HURIWA Drags Ayade to NHRC over Alleged Political Killings

Ben Ayade

Esther Oluku

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has dragged the Governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof. Ben Ayade, to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over allegations of playing politics with the recent gruesome killings of five members of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bendeghe Ekiem community, Etung Local Government Area Council of Cross Rivers State.

HURIWA condemned the killings of these citizens and also expressed shock and disappointment with the government of Cross Rivers State for selectively probing the remote and immediate cause of the killing of the three members of PDP, and maintaining a shocking sense of insensitivity regarding the three other members of the APC who also reportedly lost their lives during the unfortunate fracas that resulted in the fatalities which included the ward leader of the PDP, Mr. Ayuk Ogar.

In a letter addressed to the Executive Secretary of the Commission, HURIWA called for the right processes of investigations.

The group also urged the Cross Rivers State governor to create the enabling environment for a thorough, comprehensive and transparent probe of the fracas and the killings of all those who died irrespective of their political affiliations or persuasion, adding that this is the best way to promote the rule of law and to guarantee equity, equality of rights, social justice to all parties and uphold democracy.

“As committed patriots, we have approached the National Human Rights Commission to bring to their notice the ugly scenarios of the unconstitutional decision of the government of Cross Rivers State to use the sad incidence in Etung Local government Area Council to witch-hunt the perceived political opponent of the governor only because there is the perception in the governor’s camp that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration may consider on merits the person to appoint as the ministerial cabinet holder to represent Cross Rivers State.

“We have tabled a three-point demands to the rights commission to constructively mount pressure on the Nigerian Police Force and the Cross Rivers State governor to adhere strictly to best global practices even as there is the urgency for an independent commission of Inquiry to uncover the remote and immediate circumstances that surrounded the violence that occasioned the killings of five supporters of both the Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress.

“Our basic concern is that nobody should be witch-hunted for not belonging to the same political family as his state governor.

“We have petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to draw their attention to the injustice that is about to happen under the watchful eyes of the Cross Rivers State governor. As a former University Don, the governor ought to follow the due process of the law and respect the fundamental human rights of all the citizens irrespective of the political divisions or affiliations.”

HURIWA added that four suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of the Ward Chairman of the PDP in the said community, Mr Ayuk Ogar, and four others reportedly.

Orgar and the others were reportedly killed in Bendeghe during an alleged gun duel between supporters of the PDP and the APC.

“The clash occurred shortly after leaders of both parties in the area signed a peace pact to ensure violence -free elections. It was gathered that several others sustained injuries during the clash and were treated at the Ikom General Hospital”.