By Daniels Nwokike, The Sight News
ABUJA- A non-governmental organisation-Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has called on the United Nations (UN) to institute an independent investigation into the activities of the Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) operating in the North eastern part of Nigeria.
The chairman of the Association, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, who made this call during HURIWA’s end of year media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, said, it is not enough that the UN just recognised Boko Haram as a terror group, but stressed the need for an independent investigation to be carried out, adding that the terror group has a way of repeatedly invading communities in Nigeria from neighbouring countries unabated.
The Association also condemned the federal government’s decision to release apprehended Boko Haram suspects back to the society while the war- they are accused of fighting in-is still raging.
“There is no basis whatsoever in releasing people that have committed atrocities against the state, particularly when there is no atonement for their crime”, said Onwubiko. “There are reports that the Nigerian government negotiated for a prisoner exchange in the last set of Chibok girls that were released, where some Boko Haram commanders were released. Later, those commanders were seen in videos that were released threatening to destroy Nigeria”.
He described the action as “ill-advised”, and called on the political leadership of the country to desist from such act, as it jeopardizes the work and successes of the military in the fight against terrorism.
Also, HURIWA frowned at the Nigerian Army’s request to shut down the activities of Amnesty International (AI) in the country, describing AI as Human Rights monitors and one of the greatest resource persons that have helped to shape the narratives around the issues of respect for the rights of every citizen.
However, Onwubiko, called on Amnesty International, to apply some restraints in their manner of reportage regarding the way the Nigerian Military are handling human rights issues in crisis areas in the country as it is very difficult not to tamper with human right in a war situation.
The Association also commended the Army for revoking their earlier decision to evict UNICEF from the North East, and encouraged them to find ways to work with AI and its recommendations on how to improve their Human rights handlings in the fight against terrorism.
Comrade Onwubiko appreciated the Army for recognising the Civil Society Organisations during the launch of its book,”Military Law in Nigeria Under Democratic Rule”, written by Brigadier General (Rtd) T.E.C Chiefe (PhD), which threw more light on how the military handles issues during a war situation.