Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Sunday, condemned the assassination of two Labour Party candidates in Imo state and Women leader in Laduna state within the space of four weeks.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said dominant parties and desperate politicians whose chances are threatened by the bright chances of the Labour Party which is now unarguably Nigeria’s Third Force. The Rights Group said the truth is that the dominant and the so called mainstream political parties are scared stiff of the different credible opinion polls conducted by independent pollsters indicating the invincibility of the Labour Party’s Presidential candidate.
The group called on security agencies to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous act and not sweep the political killings under the carpet as inaction may fuel more of this unpardonable and carnivorous act. HURIWA has also criticised the heads of the security agencies for acting like collaborators and co-conspirators with these daredevil assassins and agents of blood cuddling political violence because these security forces pretend to be overwhelmed by the activities of these paid killers especially in Imo State and other South East states of Nigeria.
Recall that late November, the women leader of the Labour Party in the Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mrs Victoria Chimtex, was gruesomely assassinated by gunmen who invaded her residence at night and shot at her.
Barely three weeks after, just on Friday, the Labour Party House of Assembly candidate for Onuimo State Constituency, Mr Christopher Elehu was also assassinated by gunmen who shot at him repeatedly and burnt his house.
Sadly, their untimely deaths come three years after a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women leader, Salome Abuh, was shot and set ablaze at her residence in the Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The assassinations of the two Labour Party’s candidates for House of Assembly in Imo State and Women leader in Kaduna State are totally condemnable, uncivil and anti-democratic and must be stopped by security agencies with immediate alacrity.
“The assassination of the Labour Party candidates has the imprimatur of a carefully planned and executed persecution by some desperate politicians in power or supported by politicians in power at the centre who have on many occasions stated that Labour Party is the problem of All Progressives Congress and who are threatened by the emergence of the Labour Party as the Third Force away from the rotten APC and its Siamese twin – the Peoples Democratic Party.
“These cocktails of violence is ominous and not too surprising because the APC chairman in Kano State, Abdullahi Abbas, in November, said the party would capture the state in the forthcoming governorship election by “hook or crook”. Also, an APC chieftain and a federal lawmaker from Kano, who is also the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, recently threatened voters to vote APC or ‘we deal with you’. In neighbouring Kaduna, the rally of PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was attacked lately just as his supporters were also attacked during a rally in Borno. In Rivers State, supporters and campaigners for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar are being targeted for assassination.
“These drums of violence by the APC, especially, is loud. The APC presidential campaign council has also engaged in bullying the media by ensuring its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, refuse to attend debate and reportedly refused to sign The Peace Accord. It is a spectacle of folly for the APC to refuse to appear for critical questions and answers by the electorate but agreed and indeed appeared in Chatham House in London for a public conversation which has shown the greatest amount of disrespect to Nigerians. The APC Presidential campaign council also instructed their members to take power by all means. Could this be why assasins are after Labour Party that constitutes the greatest obstacle for the APC in the coming election?
“Security agencies must call the APC and its supporters to order. The party and its loyalists are obviously intoxicated by power as the party in the centre and this is totally anti-democratic. The security agencies must be apolitical and arrest all troublemakers including the killers of Chimtex and Elehu and the Women leader. These deaths aren’t just confidential but are carefully choreographed to plant fear in the minds of supporters of Labour Party.”
December 18, 2022
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.