Posted by News Express | 30 April 2018 | 1,998 times
A prominent civil rights organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned the sponsored physical attacks on Nigeria’s two most outspoken Senators- Dino Melaye of Kogi West and Mathew Urhoghide (Edo South) by armed police and hired political thugs because of their political independent views that differs from President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s worldview.
The rights group also carpeted the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Alhaji Yakubu Mohmoud for acting as attack dog of the President against the perceived politically un-pokectable Senator of the same All Progressives Congress, Mr Dino Melaye, by proceeding with the kangaroo recall process even when the Senator had filed an appeal before the highest court in the land and about the same time that the police deployed brute force to viciously attack the same Senator Melaye in the guise of seeking his arrest over some nebulous charges of supply of weapons to professional political hoodlums in Kogi State. HURIWA accused the police of attempting to extra judicially execute Senator Dino Melaye by purportedly pushing him out of a moving operational police vehicle so as to find possible reason for using lethal weapon to incapacitate him even as the Rights group has demanded independent prove of the circumstances surrounding the ordeal of Senator Dino Melaye whilst in police unlawful custody.
The rights group stated that the outcome of the so called recall process which favoured Senator Dino Melaye shows that the leadership of the electoral Commission that ought to be independent and resist political manipulations from the Presidency had indeed capitulated to conduct this unacceptable recall process just to please the powers -that- be even as the financial resources that ought to have been channeled into useful endeavours by the INEC has now been frittered in chasing shadows in the guise of recall process just to placate both President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kogi state governor who has had running battles with Senator Melaye.
HURIWA upbraided the Inspector General of Police for jeopardising the professionalism of the policing institution by using the police to undertake politically motivated witchhunt targeting Senator Melaye who has consistently remained outspoken and critical of the numerous alleged constitutional violations of the presidency.
Besides, the rights group lampooned the Edo state command of the Nigerian Police for failing to arrest the suspected armed hired thugs of the All Progressives Congress who had converged at the Benin Airport and had attacked the PDP senator Mathew Urhoghide only because he made a presentation lawfully at the Senate of the Federal Republic cautioning President Muhammadu Buhari for paying hundreds of millions of Dollars from the federation account without parliamentary Appropriations in line with section 80 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
HURIWA criticised the Edo State Governor for failing to use his presence and clout at the same airport to ensure that the suspected thugs are arrested and prosecuted instead of just leaving the PDP senator at the risk of been lynched by the hired armed hoodlums. It resolved to petition both the National Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Human Rights Special Rapporteur over these attacks against opposition politicians.
HURIWA said: “Constitutionally, the governor is not the governor of only APC members but the head and leader of the entire state. By constitutional implications the governor is the chief security officer of his state and therefore the unwise decision by the Edo state governor not to take action to prevent the physical attack on the Senator is absolutely condemnable and despicable. This must never be swept under the carpets. This impunity must never be repeated because our democracy dies the moment legislators are molested and attacked in their states by armed paid thugs of the state administrators that are affiliated politically with the current President. Governors must not be allowed to destroy this hard won democracy that many statesmen and women sacrificed their lives to enable us experience it.”
The rights group alleged that the intention of the armed thugs may have been to kill the PDP senator only because he discharged his duty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is misconstrued by illiterate thugs as targeting the partisan and divisive Nigerian President even as it asked Nigerians to recall that the then justice minister, Chief Bola Ige who was assassinated by political opponents in Ibadan, first and foremost faced the ordeal in Osun State of having his cap removed before he was eventually assassinated.
HURIWA therefore tasked the Nigerian security forces to fish out all the armed political thugs who had attacked Senator Urhoghide to forestall any unfortunate thing from happening to him in the nearest future. The rights group regretted that the security forces in Nigeria are notoriously incompetent and have the notoriety for acting only after a crime has been committed and are not known to have forestalled the occurrences of crimes and criminality. It recalled that those who were paid by politicians in Abuja to kill Bola Ige are walking free in the streets of Nigeria.
The group recalled that Senator Urhoghide escaped being mobbed at the Benin airport by angry youths who removed his cap for moving the motion for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over the purchase of 12 Tucano aircraft without approval from the National Assembly.
HURIWA also recalled that the Peoples Democratic Party to which the humiliated Senator belongs to had accused the governor of sponsoring the attack, saying the youths were members of the APC kitted and recruited from the Edo Government House.
It recalled that the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Edo state, Mr Chris Nehikhare, in a statement alleged: “In the presence of the governor, these thugs kitted in black by Edo state government, attacked Senator Matthew Urhoghide, a former state leader and our youth leader.
HURIWA said the PDP alleged also that after observing and supervising the attack with a smirk on his face, the governor, Godwin Obaseki, climbed into his Jeep and gave a fist pump in approval and solidarity with his thugs for a mission accomplished. Incidentally, HURIWA said that the Senator who was attacked had accused the Chief of Staff to Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele, as responsible for mobilisation of thugs that attacked him even as Akerele denied the allegation, saying he had nothing to do with the incident.
HURIWA accused the current administration of trying to destroy multiparty democracy by empowering armed political thugs to go after perceived political opponents of the President just as the rights group criticised the Nigeria Police and INEC for acting as stooges and rubber stamp sycophants of the President which it said are grave threats to constitutional democracy especially as Nigeria prepares for the make or mar 2019 general elections.
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