HURIWA flays presidency’s comment over Southern Kaduna killings

By Daniel Tyokua

Human Rights Writers Association, HURIWA, has flayed presidency’s comment on why killings persist in the southern part of Kaduna state.

The group linked the killings to ‘irresponsible governance’, and not as presented by the presidency.

The presidency had on Tuesday, reacted to the killings in southern Kaduna, saying that it is more complicated than many people are willing to admit.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that the problem in southern Kaduna is an evil combination of politically-motivated banditry, revenge killings and mutual violence by criminal gangs acting on ethnic and religious grounds.

It said that the region enjoys comprehensive security deployments, including the army, special forces of both the army and the Air Force, surveillance aircraft by the Air Force and mobile police units that are on the ground on a 24-hour basis to forestall criminality and keep the peace.

However, in a statement issued by HURIWA’s national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Tuesday, rejected the Presidency’s explanation in the characterization of the serial attacks in the southern Kaduna state as a conflict.

He questioned the explanation, asking that,”What kind of conflict is it that hacks children to death when they are sleeping? This laziness of language should stop.

“The problem is that of massive and irresponsible governance, and the fact that Governor Nasir el’Rufai in particular, who is the Chief Security Officer of the State and the Federal Government at large have failed to address the crisis in an even-handed manner.

“Government should go back and study the Section 33, sub section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that the right to life and safety is paramount and remains the reason of all other rights.

“Given the intense insecurity in southern Kaduna, preventive measures are urgently needed. Affected communities in Southern kaduna and other parts of the country currently grappling with this high wave of herdsmen attack must be made to feel like their lives and the monumental impact of the crisis matters”

The statement said ending impunity also means reducing the chances of violence and punishing offenders as international scholars have affirmed.

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