By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The foremost civil rights advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA ( HURIWA) has dismissed the trenchant criticisms trailing few instances of human errors in the operations of the south west of Nigeria -based Amotekun security outfit.
The rights group which argues that the few human errors are mere teething institutional problems that will be resolved with better strategic finetuning of training and improvement of manpower capacities of Amotekun security platform, urged massive support for the body because it is better to have home-grown institutional mechanism to protect lives and property than to permit the hitherto uncontrollable rampage and killing of citizens living in the south west of Nigeria by the rampaging bunch of determined armed herdsmen whose origin are mired in politics and deceit. Moreover, the Rights group said the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami SAN had stated that his office couldn’t prosecute Armed Fulani herdsmen because according to him, there is no case file against them.
In a statement by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media affairs director miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA ) said those at the forefront of irrational criticisms of Amotekun because of the few but avoidable human errors, are suffering from ‘intentionally deceitful amnesia’ because if they think deeply how the south west came under incessant massive attacks and violence by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen , they would have seen that the errors were the less of the two evils.
Besides, the Rights group backs the order made by the Ondo state Governor Barrister Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu ( SAN ) on armed herdsmen to quit south west forests , said it expected the rest of the country such as South East, North East, North Central and South South to Embrace the Example set by the South west by replicating similar law- based institutional body to protect the lives and property of their people to complement the efforts of the regular policy institution.
“ we also do expect that with Better training, retraining and a purified system of recruitment, Amotekun will become a shining example on how the state legislature working in partnership with the executive Governors should protect the lives of their people. “
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-:HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) affirmed thus: “ We support Amotekun 100% and we think it is better than allowing armed Fulani herdsmen to continue to carry out genocide and be left to operate by the Nigerian police which has so far failed to prosecute a single of those armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for the killing of over 6,000 farmers all over the country in the last five years. Those now raising their compromised voices against Amotekun, are they saying they are happy with the constant spilling of blood of the innocent attributed to armed non state actors and particularly the armed Fulani herdsmen?”
The Rights group said the south western state’s legislature were right to pass the law Setting up the AMOTEKUN SECURITY OUTFITS IN THEOR STATES because it is in total compliance with section 4 (7) of the constitution thus; “The House of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State or any part thereof with respect to the following matters, that is to say:-
(a) any matter not included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.
(b) any matter included in the Concurrent Legislative List set out in the first column of Part II of the Second Schedule to this Constitution to the extent prescribed in the second column opposite thereto; and
(c) any other matter with respect to which it is empowered to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”
HURIWA recalled that the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, had asked all Fulani herdsmen in Ondo State to vacate forest reserves within the state. He also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the herdsmen.
The governor gave the ultimatum on Monday while meeting with leaders of Hausa/Fulani and Ebira Communities in the state.
The meeting held at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s office, Alagabaka, Akure, the state capital.
Mr Akeredolu said the activities of the herdsmen have long been causing a threat to security in the state.
He also shared his statement on his official Twitter handle.
“Today we have taken major steps at addressing the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State.”
“These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen. These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.”
“As the Chief Law and Security Officer of the State, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the State. In light of the foregoing, the following orders are hereby issued:
1. All Forest Reserves in the State are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next 7 days with effect from today, Monday 18th January, 2021.
2. Night-grazing is banned with immediate effect because most farm destruction takes place at night.
3. Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited.
4. Under-aged grazing of cattle is outlawed.
“Our resolution to guarantee the safety of lives and property within the State shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.
“In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.”
HURIWA said every right thinking citizen of Nigeria should applaud the South West governors for standing up to defend their people.