PRESS RELEASE: Is NHRC mandated not to protect and promote the rights of IMN members?
It is known that the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) serves as an umbrella where the people whose rights were violated will come for help which is in line with the resolutions of the United Nations which enjoins all member States to establish national human rights institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.
Massacre is violation of citizens right to life as guaranteed under section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and other regional and international Human right instruments to which Nigeria is a party.
The United Nation Organization made a declaration in its Charter in 1945 for the guarantee of three basic rights: the right to life as sanctity, the right to human dignity and the right to own private property. The Nigerian constitution devoted the whole Chapter IV to Human and other citizens’ rights, including freedom of conscience, the right to choose your religion, freedom of association, freedom of movement and the right to fair hearing. No one can interfere with these rights without the due process of the law. It is expected that the state, all its agencies, and coercive forces in particular, the society in general individually, severally and collectively, should uphold with the greatest care and sincerity the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the democratic principles it contains therein.
It could be recalled that the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (AFIMIN) staged a peaceful protest between 10am to 12noon, on Thursday, January 29, 2015, in Abuja to demand justice for the Extra-Judicial killing of 34 brothers and sisters of the Movement including 3 undergraduate sons of Shaikh Zakzaky by the Nigerian Army headed by Lt. Col S.O Oku (25/07/2014).
On 12th February, 2015, the National Human Right Commission admitted complaint for investigation pursuant to section 6 of the NHRC (Amendment) Act, 2010.On Monday 16th February, 2016 by 1 p.m. the Academic Forum gave the Commission available evidence that might be useful to substantiate the allegations and help the Commission in the early dispassionate resolution of the matter. The NHRC promised to act immediately.
As citizens of Nigeria , we thought the NHRC owes the country a duty to sincerely investigate and find out what truly happened that day and who are the people behind the crime. Surprisingly , nothing has happened. This contrasted with the rapidity with which the Commission acted when the COAS alleged that "assassination" attempt was made on him after he killed over a thousand of members of the Islamic Movement between 12th to 14th December , 2015 including another 3 sons of Shaikh Zakzaky. As Burutai submitted the petition, brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement are still undergoing killings and torture by his men in Zaria.
The NHRC acted within a record 24 hours to raise a panel to investigate. Does this means that the NHRC takes the lives of some citizens more precious than those of others? We are been oppressed unjustifiably for so long in this country.
If protecting the rule of law is to kill more than a thousand people including women and children in cold blood and then their families, friends and sympathizers would be forced to keep quiet, through different forms of intimidation and harassment from police including teargassing and other forms of physical attacks as well as the use of paid hoodlums to attack members of IMN, then that is the worst oppression.
Despite all the gross human rights violations, the nearly fourty years peaceful Islamic Movement will still remain peaceful. The Academic Forum hereby call on the National Human Right Commission to stand by the truth and with the oppressed citizens.
We also call on the commission to facilitate the immediate and unconditional release of Shaikh Zakzaky, his wife and other detained brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
Finally, we urge the NHRC to condemn the planned attack by Security Operatives on peaceful citizens of Nigeria that will soon embark on discharging their religious duties - the #ArbaeenTrekNigeria