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ILE IFE CRISIS: HURIWA WARNS IGP AGAINST PARTIALITY

By HURIWA
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A pro-democracy and Non-Governmental Organization – Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Ibrahim Kpodum Idris to avoid interventions in civil crises and mass murders that paints his leadership as deeply partisan and discriminatory.

The Rights group said:"At no time in the history of policing since after the thirty months civil war has the person holding the high office of Inspector General of Police accused loud and clear by respectable elder statesmen of adopting policing styles that criminalises some ethnic groups and treats a particular ethnic group as Saints even when the contrary speaks louder than the loudest sound. Nigeria is at such a dangerous crossroad for the reason that there are perceptions that certain persons from a particular section of the Country and of a particular Ethno-Religious Configuration same as the President are treated by the office of the Inspector General of Police as sacred cows whilst all others are treated as second class citizens. The IGP must work much more professionally and transparently so no surreptitious Ethno-Religious agenda is associated with his term as police chief of Nigeria".

In a statement in which the Rights group also warned on the unconstitutionality of frequent media parade of crime suspects by Police Inspector General even before these suspects are convicted by competent courts of law, HURIWA alleged that the public comments and body language of the nation’s Police boss on the Southern Kaduna genocide, the Benue massacre by armed Fulani herdsman and the recent Hausa versus Yoruba civil unrest depicts his headship of the Police as if he is there to serve sectional interest.

In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss. Zainad Yusuf, HURIWA criticized the Police boss for the widely alleged discriminatory arrest of suspects of only a section of Nigeria after the unfortunate Ile Ife fratricidal riots between Hausa and Yoruba just as the Rights Group urged the National Assembly to probe the widespread allegation by AFENIFERE of mass arrest of only Yorubas by the police.

HURIWA said thus: “as a totally detribalized Civil Rights platform, we are disturbed by the massive media publications accusing the Police Inspector General of ordering the mass arrest of only Yorubas even when it is a fact that the crisis that engulfed the ancient Ile Ife kingdom was between two major ethnic nationalities. Let the Nigeria Police Force always be a professional Police and avoid adopting selective arrest during crimes and conflicts. Police must not rub salt into national injuries.”

HURIWA also lambasted the Police Inspector General for engaging in public spat with representatives of Southern Kaduna people over the casualty figures from the massive violent attacks against the mainly Christian dominated communities by Armed Fulani Herdsmen even when till date the suspects who were reportedly appeased with cash by a particular governor have yet to be arrested and prosecuted.

“It is shameful that instead of the Police Chief to effectively police conflict flashpoints to decisively check the spread of mass killings in Southern Kaduna and other flashpoints of conflicts, the nation’s Police Chief was busy engaging in media warfare with the victims of the unfortunate Southern Kaduna massacres. What manner of insensitivity is that?”.

HURIWA has also condemned the inability of the police to stop the spate of killing of farmers in Benue state by armed Fulani herdsmen and the sexual violations of a 70 year old woman in Ebonyi State.

HURIWA said it is time for the National Assembly and the National Police Council to constructively investigate the unprofessional approach to conflict resolution adopted by the current Inspector General of Police which has largely attracted widespread condemnation for the Policing institution.

The Rights Groups said it is time the police boss is reminded that he was not picked by President BUHARI to serve sectional interest but was appointed to serve the whole of Nigerians irrespective of Ethno –Religious configurations.

HURIWA referred the current IGP to the full intent of section 215 (3) of the constitution which states thus: “(3) The President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorize in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those direction or cause them to be compiled with.”