By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked Nigerians to eschew ETHNIC and RELIGIOUS politics and support the war on terror because according to it, partisan and divisive politics of Ethnic and Religious primordial tendencies were to blame for the lack of total success in the war on terror by the just retired military chiefs.
HURIWA restated that the erstwhile service Chiefs did their best in carrying out their duties for the duration of their services to the Fatherland. The Rights group said the best approach to achieve sustainable success on the war on terror is for a bipartisan support to be galvanised to support the troops fighting to defeat terrorists and their antics. “The Nation must be United and there must no divisions amongst the citizens with specific reference to the war on terror because what should matter to us all is to restore peace, stability, and national prosperity “.
The Rights group said the increasing and the rapidly expanding frontiers of terrorism and insecurity all around the Country have revealed that contrary to the politically tainted and misplaced propaganda in some quarters to the effect that the immediate past security chiefs did not perform optimally to achieve the holistic goal of winning the war on terror, the problem and faults were not domiciled with the officers themselves but are attributable to systemic and systematic politics that certain powerful forces played with the war on terror itself which are still being replicated.
HURIWA recalled that around January 26th 2021 the immediate past Nigerian Service Chiefs resigned just as the heads of the Nigerian Armed Forces, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff have resigned from the service of the military.
HURIWA recalled too that President Muhammadu Buhari said in a tweet that he accepts the resignation of the service chiefs and these were his words: “I have accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service. I thank them all for their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to Nigeria, and wish them well in their future endeavours.”
HURIWA recalled that the former service chief are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. Also, the President thanked the outgoing Service Chiefs for their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”
HURIWA however regrettably recalled that days after the departure of the erstwhile service Chiefs armed terror bandits struck and Killed 21, and abducted around 40 In Fresh Niger Attack which was reported on February 3rd 2021 just as it was reported that a renewed bandits’ attack on communities in Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State has claimed at least 21 lives while 40 others are kidnapped.
The attack, according to eyewitnesses, occurred on Monday when gunmen said to be numbering about 300 on motorcycles stormed four villages of Kurege, Sabon Gida, Sararai and Rafin Kanya, shooting sporadically.
An indigene of the area, Malam Galadima Salisu, who witnessed the incident, while speaking with journalists on phone, expressed worry over the incessant attacks.
Salisu said the area could be taken over by the bandits who had been operating freely if governments at all levels failed to assist them.
Specifically, the Rights group said the few days after, the bandits and terrorism escalates with the attack and abduction of 18 passengers reported on February 14th 2021in a location bear the Niger State’s capital of Minna.
HURIWA recalled that the eighteen passengers of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) have been kidnapped by bandits.The attack occurred at Yakila village in Rafi Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.The passengers were said to be heading to Minna, the state capital from Kotangora when the incident happened.The Director-General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Mallam Ibrahim Inga, confirmed the incident to our correspondent during a telephone interview.
HURIWA further stated that the security situation deteriorated further on February 26th 2021 when a terrorists gang attacked a girls secondary school in Zamfara State, kidnapping many female students, as many as 317.
The attack reportedly occurred at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State Friday morning.A teacher in the school confirmed the attack to BBC Hausa with the number of kidnapped students said to be close to 300. HURIWA stated that all attempts made by the securityforces to go after the kidnappers and terrorists were thwarted by the political leadership in Zamfara state which argued that it was better to negotiate and appease the terrorists to release the girls. The 317 were later released after spending three nights with the kidnappers.
The Rights group said the terrorists also attacked parts of Southern Kaduna State and killer 19 villagers in Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna State just as the terrorists operated for two hours on February 7th 2021 and on February 22nd 2021, armed bandits struck in some communities in Kaduna even as a church and two houses were razed.
The Sunday attack occurred in Kikwari village, Kajuru Local Government Area, an official said.
Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna commissioner for internal security, said a Holy Family Catholic Church and two houses were razed in the Sunday attack.
Earlier on Saturday, in an attack on a community in Igabi Local Government Area, bandits killed a man and his son and abducted many others.
“The bandits, operating in groups, also abducted a number of persons, mostly women and children,” Mr Aruwan had said of the Saturday incident.
The Rights group said the President Muhammadu Buhari needs to do all within his powers to ensure that the activities of politicians are not allowed to derail the agenda put in place by his new service Chiefs to be able to carry out their statutory mandate of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria. HURIWA has also called Nigerians to stop playing politics with the war on terror but to demonstrate total support in such a way that the security institutions would be able to turn around the tides and restore stability and security to the nation State. HURIWA also condemned the incessant invasions of schools by terrorists in the North to abduct school children which the Rights Advocacy group said is bringing global opprobrium and notoriety on the public image of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the eyes of the World.