Vanguard, September 13, 2016
Barely a week to his scheduled address to the 71st regular session of the United Nation's General Assembly in New York, an Abuja-based rights advocacy group, Opinion Nigeria, has written the global body, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of inaction in the face of series of human rights violations in the country.
The petition was specifically addressed to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst.
The group in the petition titled, "A Call on the United Nations to Salvage the Ruins of Human Rights Violation in Nigeria under the Leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari", a copy of which was obtained by Vanguard in Abuja noted that, "the reality of Human Rights violation in the present day Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has been escalated by deliberate inactions of the presidency".
Signed by its president, Jeff Okoroafor, Opinion Nigeria listed the sins of the Buhari administration to include, "the killing of over 100 persons by the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security agencies (aside militants and thugs) in the 2015 Rivers State election as well as during the re-run election. The 6th September 2016 Police blockade on campaigners of the #BringBackOurGirls, and the aftermath declaration of a ban by the Inspector General of Police on the group's protest".
The petition alleged other cases of rights violation to include; "the massacre of unarmed Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) protesters between 29-30 May 2016, during the planned pro-Biafran commemoration events in Onitsha, Anambra State. The 12th December 2015 clash between the Nigeria Army and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria which occurred in Zaria, Kaduna State, where citizens were assaulted and brutalized leading to the death of over 200 persons.
Also, the execution of the family of Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky the leader of the Islamic Movement (unarmed) in his private residence by soldiers. Consistent habit of parading purported armed robbers by the Nigeria Police in local media and subsequently followed by extra-judicial execution by the specialized squad of the police.
The scores of killings from Fulani herdsmen across Nigeria which has received no condemnation from the president of the nation is of grave concern to many Nigerians. The continuous detention of Nnamdi Kanu despite meeting his bail obligation is another matter constituting an affront on the rights to justice in Nigeria and an abuse of powers of the presidency".
The group said "in view of such violations, the gross misconduct of institutions of government under the APC-led regime also adds credence to aggravating human rights issues.
"This is an urgent request for the United Nations General Assembly to raise their voices with ours with regards to the following cases of Human Rights abuses that Nigerians have had to contend with under President Buhari's regime.
"If nothing is done and done soon, the spate of Human Rights violation by President Buhari will soon turn into anarchy".
President Buhari is set to lead the Federal Government delegation to New York where he would address the 71st regular session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2016.