The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, faulted the continued silence by President Muhammadu Buhari on the wanton killings by Fulani herdsmen, terrorising farming communities across Nigeria.
The group called on President Buhari to give clear directives to armed security operatives to treat the Fulani herdsmen as terrorists.
National Coordinator, HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja.
Onwubiko said: “HURIWA is demanding the removal of the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, for turning that national security institution to an exclusive protection and propaganda wing of the armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for mass killings across the country.”
He added: “The conspiratorial silence of the DSS concerning the genocide by armed Fulani herdsmen in Agatu community of Benue State and many others including Taraba, Plateau, Delta, Enugu, Anambra and Edo States and the rapidity of the unscientific and provocative statement made by the Department of State Services to claim that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) slaughtered the 5 kidnapped Fulani herdsmen even without any forensic evidence has clearly depicted the current hierarchy of DSS as sectional and myopic and therefore should be dismissed for lacking professionalism and for attempting to ignite ethnic genocide against Igbo residing in the northern part of Nigeria.”
The rights group also demanded that the president addresses the nation in a national broadcast to comprehensively disclose workable measures to reform the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make it truly independent and impartial.
Onwubiko added: “It is imperative that the electoral body becomes truly independent and autonomous and stop the current undemocratic role of an undertaker put in place by the powers that be in Abuja to dictate to it which trends and positions to adopt and who should be returned conclusively elected.”
HURIWA however called on the National Assembly to compel the INEC to immediately organise a rerun poll in Okigwe senatorial zone to enable the people elect their representative in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The national coordinator stressed that it was unbecoming of a body supposedly said to be independent “to act in criminal collusion with some forces bent on denying the people of Nigeria their democratic and constitutional rights to elect Nigerians of their choice to govern them.”
“The people of Okigwe Zone came out in the general elections of March, 2015 and gave their mandate to Chief Athan Nneji Achonnuwho ran on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The results of the election was challenged by the other candidates who filed petitions before the election tribunal…
“While the APGA candidate withdrew his petition, the APC candidate lost at the Tribunal and at the Court of Appeal. However, the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal nullified the election based on the petition of the Accord Party candidate whose petition was hinged on the exclusion of her party’s logo form the ballot paper.”
The rights group however blamed INEC over what it termed the “unnecessary bloodshed” that occurred during the recent rerun election in Rivers State even as it accused INEC of undermining democracy in Imo State by refusing to conduct election in Okigwe Senatorial zone.