Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Monday, slammed the Federal Government for shielding armed non-state actors including killer herdsmen and blood-thirsty bandits yet placing heavy bounties on so-called terrorists overrunning parts of the country.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said many decent Nigerians may not bother to take the current Federal government seriously when it announced N95m bounty on 18 wanted terrorists lately because all the actions of the government have portrayed it as a terrorist-sympathiser.
The group queried the government over its failure to prosecute or secure the conviction of any insurgent or terror financier in the last seven years since President Muhammadu Buhari has been in power. In contrast, the government both at the centre and at state levels have been busy granting so-called amnesty to vicious non-state actors from northern Nigeria who have perpetrated all the large-scale abductions and worst atrocities since the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
The Defence Headquarters on November 14, 2022 published details of 19 wanted terrorists with a reward of N5 million reward for any person who brings information leading to the arrest of any of the insurgents.
The 19 terrorist commanders of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province have been wreaking havoc in the North-East, North-West and North-Central zones of Nigeria.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The bounty placed on so-called wanted terrorists is surprising because how do you explain the seriousness of a government to fight terrorism when the same government hobnobs with these insurgents? Pathetic!
“It is therefore not surprising that nobody in Nigeria takes President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration seriously when he asked them to look out for some wanted terrorists because Nigerians know that it is a sheer waste of time and that it is a serious risk to be a whistle blower against terrorists in a government that is sympathetic to terrorists, a government that releases and reintegrates terrorists and a government that let terrorists escape from prisons to stage attacks such as the ones in Kuje on July 5, 2022 and the dastard and malevolent massacre of Catholics in Owo on June 5.
“The government claimed to have arrested some of the Owo attackers but till date, no one has been charged for the Owo terror attack where over 40 worshippers were gruesomely killed. Also, perpetrators of the Kaduna-Abuja train attack of March 28 have not been apprehended, not one despite the release of the last batch of their abductees on October 5.
“For years, the Federal Government has failed to arraign about 400 alleged Boko Haram sponsors and financiers arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara despite the conviction of their co-conspirators by the United Arab Emirates.
“The Federal Government has also intransigently refused to grant state-owned security outfits like the Amotekun Corps, Benue Guards licence to bear AK-47 arms. The sheer hypocrisy of a government fighting terrorism stuns!
“Terrorists are busy staging naming ceremonies in Zamfara yet the government is deceiving itself asking Nigerians to look out for terrorists. This government needs to convince Nigerians that it is committed to waging war on terror in the real sense of it and then support for the counter terror war will flow naturally.”
November 21, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).