The prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has called for a profound investigations of the circumstances and sponsors of the so-called unknown gunmen in the South-East and South South because it’s becoming clearer that the agenda may be TENURE ELONGATION as a result of eventual State of emergency that may be declared by President Muhammadu Buhari as alleged.
HURIWA has also condemned the reported use of extralegal killings of innocent Igbo Youths following the discovery of 33 unidentified corpses at the Federal Medical Centre Owerri.
The Rights group said it was unconstitutional for soldiers and police to kill innocent youngsters whilst they are supposed to go after the so called unknown gunmen and arrest them to enable proper prosecutionto take place and restore normalcy to the region.
“We are worried by the reports of killings of many innocent young people by the soldiers and police whereas the real unknown gunmen are actually seen operating unhindered which goes to show that the activities of these attackers may be the handiwork of enemies of the South East and persons who are working for key persons in the central government to create chaos and anarchy to guarantee the postponement of the year 2023 General elections which will automatically transmits to a tenure elongation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration”.
HURIWA has therefore urged for an independent investigation by a high powered judicial commission of inquiry going by the fact that if the destruction of the facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission and police facilities continues in the South East or South South then the central government could opt for self perpetuation in government through tenure extension relying on section 135 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
HURIWA recalled vividly that section 135(3) of the Constitution says thus: “If the Federation is at war in which the territory of Nigeria is physically involved and the President considers that it is not practicable to hold elections, the National Assembly may by resolution extend the period of four years
mentioned in subsection (2) of this section from time to time; but no such extension shall exceed a period of six
months at any one time.”
HURIWA expressed profound concern that the lawless and chaotic situations which is deteriorating to a near State of anarchy could be the handiwork of members of the deep state in Abuja who are working in collusion with the Federal government so as to undermine peace in the South-East and South South so as to create a perfect situation for tenure elongation.
The Rights group said it is possible that the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and security forces are part of the scheme because there is evidence that no actions have been taken to protect these strategic national assets.
HURIWA is therefore challenging the hierarchies of both the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Armed Forces of Nigeria to show Nigerians that they are not part of the larger conspiracy to undermine the 2023 Presidential poll so as to guarantee tenure extension for the current occupant of the office of President.
According to HURIWA: “It’s possible the government of the day with a lot of skeletons in their cupboards such as colossal corruption and economic crimes involving top cabinet officials and some associates of the President may not be in a hurry to honourably quit office at the end of their second and final term and given that the current leadership of the National Assembly are made up of stooges of the executive arm of government, it is very possible that there is an active plots to steer up crises or fail to quash or combat lawfully emerging crises in any part of the Country so as to fall back on these chaotic situations as perfect alibi to extend the period of office of the holder of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“Nigerians must be vigilant and never get involved in causing any artificial or political insurrection that can be adduced as a reason for the President to extend his tenure even for one hour. We call on all aggrieved groups including self determination campaigners in all parts of Nigeria not to let themselves be the agents that would be used to cause postponement of the 2023 Presidential poll because allowing President Muhammadu Buhari to stay a day longer than he should could lead to Civil war which all Nigerians must guide against so Nigerians will have the opportunity to restructure Nigeria after the departure of President Muhammadu Buhari who has sworn never to allow for restructuring or wholistic reforms of Nigeria to make it work for all citizens and guarantee equity and equality of rights”.
HURIWA is therefore urging that that the officials of INEC and the security forces may need to demonstrate to Nigerians that they are not part of the larger plots for tenure extension of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term because rather than implement security and proactive actions to stave off the attacks, the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through the reappointed Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is simplistically warning that the 2023 elections are threatened by destruction of the agency’s assets.
“We are challenging the Chairman of INEC to partner with Security forces to protect their strategic national assets in all parts of Nigeria and to stop making up excuses for the Electoral panel to cancel the 2023 poll just so INEC can benefit the current President Muhammadu Buhari who rewarded them with second term in office as hierarchy of INEC. By the way, INEC conducted elections in Yobe and Borno State’s amidst boko haram terrorists attacks. Why is INEC already raising alarm that 2023 poll may be marred? INEC must not be allowed to push Nigeria into a state of civil war”.
HURIWA suspects that these attacks on offices of INEC and burning of election materials that have been stepped up in the last two months especially in the Southsouth and Southeast states may be a well Coordinated plots to ensure that the 2023 election is postponed so the incumbent President gets a tenure extension. HURIWA is calling on Nigerians to reject these plots aimed at tenure extension.