The Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the military authorities to be wary of the shoot-on-sight directive in the garb of new security measures in the South East and South-South regions of the country.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday, May 13, in Abuja by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, who specifically urged the Federal Government to consider the constitutional obligations of the rules of engagement; and respect for citizens’ rights; genocide; and crimes against humanity, as enshrined in international charters.
The group also criticised the President for the alleged marginalisation of the South East; from a commanding position of significance in the defence institutions to such a ridiculous extent that no Igbo military officer attended the last meeting; during which a decision to introduce new security measures for South East and the Niger Delta regions was taken.
HURIWA maintained that Buhari’s legendary aversion for respect of fundamental freedoms of citizens would continue to haunt the government; and make it impossible for civilised nations to sell weapons to Nigeria.
“The Buhari-led government is notorious for human rights violations; and this is why the USA and most countries do not want to provide technical assistance; or sell arms for the prosecution of the war on terrorism; because it is believed that a tyrannical regime could divert the weapons to kill civilians as in the case with the Buhari administration.
“This is why this government has to ensure that the operatives being deployed to the South East and South-South do not engage in a killing spree; using the shoot-on-sight, which constitute a gross violation of citizens’ rights; provided for under section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“We condemn in totality any decision for the military to adopt shoot-on-sight; because it is a crime against humanity and must never be tolerated,” it stressed.