The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a non-governmental organisation, has flayed the decision of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to curtail nightlife in Abuja out of fear of attack by the terrorist Islamic sect Boko Haram in the nation’s capital.
In a statement jointly endorsed by the national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and national media officer, Ms. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said that any extreme measures like restricting night clubbing and other legitimate socio-economic activities done at night in Abuja, amounted to a breach of the constitutionally protected fundamental human rights of freedom of association, movement and legitimate enterprise.
HURIWA said the decision to make nightclubs in Abuja close early was illegal and unconstitutional since a state of emergency had not been declared by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Though the rights group recognises that government has the primary duty to provide security for the life and property of the citizenry, it fears that government and its agents might hide under the cover of pursuing the extremist group to violate the rights of innocent citizens.
The group has therefore tasked the federal government to find modern, democratic, efficient, technologically and human intelligence-driven measures of checking the incessant violent attacks by the armed extremist religious Boko Haram group, rather than impose blanket punitive measures against members of the general public.
HURIWA asserted that only extensive, sustainable, deliberate and committed effort of the federal and state governments and leaders of the organised private sector, to provide good employment opportunities and opportunities for the self-development and economic empowerment of the jobless youths in Nigeria, could effectively check the trend of violence unleashed on the public by members of different armed groups in parts of Nigeria, especially in the North.