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Wage Anti-Terror War And Not Political War—HURIWA Tells FG

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] a democracy inclined Non-Governmental Organization has picked holes with the ongoing anti-terrorism strategy of the current Federal Government which according to it has failed to yield the desired results even as it has urged the Federal Government to wage unrelenting professional but clandestine, intelligence-driven anti-terrorism battles all across the major flashpoints of violent insurgency to stop the incessant bloodshed and wanton destruction of precious lives of Nigerians and do less of political warfare with perceived political opponents of President Good luck Jonathan's suspected ambition to run for another term in February 2015 election.

Conversely, the human rights group has strongly condemned as heinous crime against humanity the reported massacre on Sunday January 26th 2014 of dozens of worshippers at the Catholic Church in Waga Chakawa village in Madagali Local Government Area Council of Adamawa state by armed Islamic Insurgents and scores of other residents of several villages in Borno state just as the group called on the Federal Government to take verifiable and substantially pragmatic measures to secure all the border areas neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger to check the upsurge of freelance armed fighters and commercial mercenaries who are suspected to be behind the unprecedented circulation of small arms and weapons of mass destruction used in unleashing the ongoing campaign of genocide against certain interest and government institutions in the North Eastern states.

HURIWA has also canvassed the surrender of major suspected terrorists to the International Criminal Court [ICC] in The Hague, Netherlands to face charges of committing horrendous crimes against humanity in the ongoing bombing campaign in the North Eastern region of Nigeria since it is evident that Government has failed to prosecute suspected terrorists in Nigeria's legal jurisdiction. HURIWA has also faulted the piecemeal release of suspected terrorists and the abysmal failure of Government to enforce the rule of law against terrorists arrested for committing atrocities against Nigerians. "Why play politics with arrested terror suspects even when many lives of Nigerians and property worth several billions of Naira have been lost in several attacks waged by these armed insurgents and the same government has failed to give justice to the victims of these incessant attacks?"

In a statement made available to journalists and signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs Miss. Zainab Yusuf, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria[HURIWA] said the continuous successful and daring terrorists attacks targeted at civilian targets in remote villages in Borno and Adamawa states by armed insurgents even after the Federal Government declared state of emergency and also made fundamental changes to the hierarchy of the nation's security agencies shows that the Federal Government is yet to get the right kind of anti-terrorism strategy that would minimize the effects of violence on the spectacular large scales targeted against vulnerable villagers who are left without the required security protection in line with the provision of the Constitution which obliges Government to see the protection of lives and property of the citizenry as the fundamental and primary purpose of Government.

Besides, the group carpeted the newly appointed Chief of defense staff Air Marshall Alex Badeh for doing more of politically correct media showmanship on a possible deadline to end the violent insurgency rather than brainstorm extensively with his service chiefs and other relevant stakeholders to fashion out more pragmatic approach/template for the anti-terrorism war since it is evident that the ongoing anti-terrorism strategy put in place in the last two years has failed spectacularly to prevent armed insurgents from invading selected civilian and military targets at will and unleashing far-reaching devastating attacks of unprecedented scales. "Nigeria's newly appointed Chief of Defense Staff should for the sake of God and humanity do less of politically correct speech making and go into the inner recesses of the nation's security platforms to work out effective and efficient template for achieving success in the ongoing war against terrorism. He should also carry the affected communities along by creating a sense of nationalism and patriotism among the civilian populace to embrace actively the war angst insurgents. The armed Nigerian soldiers must also be posted to all the major flashpoints in the remote villages and border communities to be able to take proactive measures to stop the incessant violent attacks against civilians".

HURIWA also carpeted the Department of State Security [SSS] for spending undue precious time dabbling into politically motivated battles with perceived political opponents of President Jonathan's suspected second term ambition such as the Chieftain of the opposition All Progressive Congress[APC] and erstwhile FCT minister Malam Nassir ElRuffai while the Police command in Rivers State is engaged in another frontier of politically motivated warfare against the Rivers state governor Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. The Rights Group admonished both the Nigerian Police Force [NPF] and the State Security Service [SSS] to team up with the rest of the agencies of the nation's armed forces in a united battle against the upsurge of armed terrorism threatening the territorial integrity of Nigeria and play less of politics. "Why throw all the National security apparatus to tackle political opponents of the powers that be rather than concentrate on how to successfully wage anti-terrorism war? The state director of SSS in the FCT would have handled the invitation and interrogation of Mr. ElRuffai rather than the entire national hierarchy of the SSS".

HURIWA stated thus; "We call on the Federal Government to ensure that constitutionally created armed security agencies are compelled to carry out effective anti-terrorism battles and focus less on politically motivated warfare with perceived opponents of the President's perceived second term ambition. The recent upsurge in successful attacks against soft targets and even military targets by suspected armed terrorists in the North Eastern region of Nigeria is a clear demonstration that the time has come for real anti-terror war to be waged and for those fighting armed insurgents to remain focused and be professional about this serious national assignment and to refuse to mingle politics with their job prescriptions for the sake of Nigeria's security interest. Our international borders are still porous and the Federal Government has so far not taken drastic measures to protect the various border points from where we have continued to see infiltration of armed freelance fighters who are exacerbating Nigeria's security nightmares. All the terrorists arrested must be given speedy, efficient and clear trial in competent courts of law or transferred to the International Criminal Courts to face charges of crimes against humanity and save Nigeria from further genocide."