HUMAN Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the Niger State police command for applying brute and primitive force to arrest many women protesters in Minna Niger State just as the Rights group has stated that the constant attempt by the Nigeria Police Force to illegally abridge, violently violate the constitutional freedoms of Nigerians including the right to freedom of peaceful assembly could destroy constitutional democracy and prepare the ground for the emergence of a totalitarian tyrant as president of Nigeria, just as HURIWA asked Nigerians to resist this sinister plot.
“We condemn the recent evil trend by the Nigeria Police all across Nigeria to curtail and deny Nigerians of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights. This is the clearest sign that the current administration under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu may be preparing to transform into a dictatorial regime just as HURIWA is urging Nigerians to speak out loud and clear in denunciation of these brazen plots by the police to help the civilian politicians in government establish a totalitarian government whereby the rights of the people to refuse to accept evil policies of government would be established.
“Nigerians must say no to police brutality and denounce police unprofessional conducts and the attempts to stop Nigerians from protesting against anti-poor, anti-people and unpopular economic measures. These bad policies have sent hundreds of Nigerians to their earliest graves due to absolute poverty and the high costs of living in Nigeria which escalated since May 29th 2023 that President Tinubu came on board and increased the pump price of petrol by over 1,000 percent, has made life unbearable, brutish, intolerable harsh and absolutely and utterly meaningless.”
HURIWA has therefore asked the police in Niger State to free the arrested protesting women immediately because the police in Nigeria lacks the constitutional powers to deny the citizens of their most inalienable, universal and natural fundamental human rights domesticated in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution and recognised in a plethora of global human rights laws including the Universal Declaration of human rights, Covenant on civil and political rights and the African charter on human and peoples rights which Nigeria signed on to as a member of the United Nations and the African Union.
“The police in the recent times in Imo, Nasarawa and now Niger states have deployed unconstitutional means to stop Nigerians from organising peaceful protests which are permitted under the constitution. This outrageous abuse of the constitutional freedoms will lead to violent protests if the police continues to muzzle peaceful demonstration.
“If you deny people of their human right to peaceful protests, they will inevitably explode and the resultant mass revolution would be very devastating. This is why we are urging the Inspector-General of Police Mr Kayode Egbetokun to call his lawless commissioners to order and train them to become compliant to human rights laws and to obey the tenets of the constitution of Nigeria because that is the Grund Norm and the Supreme law of the country.”
HURIWA recalled that in Niger state the police crushed peaceful protesters who were demonstrating over the high costs of living and attempted to justify this illegality by stating as follows: “The police Niger state Command immediately drafted police patrol teams led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations DCP Shehu Umar Didango, to the scene, and after much persuasion by the police, the protesters deliberately refused to clear the road for public use, while His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Com. Yakubu Garba, equally availed himself at the scene and addressed the group, yet they turned deaf ears and chose to be violent.
“In the course of this, the police arrested the initiators of the protest one Aisha Jibrin 30yrs, Fatima Aliyu 57yrs, Fatima Isyaku 43yrs all of Soje ‘A’ of Kpakungu area of Minna, and twenty-two.
HURIWA said the action of the Niger state police command to arrest peaceful protesters amounted to an unmitigated insult to the constitution of Nigeria and asked the IGP to order the immediate release of these protesters.
HURIWA contended that the protesters who are asking for good governance and improved economy, are doing a great service to poor Nigerians who are over 133 million in number going by the data published few months back by the National Bureau of statistics that said over 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor just as the Rights group stated that policemen are some of the poorest citizens just as the group wondered why the police operatives who are impoverished would be used as weapons to attack protesting women who are asking for a resolution and amelioration of the high costs of living in Nigeria.
8th February, 2024.