The National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a civil right organization, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko has advised Nigerians to be alive to their legal right to petition against any form of human right abuses meted out to them by the military and other security agencies in the country.
In a media briefing held by the Association on Friday, October 11, 2019 in Owerri, with the theme: Urgency of the now for Constructive Engagement Between Civil Society and Military to promote National Security, Onwubiko stated that civilians have absolute right to petition against them by the military and other security agencies, just as he cautioned that the people should not brand any military operation directed to their place as an attempt by a particular ethnic group to terrorise them.
The civil rights activist also advised that whatever human rights abuse on the people by the security agents, should be reported by those affected to the Army authorities or the National Human Rights Commission.
He, however, advised that the military should operate in line with the rules of engagement. He praised the Chief of Army Staff General Tukur Brutai for writing a book known as the Green Book where he enlisted the rules of engagement by the military, which is mandatory on all military personnels.
Onwubiko also advised the military to have sound public enlightenment packaging before embarking on any operation in any part of the country so as to educate the people of the area what is expected of the military in such operation, in order to avert any negative insinuation by the people.
The NGO boss while praising the army for coming all out to provide adequate security protection in the country where the police have not adequately taken care of , noted. “The military has done well in providing adequate security in fighting terrorism and other criminal aspects of the insecurity in the country, especially where the police cannot adequately cover”
He also advised civilians to assist the military in providing vital information that will assist the military in their operations.
Onwubiko further stated that the army should be sure that whatever troupe sent for an operation should not be army of occupation but should make sure that they operate going by rule of engagement so as not to commit human rights abuses.