Group asks Nigerian government to rescue 20 ‘kidnapped’ female students in Borno

Group condemns FCT Police Commissioner over attack on protesters

A group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked the federal government to direct security agencies to immediately commence the search and rescue of 20 female students allegedly kidnapped a month ago by suspected members of the outlawed Boko Haram, from a school dormitory in Borno State.

In a statement on Thursday in Abuja, the organisation said it was appalling that nearly a month after the incident was reported, neither the federal government nor the Borno State Government had made any statement to confirm or deny the kidnapping. It also expressed worry that both governments had not considered meeting discreetly with the parents and guardians of the allegedly abducted girls.

About 20 teenage girls were reportedly kidnapped from a school premises in Borno State about a month ago.

HURIWA, in the statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Officer, Zainab Yusuf, said the federal government was obliged to rescue alive the kidnapped innocent students before further irreparable physical and psychological harm happened to them while in captivity.

It stated that government appeared to have failed to discharge the most basic constitutional functions and duties of a legitimate democratically elected government under the Nigerian constitution, which is the protection of the lives and property of all law abiding Nigerians irrespective of their status.

Citing the provisions of the constitution, the group stated that the most primary duty of government was the security and welfare of the people which should be enforced at all times and by all means necessary.

HURIWA said it was absolutely intolerable that armed hoodlums could operate freely in some parts of north eastern Nigeria while the Nigerian military with “all the humongous outrageously monumental financial budgetary releases” appeared to lack the superior firepower to bring the insurrection and genocidal killings to an end.

It also asked the government to consider the enactment of a law to make it a capital offence for any government official to divert and/or loot public funds dedicated for the defence sector or the Ministry of Defence and for all convicted looters of defence budgetary finances to face summary public execution.

The group alleged that corruption had done extensive damage in the ministry, especially in the procurement department, which had led to the near-crippling of the armed forces as had been severally reported.

It also called on the government to consider bringing back the National Guard and signing a defence pact with the United States of America or Britain to counter the suspected role of French Government and its West African allies in the unprecedented spate of militancy around our borders by armed religious extremists.

HURIWA also asked the government to check the anti-democracy tendencies of the nation’s police operatives, including the reported break up of a peaceful demonstration by Nigerians of diverse backgrounds in Abuja against the incessant massacre of innocent students in the North Eastern States of Yobe and Borno.

It said it feared that the anti-people tendencies of the operatives and officers of the Nigerian Police could drive the masses underground to begin coordinated civil unrest that could undermine peace and the orderliness that still exists in few places around the country.

“The police as a constitutional creation ought not to undermine and sabotage actively the enforcement of provisions encompassed in the same supreme body of laws that guides Nigeria but are obliged to prevent the violations of the fundamental freedoms that are universal, inalienable, and are basic rights of all Citizens of Nigeria,” it stated.

The group specifically criticised the new Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, for issuing “an illegal and highly unconstitutional order that all kinds of demonstrations are banned within the FCT.”

It, therefore, urged the federal government to direct the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to order his officers to comply and abide with constitutional provisions and stop all actions and measures that would greatly curtail the enjoyment of the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental freedoms enshrined in fourth chapter of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).


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