Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Baffled with the expanding frontiers of sectarian killings masterminded by the unruly youths in Northern Nigeria, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday condemned the growing activities of Islamic fundamentalism among the youths in the region.
It also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address a national broadcast on the ugly trends immediately.
Besides, the rights group also reiterated its call on the immediate reorganisation of the nation’s top security architecture and personnel to make the hierarchies a reflection of the ethno-religious compositions of a multi-ethnic nation such as Nigeria.
A statement issued in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmnuel Onwubiko, the group described the killing of nine Christian students of the Zamfara State Polytechnics in Talata-Mafara by armed youths for alleged blasphemy as outrageous, primitive, gruesome and absolutely intolerable even as it demanded severe penalties for the offenders including the death penalty.
According to him, “The growing activities of Islamic fundamentalism stems from the widespread belief by the youths that top security positions are in the hands of just a section and therefore they have the licence to commit anti-Christian hate crimes.”
He stated: “Both the federal and Zamfara State authorities must be blamed for their conspiratorial failure to stop the atrocities and for failing to adopt proactive measures to check such primitive criminal acts particularly when such a dastardly crime had happened nearby in Kano State only a few months ago.
“The Nigerian state has consistently refused to carry out the most primary duty of government which is the protection of lives and property which as clearly spelt out in Section 14 (2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, the government’s primary responsibility is the security and welfare of the people,” Onwubiko said.
HURIWA however blamed the unconstitutional elevation of a particular religion above all other religions in most parts of Northern Nigeria by Northern governors despite the constitution saying otherwise in Section 10.
The section states that: “The government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion.”
The group added that it was unfortunate that a certain northern governor had recently vowed to deploy state resources for the promotions of Islamic causes.
HURIWA noted that Nigeria remains a secular and multi-religious society and therefore any attempt to foist a state religion could lead to civil war.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to take the following measures: Visit the scene of these brutal killings of Christians to pacify the families of these victims and pay heavy compensations; address a national broadcast highlighting short, immediate and long term strategic plan of action by this government to curb the growing spate of sectarian killings by Islamic fundamentalists and reorganise his lopsided pro-Islamic defense/police appointments to reflect federal character of Nigeria.”