A Civil Rights Group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA has asked the Federal government to perish the thought of trying to criminalize free speech in Nigeria.
Declaring this on Monday in Abuja, the Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko stated that the plot or plan to brand anybody who gives the government in power a contrary opinion as a terrorist will not augur well.
According to Onwubiko, “If a person gives you a contrary opinion you now want to brand him a terrorist to get him prosecuted it is going to make this country look like a banana republic”.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to play the role of a statesman and not leave or create the impression that it is under his government that repression and oppression of the opposition voices is encouraged.
He said, “Given his antecedents as a military man and given the fact that he applied an unconstitutional position that saw some journalists and some opposition elements being cramped into detention illegally, he should not repeat it in this Democratic era”.
Meanwhile, the HURIWA boss while touching on the recent killings in a market that was being demolished in Owerri, Imo state, stressed that if nothing is done to prosecute those involved in the killing of innocent people in the incident, HURIWA will proceed to the International Criminal Court with a petition against the Governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha.
He said, “It is a very serious issue and You cannot kill children of the poor and begin to dance around the whole matter to say no body was killed, people were killed, that picture of a child that died is not a forgery, people were there, people saw it, some of our people saw it”.
He used the medium to ask the President to attend to the burning issue of the 38 Senior Army Officers that were retired Compulsorily by the Nigerian Army since June 2016.