The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly condemned the widespread and incessant looting, organised and highly orchestrated arson and attacks by some misguided societal elements masquerading as youths searching for COVID-19 hoarded palliatives to loot the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Camps and other strategic National and private assets of Nigeria and Nigerians.
This is just as it stressed, that an attack on the NYSC camp is an attack on the soul of Nigeria, and urged the government to set up a National Youth Volunteers Corps to train volunteer Corps members, so as to protect and defend facilities in the camp.
The HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko who made these known in a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that these brazen acts of criminality targeting NYSC’s facilities which constitutes gross National sabotage demanding the stiffest judicial sanctions for offenders, have come with many revelations that Government needs to investigate within the shortest possible time frame to save Nigeria.
Onwubiko, stated that the looting and devastating invasions of NYSC camps which also resulted in fatalities, has made it imperative for President Muhammadu Buhari to activate the intendment, significance and pragmatic essence enshrined in section 220 ( 1) (2) of the Nigerian constitution.
According to him, “We humbly ask Mr President and the National Assembly to amend the relevant laws of NYSC to empower the scheme to begin the trainings for vetted and credible youths in military trainings to form a standing National volunteer Corps and for these citizens to be drawn from the states to be mobilized at all times to resiliently partner with law enforcement agencies under the auspices of the office of the DG of NYSC who is a serving officer of the Nigerian Army, to be rapidly deployed to carry out volunteer works of defending strategic National Assets so these kinds of ugly and lawless scenarios will never occur.
“This should follow the pattern of Israeli government. It should be a revolving scheme lasting one calendar year just like the same period with the NYSC schemes which is relevant as ever and demands national funding consolidation.
“These volunteers can also be encouraged to enlist into the Army on the passing out parade after working for MOTHERLAND FOR A YEAR and to explore other regular policing or paramilitary institutions on permanent basis and this will save the cost of recruitment process of such agencies as Nigerian Police Forcw, Nigerian Prison Service, Nigeria Customs Service, and the national Civil Defence Corps after a year of purely voluntary service to the Nation: This we think is an idea whose time has come”, he stated.
Speaking further, he remarked that the protests should teach the political leaders of Nigeria that the sovereign and territorial integrity of Nigeria is endangered if the youths are economically deprived and not carried along as strategic Nation building partners with the relevant government agencies.
In his words, “Those in Authority in Nigeria don’t seem to be listening to anybody on the issue of police brutality and they don’t follow the pulse of the society. If they are educated enough to follow media trends in the last 30 years, the #EndSARS uprising would have been averted.
“We have neglected the youth Ministry at the federal and state levels for long. Now is the time to revitalise and find the youth sector, including constant sporting engagement for young Nigerians on state by state, local government by local government basis.
“The federal ministry of youths development and NYSC should be put as FIRST line charge, such as the judiciary and the National Human Rights Commission and their budgetary releases boosted significantly to enable this forward looking Management of NYSC and the competent youths affairs minister to empower millions of young Nigerians.
“The Minister of youth must be economically empowered to implement development programmes to engage young Nigerians”, he said.
Furthermore, he noted that the attacks targeting NYSC, Minister of FCT and Assets of certain individuals especially in cross River state must not be swept behind the carpet, rather, the government should investigate the intelligence that a certain senator funded the armed hoodlums to attack peaceful protesters which must have aggravated the scenarios and led to many deaths.
“Government should investigate the police hierarchy. We suspect that the police hierarchy and beneficiaries of SARS are behind the coordinated attacks of warehouses. Certain criminal thugs may have been hired as agents provocateurs to attack warehouses to entice hungry and angry youths to join them in the looting sprees, so as to dilute the essence, symbolism, significance of these global movements against Nigerian police use of torture and extra-judicial killing of Citizens by SARS”, Onwubiko said.
He took a swipe at the state Governors who hoarded the COVID-19 palliatives, noting that they have betrayed the trust of Nigerians and are still insulting Nigerians.
He further urged Nigerians to file charges against the Governors when they leave office, adding that what they did was more than murder, as people died from hunger during the pandemic, while food items meant for the poor were hidden and left to rot away.