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HURIWA Chides Ribadu: ‘As You Now Sleep With Two Eyes Closed, 133 Million Nigerian Households Are Awake, Famished’

Frontline civil society body, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has told the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, that his admission that members of his household now sleep with two eyes closed since the coming of the current government makes little meaning to Nigerians because as we speak, officially one hundred and thirty three million Nigerian households are multidimensionally poor and therefore their members are awake, famished and unsure of the sources of their next meals.

HURIWA also faulted the National Security Adviser for saying that because no police station in the South East has been set on fire since May 29th, it therefore means that the insecurity rocking the zone or Nigeria has abated just as the Rights group reminded Malam Nuhu Ribadu that over 65 percent of registered voters in Imo State couldn’t come out to vote for fear of either been killed by armed non state actors or the rampaging armed security forces that were massively deployed for the off-season election, most of whom became ballots thumb printers and snatchers for the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial candidate alongside the Imo State sponsored armed Ebubeagu militia. HURIWA reminded the NSA that only last week, the Abia state governor Mr. Alex Otti found over 50 decomposing bodies of citizens in forests next to the Lokpanta cattle market in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia state.

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HURIWA said that a large chunk of Anambra and Imo States are still vast ungoverned spaces because of the near zero absence of any form of state funded security forces who were largely displaced when police stations in many areas were set ablaze. HURIWA stated that nearly all the burnt police stations in Imo state specifically, have not been rebuilt and so there is no significant presence of police operatives in all of these places except in Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe and few other urban areas of the state.

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HURIWA recalled that the National Security Adviser to the President, Nuhu Ribadu, had said that Nigerians can be rest assured that the security challenges will be brought to the barest minimal despite the security threats still bedevilling the country, especially in the northern states.

Speaking at the ongoing annual conference of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Uyo, Ribadu assured Nigerians that “President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a talking and working politician, the present government is barely five months old, but are committed to curbing the insecurity rocking the nation.” HURIWA said Ribadu was similarly quoted by the media as stating that since the current government came on board on May 29th, 2023, Nigerians now sleep with their two eyes closed.

In a media release by HURIWA’S national Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group reminded Nuhu Ribadu that till this moment, official figure says that 133 million Nigerian households are multidimensionally poor. The Rights group stated that statistically, sixty-five percent of multidimensionally poor people 86.1 million – live in the North, while 35 percent –nearly 47 million – live in the South. A significant portion of this poor population are deprived of clean cooking fuel, adequate sanitation and access to healthcare.

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HURIWA wondered how the National Security Adviser only considers terrorism as the only threats to national security when some of the most potent threats to national security are associated and directly linked to food or economic insecurity which became unprecedented with the removal of subsidy on petrol by Tinubu just as the Rights group asked the NSA to confirm the statistical data of poverty in Nigeria from the well-considered poverty index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2022. The NBS released its National Multidimensional Poverty Index Report within the year, which showed that 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor.

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HURIWA reminded the NSA that the inflation rate has continued to rise under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration with the July 2023 inflationary trend rising to 24.08 percent. Also, in October 2023, the headline inflation rate increased to 27.33 percent relative to the September 2023 headline inflation rate which was 26.72 percent.

Specifically, the NSA to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Malam Nuhu Ribadu noted that although kidnapping has replaced arm robbery throughout the country, the few instances still being experienced in the country are carried out by an organised syndicate even as he promised that “We will not fold our arms and allow banditry take over the peace of this country,” he assured.

When asked why it is difficult for the military to flush out Boko Haram from the country, Ribadu said that it was in progress. Ribadu further disclosed thus: “The government has invested so much on tackling insecurity for the good of the people. “If every Nigerian can behave as true Nigerians and cooperate with government and every security agency, then kidnapping and the likes will soon become a thing of the past,” he said.

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HURIWA demanded that Ribadu should tell Nigerians why the terrorists from the Northwest states who slaughtered over 30 soldiers and even made sensational claim in August of 2023 of shooting down the Nigerian Airforce fighter jet in Niger state, are till today not rounded up even when the mastermind showed up in a viral video.

“The NSA who says Nigerians sleep with two eyes closed, is he unaware that 8 youth corps members kidnapped on their way in Zamfara for camp, are still being held for over three months and indeed, only few days back, some 20 Muslims who were on procession in Katsina state were slaughtered by armed terrorists,” HURIWA said.

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The rights group therefore cautioned the National Security Adviser to avoid the penchant by politicians for use of media propaganda but instead lead the drive for a coordinated joint armed forces combat of terrorists and also to impress it on the Nigerian police force and the Department of State Services, to rid the country of armed kidnappers who have upgraded their operations since President Tinubu came into office.

“Was it not just yesterday, that a Pastor who was kidnapped in Kogi state, was killed by his captors even after his family had paid the N1 million ransom demanded by the armed marauders? Can the NSA on his own with no security details, drive himself from Biu in Borno state through Kaduna to Katsina without been kidnapped?” HURIWA asked.

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