Saturday, 23 June 2012

News Release: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Condemns Boko Haram’s Attacks On “Religious Freedom”

We are extremely concerned by the wave of violence and killings unleashed by the latest deadly bomb attacks on churches by the Boko Haram group in Nigeria. Since several churches were attacked by Boko Haram in Kaduna last Sunday (17 June), it is estimated that over a hundred people have been killed; some 30 of them in the initial attacks and subsequent retaliation by Christian youths who set up check points. The rest were reportedly killed in clashes between the security forces and Muslims protesting at the deadly retaliatory acts by the Christians, and most recently in clashes between the security forces and alleged insurgents in Damaturu.

We condemn the repeated attacks by Boko Haram on places of worship and on religious freedom, as well as its blatant attempts to stir sectarian tensions and violence between two communities that have lived together peacefully for so long. We encourage local and national authorities to take effective measures to assist victims. Members of Boko Haram and other groups and entities, if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population, including on grounds such as religion or ethnicity, are likely to be found guilty of crimes against humanity. Deliberate acts leading to population “cleansing” on grounds of religion or ethnicity would also amount to a crime against humanity.

 We also urge the authorities to take measures to curb inflammatory or hate-speech and to work with all stakeholders including civil society and religious leaders to help deal with this deadly threat. It is encouraging that some religious leaders have been working together to avoid such flare-ups of retaliatory violence. The Anglican Archbishop of Jos, for example, recently made an important statement after some other attacks on churches urging people to stay calm and saying that reprisals were "futile" and only served to aggravate the situation. We urge him and other Muslim and Christian leaders to redouble their efforts to contain these extremely dangerous manifestations of religious intolerance and inter-communal violence.

Rupert Colville,
Spokesperson For The UN High Commissioner For Human Rights.

Opinion: Azazi Gone At Last; Beyond Azazi’s Exit

Azazi gone at last! Good riddance to bad rubbish you dare say.
For what manner of security adviser will not conceive a paradigm shift in the security architecture of the country but would spend valuable time blaming the federal government for not spoon-feeding the North?
Beyond Azazi's exit, the new security adviser (Col. Sambo Dasuki) must pay attention to community policing. If they say state police is neither feasible nor addable, let there be structures for community policing, so that communities and neighbourhoods can be assisted by government to secure and defend themselves in synergy with the police.
The police as presently constituted have not been able to tackle crime and criminality in our country. What has sufficed for a long time now is neighbourhood and community policing. It requires training and funding.
An example of the efficacy of community policing is; few years ago, my hometown , was besieged by criminals. But the local vigilante introduced by the Chief/Igwe of the town, which gulps about one million monthly to maintain, did the magic. It is not that crime is nill ther now, but at least the townspeople can now sleep at least with one closed.
But poor funding is their bane because they receive no assistance from the state government. Yet, state governors receive over =N=250 million per state for security vote monthly. What exactly is security votes for if not for maintaining security in the state? Why should the law allow governors to keep such funds to themselves, leaving the people imperiled?
Furthermore, beyond Azazi's exit, the new security adviser (Col. Sambo Dasuki) shall advise the presidency to set-up 20 man national security committee (This will not be politically inclined to be chaired by The Nigeria Vice-President  Namadi Sambo:
Automatic Membership For All Ex-Presidents Of Nigeria:
1. Gowon
2: Shagari
3: Obasanjo
4: AbdulSalam
5. Sonekan 
6: Babangida:
7: Buhari 
with key leader that will represent the Igbo (maybe leader of APGA), with all the Muslim leaders and key Emirs in the North, with Representative of Christian Association of Nigeria, with people like Ribadu, Shekarau, El Rufai, Tamakar Tukur, Bola Tinubu, Fashiola and even President Goodluck Jonathan as members.
The aim is to seek a common ground on how best to put an end to the menace of Boko Haram in Nigeria.  Politics aside, there will be common ground and agreement on the best ever possible and strategically possibilities to bring this menace to an end.
Mayowa Michael Adeleye
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada