By Saminu Azare
The hostilities and human right violations of Buhari’s administered against members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has taken another dimension with immoral and unethical conduct despite the fact that the so-called ‘government of change’ was duly elected by majority of Nigerian citizens
who trusted Buhari’s integrity as the champion that can transform the society from one stage of development to another.
The abduction of 3 ladies, members of the Islamic Movement along Dei-Dei junction in Abuja on Thursday 22-09-2016 has generated concern over the future of Nigeria as indivisible and indissoluble entity. In a Democratic government like Nigeria where rule of law supposed to exist base on constitutional provision, it is shameful for Nigeria Police to restrict movement of any citizen within the country, furthermore, section 41(1) of constitution provides that: every citizens of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof and no citizen shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exist therefrom.
The Nigeria police whom were saddled with the responsibilities to maintain law and order in the society does not even understand their official duties of protecting the lives of every Nigeria citizen irrespective of their religion, tribe, gender or political affiliation. I wonder why the records of human right violations are increasing on daily basis by the Nigerian security operatives and at the same time the rate of crime is also increasing without doing anything to prevent it.
The Muslims ladies have rights constitutionally to dress the way the like it without intimidation by anybody.
The police claimed that the Muslims ladies were arrested because they were coming to Abuja to storm the Federal High Court in Maitama where the trial of their leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky was taking place on 20th September, 2016 while they were arrested the on 22nd September, 2016 the day which members of the Islamic Movement conducted peaceful protest, if the police prosecutor does not know the date which protest took place it was embarrassment to the Nation.
Constitutionally, Nigeria police have no moral or legal justification to stop any Nigerian from participating in a peaceful protest, even if the organizers did not obtain police permit. The Nigeria security operatives should be aware of the case of All Nigerian Peoples Party versus Inspector-General of Police (2008) 12 WRN 65 decided by the court of Appeal on December 12, 2007. In that case the court upheld my submission that Nigeria have the fundamental right to stage rallies and protest without police permit.
The Guardian Newspaper edition of October 1, 2005 where Federal Government had in a broadcast made by the immediate past President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo publicly conceded the right of Nigeria to hold public meetings or protest the increase in the price of petroleum products.
The President realized admits dissent Protest marches, rallies and demonstrations. The rallies or played carrying demonstration by Nigerian citizens has become a form of expression of view on current issues affecting Government and the governed in a sovereign state.
In his brief contribution to the judgment Muhammad JCA had this to say: “In present day Nigeria, clearly police permit has outlined its usefulness, certainly in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstration without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 constitution and any law that attempt to curtail such right is null and void and of no consequence.
Having regard to the authoritative pronouncement of the Court of Appeal on the fundamental right of Nigeria to freedom of assembly and expression through peaceful rallies and protests, the Federal Government should restrain the police and other security agencies to desist from further harassing or intimidating protesters.
The Nigeria Police Force should know that the duty of the law enforcement agents is to monitor public rallies and processions and bring to the law any person who comes in conflict with the law. Disrupting peaceful assemblers by the law enforcement agent is anachronistic, dictatorial and abuse of the human rights of persons in Nigeria.
The Government in power is always using security operatives to disrupt public protest that is against their selfish interest, in 2004 the Police used teargas against the political rallies of the opposition party, All Nigeria Peoples Party whom the current President was the leader of the opposition party which resulted to the death of his deputy, SenatorDr.ChubaOkadigbo.
It is surprising that someone who suffered different kinds of injustice before he came to power is now watching the police doing the same thing to his fellow citizens, the people that are related in one way or the other with voters who used their opportunity to enthrone him to power.
Base on this arguments participating in the conducts of peaceful protest in everywhere in Nigeria is lawful constitutionally. The Police has violated the law of the land by arresting 3 girls’ members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria at Dei-Dei junction on their way to Abuja city to visit their sister, the Police claimed they were going to participate in the free Zakzaky protest on that day, what is the offence of someone going to participate in a peaceful gathering.
Nigerian returned to democracy on 29 May, 1999 after 3 decades of military rule but the President Buhari who was the military dictator is ruling democratic Nation with iron hand as if he was not elected, the human right violation in his regime is at its own peak since 12 – 14 December, 2015 when the Nigerian Army attacked members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria at their Islamic Centre “HussainiyyaBakiyatullah” along Sokoto road G.R.A Zaria on the pretext of road blocked to Chief of Army Staff which resulted to the death of 1000 Muslimsfaithful, apart from that the Army also attacked Gyallesu resident of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and killed his followers including his 3 sons and burnt others alive, the Sheikh and his wife MalamaZeenatudden also sustained various degree of gun injuries. The medical experts said Sheikh Zakzaky need medical attention to treat his eyes.
with the intervention of Almighty God the 3 girls Khadija Muhammad, RuqayyaSalisu and Aisha Ameen were arraigned on 23 September, 2016 before Karu Magistrate Court of AbubakarUmaru with others 4 men members of Islamic Movement charges for the offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting peace, contrary to the sections 97, 102 and 114 of the two penal code but were granted on bail with two reliable and reasonable sureties each and must be a civil or public servant with a grade of 8 and above with sum of N100,000.00, after following the due process they were release on bail.
Nigerian security operatives have been accused on many occasion of violating women right due to their unprofessional ethic of handling issues and against their rule of engagement. Violence against women is a consequence of an established gender inequality within the society and of existing structures of power in gender relation. It is rooted in cultural patterning especially in harmful influences of particular traditional practices or custom, education system religious beliefs and madia influences.