Thursday, April 28, 2011

Post Election Violence: Huriwa Threatens to Drag Goodluck Jonathan to ICC

 By Christopher Isiguzo
President Goodluck Jonathan was Wednesday given a 21-day ultimatum by the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) to bring perpetrators of the post-election violence in some parts of the country to book or risk being dragged to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague, the Netherlands.

Addressing newsmen in Enugu shortly after monitoring the Governorship/State Assembly election in Enugu State, the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko also advocated for the immediate conversion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme to one year compulsory military service as it’s practiced in some countries of the world.

Onwubiko expressed dismay over the incessant violence that culminated in the destruction of lives and property especially in the northern parts of the country, saying that the situation had continued unabated apparently because government was yet to demonstrate enough political will to checkmate it.

“It appears the government has been so weak to guarantee security and welfare of Nigerians. We are saying enough is enough and the president should not end up paying lip service to the present issue.

We have not seen punishment of any sort meted to the perpetrators even with all the overwhelming evidence. This act has become almost a regular thing especially in the past twelve years. Some prominent and wealthy persons in the north are culpable in these developments,” he stated.

While noting that the incessant crisis in the north was gradually constituting a major threat to the unity of the country, Onwubiko said a situation whereby innocent people from the south east easily become victims each time such crisis takes place is no longer acceptable.

The HURRIWA leader also said that the description of the victims of the crisis as “heroes of democracy” by the president was not enough, saying that having likened the scenario to the 1968 Civil war, the president should equally handle it with the “utmost seriousness” it deserved.

He also advocated for the immortalisation of the victims of the crisis as well as serious compensation for the families, adding “We are watching the president and giving him 21days to bring perpetrators of this violence to book failing which we are going to send a report tothe International Criminal Court on the incident, so that generation after generation will see the man’s inhumanity to man that has taken place in the country.

“We will protest to the ICC and he will face prosecution when he must have left office for his failure to protect the citizens during the period of his presidency,” he stated. He used the opportunity to plead with the leadership of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), especially its Presidential flag-bearer, Major-Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) to desist from further commenting on the violence but rather to device means of placating his supporters.

“This country belongs to all of us and we are not ready to allow anybody no matter how highly or lowly placed to destroy the unity we have built over the years. Time has come for us to stop making unguarded statements that would further jeopardise the unity of this country,” he stated.

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