Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has requested President Muhammadu Buhari to declare armed herdsmen as terrorists.
It said the first step was for the president to direct his Attorney General and Minister of Justice, (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to file an application before the Federal High Court, Abuja division to procure the banning of armed herdsmen and their activities and to declare them as terrorists so as to put an end to the persistent massacre of unarmed farmers and others.
The Rights group said the president should only be concerned about doing and saying only those things that can advance human progress and create mutual harmony amongst the divergent ethno-religious affiliations that constitute Nigeria.
It said this will create a legitimate legacy as a consummate patriot and a nationalist rather than continue with the seemingly conspiratorial silence and not take concrete and verifiable security steps to combat the menace of armed herdsmen which has become a very troubling security challenge threatening national cohesion and endangering national security.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, in Abuja, noted that several global bodies have already categorised armed herdsmen as one of the deadliest terrorist organisations in the world next to the Boko Haram terrorists in ferocity and degree of mass casualties of citizens from their many bloody violence unleashed on communities across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
The Rights group wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari still don’t think these armed herdsmen are as deadly as terrorists.HURIWA said: “After thorough consideration of the high levels of destruction of lives and property of Nigerians from all parts of the country, perpetrated by armed herdsmen, we believe that the best solution to these incessant invasions and attacks is for President Buhari to step up his approach and worldview of the seriousness of these trends and take concrete legal, security and logistical steps to militarily put an end to the persistent genocide by armed herdsmen by first and foremost declaring armed herdsmen as terrorists.
“This declaration should be taken as a declaratory readiness of this government to implement enduring and sustainable solutions to the incessant terror attacks by rogue armed herdsmen irrespective of whichever place they originate so long as their deadly attacks have often targeted our citizens.’’
Meanwhile, congestions of prisons in Abia State is now a source of worry to the state government, which noted yesterday that the situation has been compounded by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who were arrested from various locations in the wake of Operation Python Dance 11.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Abia State, Chief Umeh Kalu (SAN) raised the concern when he donated 100 mattresses to the prisons, which he handed over to the state comptroller of prisons, Mr. Sylvester Ayoka to ameliorate the dire conditions of the detainees, especially those being held at Umuahia and Aba prisons.
He noted that he had in the past made some interventions to improve the prisons, including roofing of one prison apartment, organising medical outreaches, adding that security would be meaningless without an effective prison service.