…Calls for Police Reform and Gun Rights
The National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, has strongly denounced the policing incompetence that gave way for the successful and brazen robbery attack that killed several people at Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State on Friday.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko’ HURIWA also called for the urgent need to reform the police and set up state police to enhance security and protect lives and property in the country.
In a statement issued on Saturday, HURIWA said the government should permit citizens of good standing to own modern guns to counter terrorists and armed robbers, as a way to prevent mass killings and defend their right to life.
The statement read in part: “HURIWA is shocked and saddened by the horrific incident that occurred in Otukpo yesterday, where daredevil armed robbers stormed four commercial banks and unleashed terror on innocent customers and passers-by. According to eyewitnesses, the robbers killed about 10 people and injured many others, while the police and the military failed to respond or intervene in the over two-hour-long operation.
This is a clear indication of the failure of intelligence and the lack of professionalism and competence of the security agencies in Nigeria. HURIWA condemns this act of criminality and barbarism in the strongest terms and demands that the perpetrators be brought to justice without delay.
Extending sympathy to the families of the victims and the people of Otukpo, who have been traumatized by this tragic event HURIWA tasked the government on adequate compensation and support for the bereaved and the injured.
HURIWA urged the government to take decisive steps to reform the police and establish state police, as a way to improve security and accountability in Nigeria.
The current centralized police system has proven to be ineffective, inefficient, corrupt, and unresponsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. State police will enable each state to have its own security apparatus that will be more familiar with the local terrain, culture, and challenges, and will be more accountable to the people.
The group also called on the government to respect and uphold the right to life of every Nigerian, which is sacrosanct and must be defended by all means for once life is taken, there is no remedy or redress.
The group believes that liberal gun ownership by Nigerians will serve as a deterrent and a check on the activities of criminals, who often operate with sophisticated weapons that are superior to those of the security agencies. It will also empower Nigerians to protect themselves, their families, their properties, and their communities from any threat or attack.
HURIWA appeals to Nigerians to remain vigilant and report any suspicious movement or activity to the relevant authorities.
They also urged Nigerians to unite and cooperate with one another in the fight against insecurity and violence in the country.”