The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Jangebe, Zamfara state, saying the abduction was a clear act of state-sponsored terrorism and an act of hostage-taking tolerated by the government.
HURIWA added that the governor, members of the Zamfara State House of Assembly should be held responsible because that is the act of terrorism that seems to be acceptable to the government of Zamfara state.
“Why has the Zamfara State House of Assembly done nothing to stamp out the emerging trend of the kidnapping of students by adopting the harshest legal punishment for such acts of terrorism? HURIWA queried.
To this end, the Rights group, however, called for the arrest of any governors that are supporting the negotiations with terrorists.
The Rights group recalled that the governor had been quoted in the media of supporting negotiation with bandits that not all bandits are criminals.
In a statement signed on Friday in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA explained that when the reality shows that all armed bandits are not just criminals but are indeed terrorists and therefore must never be rebranded by these state governors of the north whose active verbal support for actions of terrorists is fuelling this spate of armed kidnapping which has the immediate consequence of telling parents to withdraw their children from school.
Onwubiko said: “Indeed we are advocating that parents should withdraw their children from schools until such a time that the federal and state governments all over Nigeria can guarantee 24/7 security of lives and property of all educational institutions especially those located deep inside the north of Nigeria whereby the state governments have started thinking of negotiating with terrorists who they have rebranded as armed bandits.
“We call for the arrest and prosecution of the Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi who has waged a media campaign to defend terrorists.
“So the government of Zamfara state should be held responsible and should be told to ensure the safety of these hostages. In fact, the Zamfara State house of assembly should impeach the governor for failing to protect the school children, for his inability to discharge his duty to protect school children, and for actively defending the so-called armed bandits whom he is quoted as allegedly saying that they are not criminals.”