Reacting to the reported killing of nine soldiers by suspected armed bandits in Zamfara State, the civil rights group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked the state governor, Bello Matawalle, to pay N900million compensation to the families of the slain soldiers.
HURIWA condemned the gruesome killing, saying it must not be swept under the carpet.
The rights group also opposed the negotiations by Northern governors with armed bandits in Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, linked the “killings of soldiers by armed bandits to the atmosphere of illegality, anarchy, and impunity created by the negotiations and decision to grant amnesty to armed mass killers by some Northern state governors.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Onwubiko said it was “absolutely wrong to permit a situation whereby armed freelance hoodlums are treated like sacred cows which have now snowballed into the mindless slaughter of our armed soldiers trained professionally with the huge public and taxpayers’ fund.”
He said the negotiations and granting of amnesty to armed bandits was an affront to the Nigerian Constitution.
Onwubikob tasked Governor Matawalle and Federal Government to arrest, prosecute and punish the soldiers’ killers
“Negotiating with criminals under any guise by state governors is tantamount to defecating openly on top of the Nigerian Constitution and the fact that the cocktails of coordinated mass killings by armed bandits in parts of Zamfara State and other northern states have continued unabated shows that it is foolhardy for elected officials to fail to enforce relevant laws against terrorism and mass murders,” he said.
The rights group also urged Nigerians of goodwill to speak up in rejection of the “institutionalization of impunity and official recklessness exhibited in the ongoing negotiations with armed bandits by northern governors.
“We demand that the Zamfara State government be compelled to pay N100 million compensation each to all the soldiers killed by armed bandits in Zamfara State,” HURIWA added.
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