Warning that certain extremists have been paid by some government officials to stoke the embers of ethno-religious division and to graphically paint the #ENDSARS movements with ethnic and religious colourations, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the apparent inaction of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest the tides and stop the activities of ethnic militias masquerading as hoodlums.
Besides, HURIWA has stated that the youths are angry because the elders who have had access to public offices and those wielding political powers have continuously feasted on the commonwealth of the nation and are amassing massive assets for themselves and their children whilst impoverishing millions of citizens.
As a way to check the spontaneous attacks targeting specific housing and commercial assets of persons perceived to have looted public fund when they served in different political offices, the rights group has asked that looters in government and those already out of government should publicly return, at least 75 percent of the assets they amassed which were stolen from the public’s common till.
“As a way to douse the extensively expanding frontiers of civil unrest, arson, youth restiveness and built-up but explosive tension all over Nigeria, we urge President Buhari to set up a justice and public assets recovery commission to invite former and current looters of public resources to surrender greater percentage of their looted assets to the government so as to guarantee a return to stability, lasting security and to assuage the angry, impoverished and oppressed masses most of whom are young people who are out of school but cannot find sustainable means of livelihood.
“This measure must be immediately activated because even if the youths are forced through military means to stop rioting, the youths will still re-assemble in the nearest future to relaunch their attacks targeting looters within and without government.
“Some of these looters actually funded the 2015/2019 polls with looted funds and these looters hired armed political thugs who killed, maimed and destroyed opponents of the central ruling political party. It is very likely that most of those street thugs burning properties of elites are the same hired political thugs who were deployed by politicians during the last two elections.”
HURIWA has also condemned any attempt by some mischief makers to set up inter-ethnic crises through the planting of toxic and dangerous information blaming any ethnic groups of responsibility for the street revolts. It added that what is happening in Lagos is spontaneous.
“It is an act of treason for anybody to blame any ethnic group. Some of the individuals whose assets are being destroyed were known to have openly endorsed the ruling political party and therefore some of them who even ought to be neutral as traditional rulers abused their privileged positions to publicly endorse one party against the other,” the rights group said.
HURIWA, through its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also condemned the broadcasts by anybody or groups urging the youngsters to continue to burn assets and properties of either government or some selected individuals.
The rights group said the youngsters being brainwashed into participating in arson run the risks of losing their lives even as those instigating the heinous riots are living comfortably in their cozy homes in Europe and the United States of America with their children well fed, well protected by the European systems but they are busy dishing out incendiary propaganda instigating street riots by other people’s children.
HURIWA said Nigerians must be wary of rumour peddlers and purveyors of fake news, including top officials of the Nigerian Ministry of Information.
The rights group said: “We are disappointed that Miyetti Allah official addressed the press accusing Bola Ahmed Tinubu of sponsorship of the #ENDSARS protest to overthrow the Buhari-led administration without any shred of evidence. Yet, the Federal Government refused to arrest him and 24 hours later, some armed hoodlums went from place to place in Lagos to burn down assets of Tinubu and till now President Buhari still has not ordered the arrest of this ethnic warlord masquerading as the leader of Fulani herdsmen.
“There is another group in Lagos accusing a particular ethnic group of being behind the spontaneous attack of the palace of the Oba of Lagos and this sensational lies and propaganda are playing up inter-ethnic crises in Lagos but till now the Lagos State Governor or President Buhari have refused to arrest these war mongers.
“The attack against the Oba of Lagos was an act of spontaneity by the riotous crowds and for anybody to blame a particular ethnic group for this unfortunate incident is to seek to start a civil war in Lagos and these mischief makers should be arrested for the use of hate speech to instigate genocide.” (News Express)