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By Emmanuel Onwubiko

A development focused Non-Governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has dismissed as lacking in credibility and a mere political gambit the pledge by President Good luck Jonathan to probe the alleged massacre of scores of civilians in Baga, Borno State by soldiers attached to the joint military task force (JTF).

It has therefore called on the United Nations Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands to commence extensive investigation of the spate of killings of civilians all across the nation by security operatives and armed terrorists with a view to establishing cases of war crime against perpetrators.

HURIWA further listed the continuous massacre by suspected Fulani herdsmen of Benue state farmers and the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna State and Plateau state by different armed ethnic militias as genuine cases of crimes against humanity which the current federal administration has done nothing concrete to stop. It therefore wondered how the federal government thinks any serious minded observer will take her word as credible regarding the pledge to uncover those responsible for the mass murder in Baga, Borno state.

The Rights group also wants the United Nations Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court to carry out thorough and Independent probe of the over three dozen young corpses of alleged members of the Movement for the sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) found floating about two months ago at the Ezu village River in Anambra State allegedly killed by police operatives.

HURIWA in a joint statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs; Miss. Zainab Yusuf, said it was worried that the National Assembly and all the relevant national institutions that ought to dispassionately investigate the spate of organized state sponsored killings of civilians and the killing of innocent Nigerians by armed terrorists, have all but embarked on “administrative slumber” and “functional inaction/inertia”, thereby exposing lives and property of citizens to unwarranted destruction.

HURIWA therefore called on the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria [NHRC] to exercise her new found legal independence by rising to the occasion in staging independent probes of the spate of killings in Nigeria with a view to redressing these fundamental rights' breaches using local or international judicial institutions to bring perpetrators to bear the full weight of the law.

HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which condemned the killing in Baga, Borno State, stated that the current federal administration has shown abundant evidence that it lacks the capacity to check the upsurge in organized killings of Nigerians by both soldiers and armed terrorists even as it has been unable to resolve the numerous cases of extra-judicial killings in which security operatives are fingered as principal perpetrators.

HURIWA said thus: “We sincerely think that the current Federal administration does not have the political will to clinically supervise a credible probe of alleged massacre by armed security operatives of civilians especially the current major cases of alleged mass extra – legal execution in Baga, Borno State and Ezu River in Anambra State.”

“We think the only committed and transparent organ to hold any credible probe of these dastardly acts of mass murders both on the side of armed security operatives and the armed terrorists waging war on Nigeria, are the United Nations HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL and the International Criminal Court”.

The group lamented that several weeks after nearly 40 corpses were discovered floating in Ezu River in Anambra State, the federal government including the National Assembly are going about business as usual which, according to HURIWA accounts for the atrocious killings of scores of civilians in Baga, Borno State allegedly by soldiers emboldened by the regime of impunity that exists in Nigeria.

HURIWA recalled that in the wake of the discovery of the floating bodies in Ezu River, the Federal government did nothing to arrest the police operatives suspected of masterminding this crime against humanity just as the Rights group dismissed as “politically correct” the pledge by President Jonathan to punish perpetrators of the Baga massacre.