A pro-development civil society organization–HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the killing by suspected armed Fulani Herdsmen of 14 villagers at the Riyom Local Government Area Council of Plateau State and urged the Federal Government to find lasting solution to the spate of killings and reprisals.
In a media statement jointly issued by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media officer Miss Zainab Yusuf, the Rights group also urged credible leaders of both the Fulani’s and the indigenous groups in Plateau state to work sincerely in a united front towards the enthronement of lasting, sustainable and mutual peace, unity and progress of Plateau state.
The Rights group specifically tasked Religious Clerics of both the Christian and Islamic Faiths to rise to the occasion and discourage their adherents from taking up arms to kill human lives because life is sacred and inviolable. Similarly, HURIWA blamed the elite of both divides for inflaming ethnic and religious sentiments and passions through the popular media and these ‘ideological machinations’ generated by the elite of the warring parties are solely responsible for the seemingly unending spate of vicious violence in Plateau State.
Besides, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA has advocated for the umpteenth time, for the setting up by the presidency of a special presidential Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be monitored by peace experts from the United Nations, African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to comprehensively resolve the ongoing disputes between the perceived strangers and the indigenous ethnic nationalities that historically make up Plateau state as presently constituted.
The Rights group also wants the Presidential Center for Conflict Resolution in Abuja restructured by President Good Luck Jonathan and better equipped legally and logistically to more actively play the role of sensitizing and mobilizing Nigerians to work for the attainment of genuine peace.
As one way out of the intermittent killings and terror-motivated violence in Plateau and other parts of the country, the Rights group has canvassed the transparent arrest, prosecution in the competent courts of law for mass murder, of all the alleged sponsors of the ongoing violence already identified by several Presidential and Plateau State panels of investigations in the past.
HURIWA stated: “Nigerians are sick and tired of being fed notoriously through the media of mass communication of the cocktail of bloody killings and terror-related violence in Plateau and other Northern States and we have repeatedly, persistently and consistently called on governments at all levels to rise to the occasion and once and for all arrest the perpetrators of these killings, bring them to decisive justice and rid the communities of illegally armed marauders, hoodlums and mass murderers roaming about with sophisticated weaponry which they intermittently unleash on the innocent Nigerian people. If Government cannot do this, then the process of acquiring legal arms by citizens must be liberalized so that Nigerians are not killed like chickens in this twenty first century by illegally armed non-state actors.”
HURIWA also tasked the Nigerian Attorney General and minister of Justice Bello Mohammed Adoke [SAN] to lead by example by making sure that his counterparts all across the country use the instrumentality of the law to bring perpetrators of violence to face the heavy weight of the law in compliance with section 6 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).