Fresh blast: 150 rights groups fault FG’s security strategy

The Human Rights Agenda Network, a coalition of 150 human rights organisations, on Friday expressed doubt at the Federal Government’s claim that it was on top of the security situation in the country.

The rights groups also doubted the veracity of the security measures the Federal Government said it had put in place to address insecurity.

HRAN said there was no evidence to back up the pronouncements and claims made by the Federal Government in the ongoing campaign against the Boko Haram sect and other forms of insurgency in the country.

The rights groups spoke in a statement issued in response to the May 1 bomb blast in Nyanya, a satellite down in the Federal Capital Territory.

In the statement which was signed by its chairman, Chino Obiagwu, HRAN demanded transparency and accountability from the Federal Government in the campaign against terror.

The human rights groups expressed shock that another explosion could occur in the same area where the earlier bomb blast took place, in spite of claims by the Federal Government that security had been beefed up in the area.

Reacting to the bombing, the rights groups said, “The Human Rights Agenda Network condemns the fresh bomb blast on May Day, in Nyanya, Abuja, which claimed 12 lives and injured many and calls for transparency and accountability by the government in the security measures being taken to address the security challenges facing the country.

“HRAN recalls that this fresh bomb blast happened at the same area where the bomb blast of 14th April, 2014 took place; where security has purportedly been hyped following the incident of 14th April.

“HRAN knows that a lot of questions are on the minds of the people and calls on the government to oblige Nigerians some form of transparency and accountability on the security measures being taken to address the security situation in the country; insisting that at least, this much is owed to the citizenry.

“HRAN is compelled to believe that the promises and assertions of the Federal Government that it is on top of the security situation in the country is devoid of any substantial evidence.”

The rights groups stressed that the latest incident has also cast doubt on President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim that the Boko Haram insurgency was a temporary setback.

“During the previous bomb blast of 14th April, the President promised Nigerians that Boko Haram insurgency is a temporary setback, and that Nigeria will triumph over it.

“HRAN beg to differ on this assertion as Boko Haram has been menacing Nigerians since the beginning of this administration and has continued to increase and succeed in their operation as the days go by,” they said.

HRAN expressed concerns that in less than one month, hundreds of lives have been lost, many injured, properties destroyed, and most dishearteningly, abducted school children are still missing.

“All Nigerians get are assertions from the government that they are on top of the situation, false information by the military that the missing school girls have been returned, political accusations from PDP to APC and vice versa, tribal sentiments and personal opinions tainted with personal interest,” the statement added.

The rights groups noted that while these trivialities are going on, right to life continues to depreciate in Nigeria.

Still doubting the sincerity of the Federal Government in the campaign against terror and other forms of insecurity, HRAN asked the government – “Are you doing enough, has there been adequate transparency and accountability in your approach? Have you been sincere with your measures?”

The human rights groups explained that the questions were necessitated  by the inconsistencies between the promises and measures taken by the government, and the reality on ground.

“HRAN therefore hopes that the federal government can address these issues for Nigerians in the interest of justice and more importantly make a public statement with some commitment on the issue,” the statement said.

HRAN also urged the Federal Government to revisit the findings and recommendations of the various committees established to look into the security crisis since the inception of the Jonathan administration, and take a visible, credible step towards the realisation of the recommendations.

HRAN in the same vein commiserated with the families of those that lost their loved ones, and wished those that sustained injury quick recovery.

The rights groups equally called on all Nigerians to be security conscious and collaborate with the security agencies.

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