As its central message on this year's World Human Rights Day, a frontline civil Rights and Non-Governmental organisation- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Federal government of Nigeria and the National Assembly to transparently carry out an investigation into allegations of high handedness and extralegal killings of unarmed members of the pro-self determination group-Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) shortly before it was hurriedly proscribed during the controversial operation python dance two by soldiers drafted to the South East of Nigeria. In a statement against the backdrop of the commemoration of the year 2017 World Human Rights Day and the Tenth anniversary of the founding of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), the Rights group condemned the widespread conspiratorial silence by the officials of the current administration to the massive and large scale atrocities and massive human rights violations committed by the operatives and officers of the Nigeria Army during the month-long operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria during which scores of civilians were killed through coordinated extralegal executions carried out by the armed security forces and the public torture of dozens of civilians suspected to be members of the now proscribed Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB). In a statement signed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the Federal government of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigerian National Assembly for apparently failing to carry out proper; thorough and forensic human rights investigation with the objectives of naming, shaming, prosecuting and legally sanctioning the culprits who inflicted pains and carried out illegal executions of civilians who were completely unarmed and whose only crime was that they belonged to the Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB which as at the time of these widespread atrocities wasn't proscribed. HURIWA affirmed that the nation can't make any claim of subscribing to the tenets and provisions of the Universal Declarations of HUMAN RIGHTS when the supposed law enforcement agencies like the security forces including the Police are neck deep in carrying out large scale atrocities of gross human rights abuses including committing crimes against humanity such as massive extralegal executions of unarmed protesters and civilians whose only crime was that they were canvassing for self determination through constitutional means. The Rights group tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide clear and unambiguous information on the physical whereabouts of the Director of Indigenous peoples of Biafra IPOB Mr Nnamdi Kanu whose home was attacked and ransacked by armed security forces during the controversial military deployment that undertook the operation python dance two in the South East of Nigeria. HURIWA said the conspiratorial silence of government over these allegations of gross violations of human rights in the South East of Nigeria amounted to the institutionalisation of impunity. HURIWA carpeted the United Nations Human Rights Council; the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for failing to speak out against the widespread abuses of the human rights of South Eastern Nigerians. HURIWA condemns the total disobedience of binding Court orders which ordered the release of erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim ElZaczacky who have spent two years in illegal detention. "Mr President must tell Nigerians where the leader of IPOB is since his home was bombarded by the armed security forces on his instructions. The Nigerian State must provide accountability for the activities of the armed security forces in the South East of Nigeria during the controversial military deployment." Conversely, the Rights group said the Federal government must also carry out comprehensive reforms of the Nigeria Police force which the group argued has become a criminal syndicate used by the hierarchy to perpetrate all sorts of organised and sophisticated crimes including armed robberies, grandscale extortion racketeering, commercialisation of weapons to hoodlums,bribery and massive corruption. HURIWA stated that: "The nation-wide advocacy for the abolition of SARS by the police is in order. SARS is the police unit that has over the years committed gross human rights violations including the extralegal killings of hundreds of detainees in the various police detention facilities in the Country. This same so called special anti-robbery squad of the Nigeria police was responsible for the killing of over three dozen youths whose fresh corpes were discovered in Awka Anambra state in a River. SARS have carried out atrocities in Lagos and Rivers States including organised crime and the harassment of youngsters." "We use this auspicious occasion of the World's Human Rights Day to call on the Federal government to dismantle the notorious police roadblocks in the South East of Nigeria which are used to extort money from commercial drivers and in a lot of cases these triggar happy rogue police operatives have been found committing extralegal executions of commercial drivers and innocent road users. We condemn this military and police occupation of the South East of Nigeria and to stop forthwith the Widespread human rights violations". HURIWA stated thus: " As a civil society group we subscribe to the opinions of experts that the responsibility of national governments to uphold and implement international human rights standards is not in doubt. International human rights law is a subset of public international law, and as such, it engages the commitment of nation states. The applicability of international human rights treaties to ratifying states is not controversial and there is no ambiguity about the general principle that governments are accountable for human rights standards". HURIWA reminds the Nigerian state of what human rights scholars have determined to be the obligations of government to enforce human rights provisions thus:"This question has been considered in different contexts, including the International Law Commission’s (ILC) work on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and in conjunction with implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights." "We are aware that over the past two decades a consensus has emerged that with respect to international human rights states have a threefold responsibility: to respect, to protect, and to fulfill their obligations. As expounded by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,The obligation to respect means that States must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights.The obligation to protect requires States to protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses.The obligation to fulfill means that States must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights."
The Federal Government has agreed to pay N88 billion as compensation to victims of the Nigerian Civil War in some affected states in the country. This was the outcome of the consent judgment delivered by the ECOWAS Court of Justice in a case of negligence by the Federal Government to remove remnants of landmines and explosives from the civil war. A consent judgment is issued when two parties agree to a settlement to end a lawsuit; the parties write up an agreement for the judge to sign. The suit, filed by Mr Vincent Agu and 19 others against the Federal Government in 2012, had claimed that the government had failed to remove remnants of landmines and explosives since the end of the civil war in 1970. They claimed that the lethal explosives had maimed, killed and destroyed innocent lives in their various communities. The plaintiffs also claimed that apart from physical injuries, the abandonment of the war weapons had deprived them of the use of their farmlands, schools and churches. In the consent judgement delivered by Justice Friday Nwoke on Monday, N50 billion would be paid victims of the war in 11 states in the southeast, southwest and parts of north central regions. The 50 billion naira is expected to be paid to into a United Bank of Africa (UBA) account with number 1018230076 belonging Chief Noel Agwuocha Chukwukadibia, the nominated counsel for the war victims. The remaining N38 billion would be for the evacuation of remnants of bombs and other lethal explosives and the construction of basic structures in the affected areas. The money would be paid to Deminers Concept Nigeria Limited and RSB Holdings Nigeria Ltd charged with responsibility of evacuating the landmines. By the consent judgement, the Federal Government would also establish a National Mine Action Centre in Owerri, Imo State for the victims. Parties involved in the case acknowledged that 685 persons were selected and classified as survivors, identified by experts employed to screen and identify true victims of the war. The experts identified 493 persons of them as victims of either explosions from leftovers of the landmines and other lethal weapons. The parties in their agreement also acknowledged that a total of 17,000 bombs were recovered and destroyed while a total of 1,317 bombs were still in the stockpile located at the Mine Action Centre, Owerri. The Federal Government also agreed to remove and destroy, without delay, the stockpile at the centre and in other areas. Key signatories to the terms of settlement are Mr Chukwukadibia and Alex Williams for the applicants. Others are Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Mr Sola Egbeyinka, Mr Charles Uhegbu and Solomon Chukwuocha for the defendants.
The Police Command in Borno on Monday said 16 persons were killed and 18 others sustained injuries in multiple suicide bomb attacks at Muna area of Maiduguri. The Police Commissioner, Mr Damian Chukwu, confirmed the incident in a text message sent to newsmen in Maiduguri. Chukwu said that the incident occurred when a male suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in a crowded area, killing 13 people and wounding five others. He said two other female suicide bombers also detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) strapped to their bodies and injured 13 persons. “On 22/10/2017 at about 20: 20 hours a male suicide bomber detonated IED strapped to his body at Muna Garage, killing himself and thirteen persons, while five others sustained injuries. “In another development at Muna Dalti, two female suicide bombers detonated IEDs killing themselves and injuring 13 others. “The Injured persons were referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for treatment and corpses were evacuated. “Police EOD teams have been deployed to sanitise the scene. “In all, 16 persons were killed and 18 others injured in the three explosions,” the commissioner said. Also, Alhaji Satomi Ahmad, the Chairman, Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said the agency had conducted rescue exercise at the scene of the attack. Satomi said that the State Government would provide free medical treatment to the victims. He called on the people to be vigilant and provide useful information to security agencies. “We have recorded about 13 suicide bomb attacks this year at Muna area. The area is vulnerable and I advise residents to be more vigilant,”the chairman said.
An aged woman, Mrs Margaret Okere, on Thursday regained her sight after undergoing examination at the ongoing Nigerian Army medical outreach at Umuokwa Community, Igboh-Etche, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers. Our Source reports that the Nigerian Army is conducting educational and medical outreach programme in host communities where the ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile 2’ is going on. Okere told newsmen during the programme that she had not been able to see for a long time. “I regained my sight after the doctors here examined me, gave me eye drop and eye glass. “My grandson brought me here when he heard that there will be a military free medical outreach. I give God the glory, as I can see very well now. “God bless the Nigerian military for carrying out this exercise,” she said. Mrs Promise Okechukwu, a native of Umuokwa, said that she and her baby were examined and given the necessary drugs. “Since I put to bed six months ago, my baby has been vomiting but today she has been taken care of free of charge by the army medical team. “I thank god and very grateful to the army for bringing this programme to my community,” she said. Another beneficiary, Mr Samuel Nwankwo said that the army free medical programme was the first ever carried out in the community. Nwankwo said that he was happy and thanked God for directing the military to come to his community. “Today, I have gotten the opportunity for my eye to be examined and necessary eye drop given to me. “I thank the army, they are not what people are saying they are, God bless them,” he said. Mrs Lilian Nwala, another beneficiary, said that she was at the centre for medical examination. “They are very friendly, as the medical personnel were attending to us one after the other. “I’m happy for the drugs they have given me after the examination, and I pray this continue,” she said. Another beneficiary, Mr Clement Emejuru urged the community to cooperate and get themselves treated. Emejuru disclosed that he was examined by a dentist and all the drugs he needed had been given to him. “What the army is doing is very fantastic, they are helping us to be healthy and live longer. “The army has never carried out shooting in Igbo-Etche before, so this is not a programme to scare us but to keep us alive,” he said. Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), represented by Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, Chief of Logistics (Army), said that the outreach was a civic responsibility to create smooth relationship with host communities. Buratai said that the army had always carried out positive activities in any community they were to ensure that the people were comfortable. “In some places that we are, if they don’t have water, we provide boreholes for them to get water, where there are medical challenges; we provide solution for them. “Places where we think the primary or secondary school is lacking educational materials, we also provide for as part of our civic responsibility,” he said. The COAS said that the rumoured military vaccine was a creation of miscreants that were not comfortable with military’s resolve to fix them. “The army has the responsibility of protecting the Nigerian people’s interest, so whatever people say to tarnish the Nigerian Army, we will not bulge by that. “These are mere propaganda by miscreants and disloyal citizens who go about tarnishing the image of the country and the army,” he added. Dr Samuel Amaechi, the Eze Onyeishi-Agwuru of Igboh-Etche, commended the Nigerian Army for the free medical outreach and called on his subjects to take full advantage of the exercise. While urging other agencies to emulate the gesture, the traditional ruler also called for the sustenance of the programme.
National Committee of Yoruba Youth (NCYY) and the Civil Society Coalition Against Terrorism have appealed to the people of the Southwestern part of the country, to rally support and cooperate with the Nigerian Army, in order to ensure the Sucess and smooth running of the Military Security operation, recently launched in the region, code named "Operation Crocodile Smile ii. Recall, that the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, few days ago in Lagos, flagged of the Operation Crocodile Smile ii, which the army described, as a response, to the growing rate of armed banditry, kidnapping and other crimes, in Lagos, and other part of the Southwest The group, in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, and jointly signed by the President and Assistant General Secretary, Comrade Odeyemi Oladimeji and Princess Dupe Adedayo decried the growing rate of criminal activities, in some parts of the southwest, particularly the coastal communities of Lagos, Ogun and Ondo States, where activities of kidnappers, vandals and armed gangs have been on the rise. The organization said, that the launch of the operation crocodile smile ii will not only restore orderliness in these affected communities, but will also give assurances of peace, to the good people of the region, and other parts of the country. "We also want to urge our leaders, particularly those politicians, who are already misinforming the teeming population of our people, about the intent and purposes of the army operation, to desist from politicizing the exercise, which we know, is in the overall interest of the security of lives and properties of our people" the statement read. The group also urge the people of the southwest, to remain law abiding and go about their normal businesses without any apprehension, as the steps, being taken by the federal government, and the Nigerian Army in particular, is in the best interest of the people
Former Chief of Army Staff during President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lt Gen. Victor Malu is dead. Malu died in the early hours of Monday at Cairo hospital in Egypt, aged 70. His cousin Bem Adoor, who confirmed the news in a telephone interview in Makurdi, said that the late General travelled to Cairo two weeks ago for medical check up before he died. Malu was a former commander, ECOMOG Peace Keeping force in Sierra Leone and Liberia in August 1996 to January 1998 . He was appointed the Chief of Army Staff in May 1999 to April 2001, when he was removed by the same government. General Malu was born in January 15, 1947 in Adoor village in Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state. He enrolled into the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna in 1967 as part of the 3rd regular course and was commissioned second Lieutenant in 1970. Malu chaired the military tribunal that tried former Chief Gen. Oladipo Diya in 1998 over alleged coup plot against the head of state, Gen. Sanni Abacha
The Nigerian Army says it has deployed troops for the commencement of “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the six Niger Delta states. Maj.-Gen. Enobong Udoh, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said this on Saturday while addressing troops to signal commencement of the exercise. Udoh said the operation was confidence building patrol rather than a show of force as widely reported. “Operation Crocodile Smile is not a show of force but a confidence-building patrol that seeks to reassure the people of Rivers state and the Niger Delta that the army is ready to work. “We are ready to work in close synergy and collaboration with other security services and agencies of government to ensure that there is peace and security for the people. “Our operation aims to reassure the public that we are ready to fight crimes like cultism, militancy, and kidnapping so that people can go about their business without fear,” he said. Udoh said that troops would carry out collaborative patrols with the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of State Security (DSS). Others are Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Nigerian Customs Service and personnel of the Nigerian Prison Service. He said the division would carry out the exercise in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states while another formation would cover other states in the Niger Delta. “Army, police and other security services was established to ensure peace; enforce law and order and create the enabling environment for economic activities to thrive. “This is our ultimate mandate, and, as such, we urge Nigerians to give us the necessary support to enable us to succeed,” he said. The three weeks exercise is slated for Oct. 7 to Oct. 28.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector to improve health care delivery in the country. Comrade Chinonso Obasi, NANS’ National President, made the call on Saturday in Abuja after receiving the remains of Mr Mohammed Dauda, a former president of the association at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Obasi said that Dauda passed away on Oct. 1, on an Ethiopian Airline few minutes to landing at the New Delhi International Airport. He said that Dauda was on his way to receive further treatment and possible liver transplant due to a diagnosed liver carcinoma which could not be treated in any Nigerian hospital. The NANS president blamed Dauda’s death on the poor medical facilities in the Nigerian hospitals. “If people like us cannot stand firm at our youthful age, there is a big challenge. “Our unborn children may not have a country to call their own because when they are sick, the only option for them is to die. “We are disappointed with where we found ourselves, Dauda did not die because he has HIV; he died because there are no good medical facilities to treat him,” he said. He lamented the increasing number of death among women on daily basis because of pregnancy related issues and other diseases that could ordinarily can be handled. “We want to charge the president of the country who has also enjoyed the privilege of travelling abroad for medical treatment that what he has seen there could be brought back home. “He was sick, no hospital in the country could attend to him and he flew abroad. “So we expect him to bring in those facilities he saw outside the country back home for ordinary Nigerians,” he added
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) is disturbed by the news of the deployment of soldiers to the Niger Delta which includes Ogoniland. In a Press Release made available to Prom Newsonline and signed by Fegalo Nsuke, the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP),the group notes that a military operation of this kind simply refreshes memory of the years of state repression under Major Paul Okuntimo of the Nigerian Army, an experience they wish never to be reminded of. According to the group, it is disturbed that with the poor state of health prevalent in Ogoni following years of living with Shell's environmental pollution, military operations that send fierce reminders of our painful experiences with the Nigerian soldiers will only result in deteriorating health conditions of their people and eventual/sudden death. “It will be recalled that in February 2017 when military raids on some Ogoni communities only resulted in over 35 deaths including a pregnant mother Mrs Ledee” he added, He said”Our experience with the Nigerian army had unfortunately been very sorrowful and pathetic with each leaving us in pain and human losses.The only memory we have of the Nigerian Army is about the repression, deaths, pains and torture they leave with us”. The release further said that MOSOP completely rejects the deployment of the military in Ogoni and maintains that effective policing, which the government has failed to do, is a more effective remedy to the security situation in the entire Niger Delta and added that it is therefore pertinent to call on the authorities of the Nigerian Army not to throw Ogoniland into another round of morning and sorrow with its planned military operations.