By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The head of the Nation’s prominent civil rights advocacy group-; HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA ( HURIWA) COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO has raised alarm of threats to his life by some goons from unknown origin.
In a media statement he personally signed, the activist alleged that at about 7pm on August 18th 2020 whilst he was on his way home, he was waylaid by a Toyota Camry driven by a fierce looking person with about two other armed occupants who trailed him for nearly thirty minutes and made attempt to hit his car from behind but fortunately he(COMRADE Emmanuel Onwubiko) escaped from the hands of these marauding attackers who then fled upon sighting a police van not too far from the scene.
The attack has come after a week that Rights group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) had publicly alleged massive corruption in the school feeding programmes of the federal ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management just as the Rights group has requested that the minister in charge of that ministry accepts an invitation for a Public debate on the Alleged corruption.
The Rights group has however expressed dissatisfaction that rather than accept the open invitation to attend a public debate, the minister’s self acclaimed hack WRITERS and supporters have gone overboard with a rash of publications in several newspapers with a campaign of calumny against HURIWA and th3e National Coordinator. Some journalists have also been paid to accuse HURIWA of harassing female ministers.
HURIWA stated that in one of these media campaign of calumny penned in a name of one Danliti Goga Who claimed to be writing from Kano, in a publication yesterday August 18th 2020 in Thisday news paper titled “Tending to the poor and Needy” unleashed venomous attacks on the personality of HURIWA’S National Coordinator thus:
“Prejudice and vested interest have now emerged as the main factors at play in what can only be described as media harassment of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sa’adiya Farouk. She is, arguably, the minister with the most arduous schedule of duty that is constantly engaged in devising and delivering relief and bringing hope by creating opportunities where none existed for the most vulnerable people of this country, at their time of need. Even COVID-19 that forced every other public and private institution into abrupt shut down was just another national emergency assignment for this mother of all ministries, already heavily burdened by the unprecedented human, social and economic vulnerabilities plaguing Nigeria today.”
The supporter of the ministee also wrote thus: “So plain, yet so muddled up by a vicious onslaught of prejudice and vested interest, totally unexpected of professional media practitioners. But then, by their antecedents, we know their true motives, especially when the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) finally displays its hydra-headed vendetta-vending involvement in….HURIWA has for long been loitering atop a heap of free-wheeling “advocacy groups” ever-ready to take up any propaganda job as a mask for miscellaneous grumblers and busy-bodies as a result of which it has always hunted with the hounds while running with the hares, due to a nomadic quest for “briefs” that has hijacked the group and falsified its declared mission. You only need to conduct a search of its outings to uncover this unbecoming tendency of HURIWA to blow trumpets advocating unpatriotic, illogical and even inhuman causes.For example, HURIWA has campaigned against the ban on production of the much abused codeine cough syrups because it has “led to great financial misfortunes for over 30 legitimate pharmaceutical companies.” It has been commissioned to pressure the Federal Government “not to stop expectant women and nursing mothers from participating in National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).”
HURIWA was also attacked in the article published by Thisday thus: “He has bowed to its ethnic origins by appealing to “ the government of the United States and the European Union to impose sanctions on Nigeria” and dismissing the terrorist classification of Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB “ as a charade and a plot to initiate violent crackdown on the members of this substantially unarmed and peaceful group”. The EFCC also had to discredit the anti-corruption posturing of HURIWA as “ethnic and political agenda by some mischief makers masquerading as human rights writers” in one of its rebuttals of the group’s outbursts on a case.”
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) also disclosed that the pages of Nation; Vanguard and Blueprints newspapers were deployed in many venomous attacks only because HURIWA challenged the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management to a public debate.
The Rights group said: “Although we are not accusing the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management of sponsoring the assassination attempt on the life of the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko but the Rights group said that since the last 13 years of its existence, this is the first time that a public office holder has either by commission or omission allowed her supporters to embark on sensational media campaigns of calumny against the person of the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and HURIWA just for demanding accountability and transparency. HURIWA has therefore tasked Nigerians to be worried that in the current administration the citizens can no longer voice their opinions freely for fear of attacks.