MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
Worried by the trending report of the freeing and resettlement of hundreds of Boko Haram terrorists on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has cried out, telling the President that his action is not just an unpardonable ethical crime but amounts to an impeachable offence because it undermines the basis of the Rule of Law.
This was the conclusion reached by the prominent civil rights advocacy group in a statement on Thursday made against the backdrop of the report of the release by the military of 1,009 ex- Boko haram fighters to the Borno State government.
In consequence of his action, HURIWA has asked President Buhari to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and all the detained members of the banned indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) because in the thinking of the group, if government can undermine the constitution to free hardened terrorists, why is the government detaining members of a self determination group that denies government accusations of its involvement in the killing of security operatives in the South East of Nigeria.
HURIWA recalled that the Nigerian military on Wednesday released 1,009 ex-Boko Haram insurgents, who had been in military custody at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Citing media report, the group said the former terrorists were handed over to the Borno State Government in a secret ceremony that was initially billed to take place at an earlier date but was suspended indefinitely by the military authorities at the wake of the appointment of the new COAS.
HURIWA said sources in the army, informed Punch that the ex-terrorists were handed over to the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, who represented the state government at the event.
The officer said, “The army handed 1,009 Boko Haram insurgents to the state government today (Wednesday). It was done in secret. We were warned not to allow journalists to the venue.”
HURIWA in a media statement by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko the National Coordinator and the Director of Media Affairs Miss Zainab Yusuf has called on the National Assembly to wake up from slumber and defend the Constitution by compelling President Muhammadu Buhari to stop breaking the law by releasing terrorists and to move to impeach him should he refuse to rescind the unconstitutional conduct.
The human right advocacy said releasing terrorists is counter productive among many reasons one of which is the culture of violence which brings with it a class of cruel people who believe they are entitled to determine the value of other humans.
“This is a reality which dawns on a society with weak criminal justice system where crime is not only prevalent and under-reported and officially rarely documented but also seldom meted with sanctions. This state of affairs breeds a most vile, oppressive and daring criminal sets like kidnappers and arm bandits.”
HURIWA stated that “the US Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) report on Nigeria indicates that kidnapping for ransom occurs throughout the country. There is hardly a part of the country which has not experienced kidnapping and armed banditry in recent times and most disturbing is the hard fact that there does not appear to be a conscious and concerted effort to arrest the situation.”