorial activities must be transparent and accountable.”

“From all that we have seen so far since 2015, the failure of the Federal Attorney General to carry out transparent prosecution of all kinds of criminals no matter their ethnicity is the primary cause of mass distrust in the government of President Buhari and when it is found out that there is a deliberate failure to prosecute armed Fulani herdsmen on the nebulous reason that there is no case file, you can now see why most people think there is a double standard by this government.

“So our charge to President Buhari is to compel his justice sector officials to either do their jobs or be fired.”

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