HURIWA lambasts Nigerian government for inability to curtail jail breaks

prisoners in a cell

A group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has asked Nigerians to prepare to live with the harsh reality of an unprecedented rise in organised social crime and other forms of violence in the country.

In a statement on Sunday, the group said the national crime prevention and combat mechanisms had collapsed spectacularly and that there appeared to be no concerted effort by the armed security community to step up their crime fighting game.

It was reacting to the latest prison attack in Minna, Niger State by armed terrorists who reportedly freed over three hundred detainees, most of whom are suspected criminals and terrorists awaiting trial.

“Nigerians must prepare to use all legal means to protect their sacred right to life to save themselves from the rampaging threats of anarchists and armed brigands operating under different guises,” HURIWA said in the statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf.

The group said the most disturbing national symptom of failed law enforcement and crime fighting strategy was the increase in the violent attacks by suspected terrorists and other criminal gangs of prisons and other detention facilities all across the country with the resultant freeing of many hardened crime suspects and suspected armed terrorists.

It called for a comprehensive overhaul of the prison management by the newly appointed Comptroller General of Prisons even as government and others in the private sector must come up with funding mechanisms to build well protected and fortified prison facilities and reform the Nigerian prison system that is long overdue for changes in modus operandi.

HURIWA said the numerous externally-induced prison attacks by suspected terrorists without the Nigerian Government ever coming up with fool- proof and sustainable solution to this emerging pattern of insidious threats to law and order portends grave danger to lives and property of largely undefended and defenceless citizens of Nigeria in the coming year particularly with the inflow into the larger society of trained and criminal elements and terrorists released by their colleagues from the poorly protected prison and detention facilities.

It said the Nigerian Government should come up with effective joint military and mobile police protection units for the various Nigerian porous prisons.

The group lambasted the Federal Government and as well as the minister of Interior, Abba Moro, for consistently failing to put in place workable mechanisms to put a stop to the embarrassing but dangerous pastime of prison attacks by elements bent on destabilizing the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

HURIWA also faulted the National Assembly members for paying greater attention to their election campaign for re-election in the coming election rather than using their legislative powers to ensure that the current national constitution is comprehensively amended to bring into fruition the long anticipated state police even as it has failed to bring into effect the constitutional provision in section 220 [1] which mandates the National Assembly and the Presidency to put in place national mechanism for the military training of all law abiding Nigerians.

He said, ”The immediate impact of the rampant prison breaks and violent attacks by terrorists of prisons and other detention canters and the illegal release of crime suspects and terrorists is that life of an average Nigerian who has no effective police protection unlike the political appointees is that armed brigands will feast on them and their property in the coming year and if care is not taken to put to an end this sinister trend then the coming election will be anything but peaceful and violence- free because these hardened suspected criminals and terrorists now on the loose will find succour in being hired and paid hefty sums of money by desperate political office seekers to inflict maximum violence against their perceived political opponents.

“Sadly, the Nigerian Government does not have any effective crime control and crime combat mechanisms other than the usual fire brigade approach adopted to tackle each crime incident after they have occurred. Nigerian Government must make concrete commitment to the constitutional primary duty of providing security to lives and property of the citizenry to avert full scale anarchy in 2015.”

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