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HURIWA’s Statement On The Misuse Of NSCDC Officers In Osun Is False And Hopelessly Partisan – Civil Right Group

A Civil Society organization, the Osun Concerned Citizens (OCC), has described the statement credited to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) alleging the abuse and misuse of NSCDC officials for political bias in Osun as malicious, false and hopelessly partisan. HURIWA had in the statement signed by it’s chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, accused…”
Yusuf
November 12, 2021 1:12 am

A Civil Society organization, the Osun Concerned Citizens (OCC), has described the statement credited to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) alleging the abuse and misuse of NSCDC officials for political bias in Osun as malicious, false and hopelessly partisan.

HURIWA had in the statement signed by it’s chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) group suspected to be loyal to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola of using the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to do their biddings especially during electioneering when they should be deployed to protect correctional centres.

Reacting, the Osun based civil society group, the OCC in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Comrade Olakunle Afeez, however said, “HURIWA’s statement is symptomatic of the compromised state of many Civil Society organisations in Nigeria today – HURIWA is deserving an award for dirty job and cash-and-carry NGOism.

The statement reads in full; “We are constrained to respond to the malicious and false claims made in its recent press conference and petition by Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, under the errant leadership of “Comrade” Emmanuel Onwubiko, its National Coordinator relating to above subject matter. Other than for its persistence in a narrow section of the social media, we would ordinarily have ignored the fallacious statements as Nigerians now recognize and are well used to the degenerate state of certain Civil Society platforms, populated these days by “come-and-raid” characters who love their pockets more than they love objectivity, justice and development.

“Let us look at the claims of HURIWA first, as reported by The Sun Online: Onwubiko alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) now use Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to do their biddings especially during electioneering when they should be deployed to protect correctional centres, saying “It is worrisome that in the face of the implications of the successful and attempted jailbreaks reported across the country in the last 18 months, which have been adjudged to be the highest so far in the cycle of any administration since the return to civil rule in 1999, the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, appears more concerned with allegedly misusing the personnel of the security agencies under his ministry for political gains in Osun State rather than fully deploy them appropriately where they are needed to secure the Correctional Centres that are the cornerstone of Nigeria’s judicial system.

“HURIWA has reportedly observed on a weekly basis, particularly on Thursdays, that armed men from the Correctional Services and those of the Nigeria Civil and Security Defence Corps (NSCDC) are stationed at the venues where The Osun Progressives (TOP) a caucus suspected to be loyalists of Rauf Aregbesola laying claims to the leadership of the APC in the state hold their meetings at the venue.

“Again, reports have it that on Saturday, August 14, this group, alongside some suspected political thugs under the protection of the armed men from the Nigeria Civil and Security Defense Corps (NSCDC) allegedly attacked the state secretariat of the All Progressive Congress, wherein some persons were reportedly injured in the process.

“Also, not too long ago, precisely on the 16th of October, 2021 while the state APC held its state congress at the Osogbo Stadium where all heads of security agencies in the State and INEC were present, only the NSCDC personnel and its leadership were reportedly absent for no other reason but political manipulation.

“Instead, they reportedly went to another part of the state to provide cover for alleged Aregbesola’s political loyalists who also claim to be holding a state congress. In fact, NSCDC men were seen on national television wielding weapons and standing behind the former State Secretary of the party; Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile, who announced himself as the chairman of the party in the State on a day NSCDC personnel ran riot and shot ceaselessly and sporadically into the air in the Ogo Oluwa axis of the State capital, causing avoidable panic in the state.

“For a supposedly non-partisan platform of human rights activists and writers, any discerning and intelligent reader can plainly see how hopelessly partisan the statement is; symptomatic of the compromised state of many a Civil Society organisations in Nigeria today – HURIWA deserving an award for dirty job and cash-and-carry NGOism. Making wild and unsubstantiated claims appears to be the stock-in-trade of Onwubiko, who recently alleged in an interview with Tribune that persons in Federal government and Miyeti Allah were behind the mayhem and assault in the South East rather than IPOB without adducing a single shred of evidence.

“But for the fact that it has sunk from a reputable height to the depth of naked partisanship that consequently occasion shallow perspectives, HURIWA should know that the issue of prevalent assault on correction centres are matters arisen from a graver national insecurity challenge; that the first respondent to protecting the custodial centres and inmate are the police; that the police and their stations themselves have come under overwhelming attacks nationwide, which is why NSCDC and other armed forces are now respondents to an unprecedented assault on national institutions, including the NDA, Army Bases, INEC Offices and many more for which the Inspector General of the police, Service Chiefs and INEC Chairman cannot be singled out for recrimination and persecution, despite that coordinated and efficient responses are expected from them.

“HURIWA did not bother to know that the NSCDC, in the line of lawful duty, was present to protect Osun citizens at BOTH venues of the two APC Congresses, and falsely claimed otherwise, while the DSS and Police (more directly under the influence of the Chief Security officer of the state and a party in the contest), all officially invited by both parties with available documented evidences, chose to absent themselves at decisive and critical moment from the mentioned congress venue, leaving citizens wide opened to hoodlum attack but for the saving presence of NSCDC officers who supported the determined gathering to repel the armed assault by known thugs from known sponsors. Contrarily, all the security agencies were present at the venue of the Appeal Committee sitting in earlier month, where same known hoodlums, from same known sponsors, disrupted the proceedings at the tail end. HURIWA did not investigate all available petitions by the aggrieved party on the matter, nor the proceedings of the court case subsequent on the intra-party contest and the public discuss it occasioned – for obvious partisan and petty reasons! It simply accepted and turned the victims and complainants to the aggressors, and turned dutiful security agency to partisan party, while it ignored and kept silent on security agencies that were derelict in their duty to the public, who created opening for thugs to unleash mayhem and bloodshed at a legitimate political gathering.

“As a grassrooted independent observer group based in Osun (we were the first and only to stage an unprecedented protest in support of Gov Oyetola after the first tribunal judgment that purported to overturn his electoral victory) we were impartially at both APC Congresses that took place in Osogbo on that day. We can confirm that organizers of both Congresses invited all Security agencies to their program, NSCDC is no different and nothing indicated that it was used as it only responded at the one venue where such happened, to the invasion of thugs who attempted to disrupt peaceful Nigerians from exercising their constitutional and civic rights. Security agencies are duty bound to protect public gatherings, any day, any time when so requested, even private buildings like banks and private citizens in public offices. Rather than frown at the suspicious absence of duly notified and invited security agencies, HURIWA chose to castigate the agency that did the needful and avoided a bloody ending to a legitimate gathering!

“As Osun Concerned Citizens, we are not only concerned about APC but with PDP and all organisations and the people of Osun, for the peace and progress of our beloved state; always on the side of justice and progress. HURIWA, rather than do an objective analysis based on truthful reports, merely allowed itself to be used as a negative, partisan tool of falsehood peddling and personality maligning, in a long-running political contest within Osun APC, which basic truths and details are in the public space for over 2 years now. While not holding brief for NSCDC, it ought not only to respond appropriately but actually sue HURIWA for defamation of a dutiful, non-partisan Command of its that find itself in a highly contentious political space.

“It is the hope of Nigerians that the glorious days of Civil Society interventions will return, when truth, justice and societal progress will be the passionate focus rather than funding and “obtaining” from both local and international sources, not minding how dirty the errands and the paymasters are”.

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