Imo State governor Mr. Hope Uzodinma has been described as acting like authoritarian dictator and not a democratic governor by his unilateral and illegal action of sealing up banks in Imo State who due to safety concerns shut their banks on Monday for fear of attacks by miscreants for failing to observe the so- called sit-at- home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
HURIWA has similarly warned the Imo State governor that he will personally be held accountable before the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands for crimes against humanity should anything untoward happen to Imo citizens who may feel strongly to stage public demonstration against the visit to Imo State of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Chapter four of the 1999 Constitution which draws its inspiration from the Universal Declarations of Human Rights and other global human rights laws gives the citizens the freedom of expression and Assembly just as the Rights group said that Right to peaceful Assembly and public protests are essential elements of constitutional democracy just as the Rights group Condemned the threats by the Imo State governor to unleash violence on the people should they attempt to assemble peacefully to protest the actions and inactions of the current Federal government including the alleged abduction and the illegal subjecting of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to illegal rendition in Kenya before been flown back in handcuffs after a week of alleged torture and physical abuses.”
HURIWA stated that Section 39 of the Nigerian constitution guarantees the citizens the freedoms of expression thus: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression , including freedom to hold opinionsand to receive and imoartideas without interference ” just as Section 40 provides thus: ” Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade unions or any other association for the protection of his interest “. HURIWA therefore expressed shock that governor Hope Uzodinma is spitting fire against citizens who are planning to exercise these constitutional rights which are sacrosanct and inviolable.
HURIWA recalled that the Imo state government has warned members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to stay off during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari. The president is expected to commission some projects of Governor Hope Uzodinma on Thursday. IPOB is reported to have declared a sit-at-home order on Thursday, threatening that the president is not wanted in any part of the South East.
But the Commissioner for information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who spoke to newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday, warned that no person should dare the resolve of the government to give the president a befitting reception.I have not heard of any sit-at-home by any group. I think the one I heard is the one that said they want their leader released and will be protesting any day he appears in court. However, we are talking of a presidential visit. The president is visiting Imo and we will do everything to give a befitting reception. We have made every security arrangement in this regard and I assure you that Imo people are enthusiastic about the visit.”
HURIWA said the governor and the President will be dragged to the international criminal court in The Hague Netherlands for crimes against humanity should they send out soldiers to shoot and kill peaceful protesters following these illegal threats of violence by the Imo State governor through his Commissioner for information.
Making the observations also about the illegal sealing up of banks is the Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Platform:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which also said the Imo State governor has failed serially in the past to provide full proof security to lives and property of Imo citizens and therefore carpeted the governor for expecting the banks to open their banks to unforeseen circumstances and to be attacked by hoodlums.
Besides, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said the Imo State governor has since coming into office via a supreme court’s judgment has failed to prevent the numerous deadly attacks and killings nor has he been able to arrest, prosecute and punish the unknown gunmen who carried out vicious campaigns of violence in Imo State.
In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) criticized the sealing up of banks operating in Imo State because in the words of the Rights group there is a groundswell of apprehension, panic and uncertainty in Imo State since the coming of governor Hope Uzodinma because no week passes without the governor junketing out of the state to God knows where and therefore most times, Imo State is left in leadership void which is a perfect situation that gives rise to anarchy, insecurity, crimes and all kinds of violence targeting the good people of Imo State.
The Rights group said the draconian measure adopted by Hope Uzodinma to compel people to risk their lives and open for businesses in the absence of any formidable, credible, reliable, transparent and functional security measures including preemptive, proactive and effective mechanisms enforce by the security forces to protect the lives and property of the peoples, amounts to a violation of section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
Specifically, section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution states as follows: “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.”
HURIWA said: ” Can we like some social science formulated ask the Imo State government if it understands what is a government and what are its basic functions? For the avoidance if doubts, a government is an institution through which leaders exercise power to make and enforce laws. A government’s basic functions are providing leadership, maintaining order, providing public services, providing national security, providing economic security, and providing economic assistance.What are the differences between authoritarian and democratic governments?
HURIWA reminded Governor Uzodinma that in an authoritarian government, the leadership controls all aspects of the economic and social lives of its citizens but a democratic government derives its power from the consent and trust of the people. HURIWA said the government of Hope Uzodinma is authoritarian because it lacks Citizen participation which is essential to a democracy, it is the duty of all eligible citizens. HURIWA reiterated that under the principle of accountability, elected and appointed officials are responsible for their actions.