The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA has condemned the alleged military invasion of the Konshisha Community in Benue State which led to the alleged killing of residents and destruction of properties.
HURIWA also condemned the killing of troops by members of the community which triggered the invasion.
The human rights writers, in a statement made available to Our Source on Friday, warned the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Attahiru Ibrahim against abusing the rights of citizens.
According to HURIWA, if the Army Chief must succeed in his tenure, he must prioritize the rights of citizens who he was employed to protect.
Our Source had reported that following the killing of about 10 soldiers by members of the community, the Nigerian Army allegedly invaded the area, killing over 70 residents and setting the entire community ablaze.
Reacting, HURIWA said it was primitive and unconstitutional for the military to carry out revenge attacks in such a way that “over three dozen completely innocent people were reportedly slaughtered for offenses they know nothing about”.
HURIWA said, “the Military under the democratic setting is governed by constitutional norms. The Nigerian Constitution being the grand norm, absolutely prohibits the use of extralegal killings of citizens under section 33 (1). Under section 36 (5) citizens are guaranteed a fair hearing. There is no legal support for the infliction of mass killings as a consequence of any illegal and criminal acts of killing of soldiers.
“The Military authority is not allowed to resort to self-help because Nigeria is not a banana Republic but a Nation governed by laws. The soldiers are not immune from prosecution for offenses of genocide. We hereby call for the institution of an investigative panel to uncover the soldiers who reportedly unleashed violence on Konshisha Community in Benue State.”
“We hereby ask for an independent inquiry into the alleged invasion of the community and the violence that was unleashed to unveil the soldiers who carried out this alleged mass killings of civilians because Soldiers are not above the laws of the land”.