The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, on Monday condemned the Federal Government’s “inability to curtail the activities of herdsmen and criminals” who killed Nigerians in Rivers, Benue, Kaduna and Kwara states on the New Year’s day.
President of the group, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, in a statement, blamed the government “for this and other avoidable deaths across Nigeria”.
He said the development was a sign that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government was failing in its primary responsibilities.
He said, “If the protection of lives and property are the primary responsibility of government, then this government is failing in its duties.
“In fact, the Federal Government under Buhari has a duty, pursuant to Section 14, Sub Section (2) (B) of the 1999 Constitution to ensure that the welfare and security of every Nigerian, particularly the vulnerable, remain the primary purpose of government. In addition, these wanton and extra judicial killings are in direct breach of Section 33 of the constitution which guarantees the rights of Nigerians to life as protected also under numerous other international legal instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“As rights group, we are deeply worried by this awful and recurring killings of innocent Nigerians by criminals who think they are above the law. Our position on safety and national security is consistent. No nation can make any meaningful progress in an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness.”
Ugwummadu added that Nigerians, with their celebration marred by shortage of fuel, and their situation worsened by “the uninspiring New Year address” of the President opposing restructuring and power devolution, must demand leadership from their elected representatives.
He also called on “men of goodwill” to join hands and “save their country before it is too late”.