Posted by News Express | 1 July 2019 | 608 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has carpeted the Cross Rivers State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, for allegedly playing politics over the recent case of the gruesome killings of five members of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bendeghe Ekiem community, Etung Local government Area Council of the State.
While condemning the killings of the citizens HURIWA also expressed shock and disappointment with the government of State for selectively probing the remote and immediate cause of the dastardly killing of the three members of the PDP but has maintained a shocking sense of insensitivity regarding the three other members of the opposition APC who also reportedly lost their precious lives during the unfortunate fracas that reportedly resulted in the fatalities including the ward leader of the PDP, Mr. Ayuk Ogar.
HURIWA said it has watched “with considerable shock and trepidation” in the last couple of months that this incident occurred to see how the state government would handle this and similar other clashes in Cross Rivers State but asserted that from all indications, it would seem that the state government has adopted a politically motivated approache towards finding out the exact circumstances that occasioned the conflict.
The rights group accused amorphous groups with links to the Governor for blackmailing the candidate of APC in the 2019 governorship polls, Senator John Owan Enoh, and for spreading unsubstantiated innuendos and libelous allegations against him even when he is not remotely connected to the parley in Bendeghe Ekiem community which led to the slaughtering of members of both the PDP and his own APC.
HURIWA said any sinister plot to turn the investigation and prosecution of persons allegedly fingered in the conflict to an avenue for political vendetta and blackmail against the governorship flagbearer of All Progressives Congress in the last election Senator John Owan will amount to an unmitigated disaster and an injustice of incalculable dimensions which must never be allowed to happen.
HURIWA stated that it was basically concerned with ensuring that the right processes of investigations are done which is why it has called on Governor Ayade to create the enabling environment for a thorough, comprehensive, open, transparent probe of the fracas and the killings of all those who died irrespective of their political affiliations or persuasion for that is the best way to promote the rule of law and to guarantee equity, equality of rights and social justice to all parties which are the hallmarks of constitutional democracy.
“As committed patriots, we will approach the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to bring to their notice the ugly scenarios of the unconstitutional decision of the government of Cross Rivers State to use the sad incidence in Etung Local Government Area Council to witch-hunt the perceived political opponent of the Governor only because there is the perception in the governor’s camp that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration may consider on merits the person to appoint as the ministerial cabinet holder to represent Cross Rivers State.
“We have decided to table a three points demands to the NHRC to constructively mount pressure on the Nigerian Police Force and the Cross Rivers State governor to adhere strictly to best global practices even as there is the urgency of the now for an independent commission of Inquiry to uncover remote and immediate circumstances that surrounded the violence that occasioned the killings of five supporters of both the PDP and APC. Our basic concern is that nobody should be witch-hunted for not belonging to the same political family as his State Governor.
“As an organisation that has worked for decade plus some years we can confidently state that the greatest act of injustice that happens often in the states of the Federation is the tendencies of the governors to see themselves as demi-gods of their territory and they manifests the ugly attributes of harassing or intimidating any independent or dissenting voice that does not believe in the same political ideology as some of these governors who think they are emperors who are above the laws.
“We will petition the NHRC to draw their attention to the injustice that is about to happen under the watchful eyes of the Cross River State governor who as a former university don ought to follow the due process of the law and respect the fundamental human rights of all the citizens irrespective of the political divisions or affiliations which is at the core of the nation’s grund norm.
“HURIWA has learnt that four suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of the Ward Chairman of the PDP in the Bendeghe Ekiem community, Etung Local Government Area of the State, Mr. Ayuk Ogar and four others reportedly. Mr Orgar and the others were reportedly killed in Bendeghe during an alleged gun duel between supporters of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress. The clash occurred shortly after leaders of both parties in the area signed a peace pact to ensure violence-free elections. It was gathered that several others sustained injuries during the clash and were treated at the Ikom General Hospital.”
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