The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has condemned the clampdown and arrests of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos State.
The HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Saturday in Abuja described the alleged conspiratorial silence of the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services to the open backing of armed herdsmen by Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, and the call for arms by the Kano State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Abbas, as condemnable.
The group accused the Nigerian government was showing double standards in its handling of the farmers/herders’ crisis in the country.
It also said that gross violations of the human rights of protesting peaceful and law-abiding citizens threatened constitutional democracy.
HURIWA compared the current administration’s bloody attacks on peaceful protesters in Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, and in almost the entire peaceful marches by citizens for the last six years to the military junta in Myanmar.
It said, “The crackdown on peaceful protesters in Lekki Toll Gates, Lagos this weekend is a grave affront to the core principles and values of constitutionalism and democracy.
“The action of the Lagos State police command could motivate activists from across the country to pour out on the streets to carry out solidarity marches.
“The brutal arrests of these activists by the police under the command and control of Mohammed Adamu, is offensive to all known international human rights conventions, treaties endorsed by the Nigerian state and domesticated by the municipal law and the ground norms of Nigeria.”
The rights group said the Nigeria Police not being a lawmaking body under section 4 of the constitution, has no authority or legal powers to stop the exercise of these protected and guaranteed fundamental freedoms of the citizens.
It condemned the harassment of economist and a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Mailafiya Obadiah, by the DSS and the police over his comments on insecurity in the nation, noting that the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, supported the terror actions of armed herdsmen but the security forces have not acted.