Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has again expressed dissatisfaction with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to extend the total lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory, Ogun and Lagos States for a further two weeks.
It said this came with little or no concrete material and nutritional palliatives for the estimated 90 million absolutely poor Nigerians.
HURIWA, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, and made available to DAILY POST on Wednesday, predicted an “avalanche of class action suits demanding billions of damages to be filed by thousands of Nigerians against President Buhari for locking them up in their rooms; starving or attempting to starve millions of poor citizens to death and for failing to stop the massive but well coordinated armed criminal attacks of Nigerians in their homes during the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun as well as many other parts of Nigeria similarly attacked by armed hoodlums and armed Fulani herdsmen.”
HURIWA said that under the International Obligation to Protect, “Buhari will be required to explain why his administration made no logistical arrangements to provide fool-proof security protection for millions of residents forced to stay indoors during the month-long lockdown he (Buhari) ordered.”
The rights group lamented that whereas in other societies like Australia whereby citizens asked to embark on few weeks of lockdown are paid $700 USD equivalent weekly for maintenance “but in Nigeria the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has chosen to starve millions to death and has deployed badly behaved armed security forces to flog and humiliate members of the public who attempts to beat the inhumane and inconsiderate curfew to find some foods to sustain the lives of their starving members.”
HURIWA said the 36 states and the FCT governments “are throwing poor people who go out in search of foods to eat into prisons under the guise of enforcement of the quarantine Act without regards to the human rights provisions enshrined in chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999(as amended).”
“Our sad reality under the current administration is that the President and his minders are under the illusion that they are above the law and can not be brought to justice no matter how heinous or monumental are the human rights violatios committed by them and the security forces under their watch.
“The quarantine Act does not give the President the right to starve over 87 million absolutely poor Nigerians under lock and key with no provisions for their sustenance to their untimely deaths which may be inevitable if no redress is immediately activated.
“The current administration must be told that Nigeria by becoming a party to international treaties, and international laws then as a State the nation assumes obligation and duties under the international law to respect and to protect and to fulfil human rights,” the group said.
HURIWA further described as mean hearted and insensitive, the Federal Government’s decision to provide food reliefs to just a little above 3 million Nigerians “out of the over 90 millions of our citizens that are categorized by the World Bank; International Monetary fund; Brookings institution as absolutely poor and unable to find balanced nutritions to sustain them on daily basis.”
HURIWA carpeted Buhari for not sympathizing with hundreds of thousands of “our citizens in such violent crimes prone areas of Lagos and Ogun States and specifically in Lagos State whereby the armed organised killer mafia known as ‘One Million boys’ are on the rampage, robbing, raping, maiming, killing and destroying lives and property of the citizens and the security forces that are only good at dishing out useless propaganda have so far failed spectacularly to check the violations of the fundamental human rights of citizens to their Rights to life and the dignity of their persons as provided for in the Nigerian constitution just as it is imperative to remind President Muhammadu Buhari to expect an avalanche of cases in the Federal High courts and State High Courts to challenge his central Government’s deliberate failures to carry out its primary constitutional duty of protecting lives and property of the citizens.”
HURIWA blasted the President “for overlooking the global reality of Nigeria being the home to the greatest percentage of the members of the human race who are absolutely poor just as the Rights group said the insignificant and obscure initiative through the corruption infested social Investment programme to provide food reliefs to only 3.6 million households means that the Federal Government is on the verge of starving 87 absolutely poor Nigerians to death by locking them up for four weeks with no social safety nets to keep them alive.”
HURIWA called on Nigerians to use lawful means to register their displeasure, charging the government and specifically President Buhari to work out home made remedies, cures and vaccines to stave off the Coronavirus challenge instead of sitting down in the comfort of Aso Rock to monitor on televisions through global news channels countries such as United Kingdom and United States of America in order to copy-and-paste those nation’s panacea to the rampaging health emerhecy of COVID-19.
“The broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari which extended the lockdown from all empirical evidence lacks Nigerian local contents and is heavily loaded with borrowed models of combating the COVID-19 ailment as constantly disclosed by the scientific community already mobilized by USA, UK and many other committed civilized nations of the World,” HURIWA insisted.