The kidnaping of school girls in Jangabe in Zamfara state appears increasingly like it is a clear act of state sponsored terrorism and an act of hostage taking tolerated by the State administration of Zamfara state and the state officials from the governor to the members of the Zamfara state house of Assembly should be held responsible because that is the act of terrorism that seems to be acceptable to the government of Zamfara state. Otherwise, why has the Zamfara state house of Assembly done nothing to stamp out the emerging trend of kidnapping of students by adopting the harshest legal punishment for such act of terrorism?
The governor has been quoted in the media of supporting negotiation with bandits and is known or quoted by the media as stating that not all bandits are criminals when the reality shows that all armed bandits are not just criminals but are indeed TERRORISTS AND THEREFORE MUST NEVER BE REBRANDED BY THESE STATE GOVERNORS OF THE NORTH OF NIGERIA WHOSE ACTIVE VERBAL SUPPORT FOR ACTIONS OF TERRORISTS IS FUELING THIS SPATE OF ARMED KIDNAPPING WHICH HAS THE IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCE OF TELLING PARENTS TO WIRHDRAW THEIR CHILDREN FROM SCHOOL.
INDEED WE ARE ADVOCATING THAT PARENTS SHOULD WITHDRAW THEIR CHILDREN FROM SCHOOLS UNTIL SUCH A TIME THAT THE FEDERAL AND STATE ADMINISTRATIONS ALL OVER NIGERIA CAN GUARANTEE 24/7 SECURITY OF LIVES AND PROPERTY OF ALL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ESPECIALLY THOSE LOCATED DEEP INSIDE NORTH OF NIGERIA WHEREBY THE STATE GOVERNMENTS HAVE STARTED THINKING OF NEGOTIATING WITH TERRORISTS WHO THEY HAVE REBRANDED AS ARMED BANDITS. WR CALL FOR THE ARREST AND PROSECUTION OF THE KADUNA BASED ISLAMIC CLERIC SHEIKH ABUBAKAR GUMI WHO HAS WAGED A MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO DEFEND TERRORISTS.
So the government of Zamfara state should be held responsible and should be told to ensure the safety of these hostages. In fact the Zamfara State house of assembly should impeach the governor for failure to protect the school children, for his inability to discharge his duty to protect school children and for actively defending the so called armed bandits whom he is quoted as allegedly saying that they are not criminals.
HURIWA hereby refers to the scholarly work titled INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW by ( Chris C. Wigwe PhD (Leeds) BL ) and we share these opinions on what to do with kidnappers who take hostages.
“The taking of hostages is prohibited. by the Geneva convention. In the past, the taking of hostages was viewed as a permissible method of combat. Person were held hostage with a view to obtaining some benefit from the other party to the conflict.
In modern times, the humanitarian law has expressly prohibited such acts through Article(34) GC IV. With respect to non-international armed conflicts”.
“Also, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibits the taking of hostages. This prohibition of hostage taking is reinforced under the API (304).
Article 147 GCIV Crowns these prohibitions by making the taking of hostages a grave breach of the international humanitarian law.”
Just like the legal writer reminds us that In the Nigerian conflict between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Niger Delta militants, the taking of hostages has been a predominant feature. Expatriates, government officials and private individuals have not been spared as there have been numerous instances of kidnap and hostage taking in the Niger Delta region. From the perspective of these militants, the taking of hostages is aimed at bending the government’s will to grant resource control to the states which produce oil and which have been affected by the drilling of crude oil on their lands. Be that as it may, the taking of hostages is expressly prohibited as a method of warfare. To this end, the Rivers State of Nigeria House of Assembly passed a law which is absolutely prohibitive of the taking of hostages and which makes persons found guilty of kidnapping and hostage taking liable to the death sentence.
Such an approach while viewed as extreme by some quarters is the proper path to be taken towards ridding the world of the scourge of hostage taking”.
To demonstrate to Nigerians that they want to respect the Constitution of Nigeria and stand by the best approaches to tackling the rising wave of terrorism by these so called armed bandits in the North of Nigeria the governors of the North as well as other northern governors in partnership with their houses of assembly should pass a law stipulating a death penalty for kidnappers of school children and must be implemented/enforced because there should be no room for negotiation with terrorist/kidnappers.
The Zamfara State governor and all others who actively preach appeasement for terrorists and kidnappers as well as bandits, must be punished in accordance with the law which is why we are advocating for his immediate impeachment, arrest and prosecution for failing to protect his people from the violence of TERROR GANGSTERS roaming freely in that part of the Country.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
FEBRUARY 26TH 2021.