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Rights group seeks declaration of emergency on security

The Nigeria Police

Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called for a state of emergency on security following the recent killings of scores of Nigerians in Taraba, Benue, Kogi and Kaduna and Kwara states.

The rights group said the wanton murders clearly reveal the disturbing level of “insensitivity to the value of life of Nigerians and the gross incompetence of our security agencies to effectively protect our lives and efficiently secure our communities.”

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Henry Peter Ekine in Lagos, CDHR decried the level to which the general security situation in the country had degenerated and how the Federal Government had allegedly abdicated its core role to protect the lives and property of citizens in abridgement to the fundamental right to life of all Nigerians and residents.

According to the group, government had failed in its promise to ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerians anywhere in the country.

CDHR said: “The security agencies have shown gross incompetence or deliberate tolerance of the killings of helpless Nigerians.

“So many killings in the land; Nigerians have turned suckers and sniffers of blood. No one, and no place is safe!

“CDHR has vehemently condemned the seeming tolerance by the security agencies and their failure in preventing these maddening and senseless killings.”

The group described the seeming failure by the government and the security agencies to prevent these killings and ensure security of lives and property nationwide as unfortunate and a clear indication of apparent failure in governance.

It continued: “CDHR was utterly disturbed that hundreds of Nigerians could be killed without reasonable restraint. We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to take every necessary step to prevent or stop any further senseless killing of Nigerians anywhere in the country or elsewhere.

“We also demand that the various security chiefs should resign or they should be relived of their duties by the President forthwith, and be replaced with more competent, committed and professional officers with definite mandate to restore, ensure and sustain effective security of lives of all Nigerians.

“Our social contract with Mr. President and the present regime is the effective security of lives and property and for good governance. Should this government continue to fail in this core responsibility, Nigerians will rise to an unprecedented reaction that will lead to an end of the incessant killings and insecurity.”

CDHR therefore urged the President to reconstitute the leadership of the security formations, forthwith, adding: “Otherwise, the killings and violation of the rights of citizens will continue to raise direct questions on the commitment of the government to the core issue of security of lives and property, which forms part of the agenda of the Buhari regime.”

The foremost human rights group emphasised that the right to life of all Nigerians is guaranteed under Section 33 of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Article 4); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 6) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 3).

“The state has the primary responsibility to ensure the security and welfare of the people, as provided under Section 14 (2) (b) of Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” it stated.

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