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Published On: Mon, Jun 23rd, 2014

Forum calls on Army to respect human rights over arrest of 486 northerners

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From Mustapha Adamu, Kano

The Kano Civil Society Forum (KCSF), has called on the Nigerian Army and other security forces to endeavour to respect the fundamental human rights and freedom of movement and individual liberties of all Nigerians.

This is contained in a statement issued in Kano, at the weekend and jointly signed by M. K. Adam, Publicity Secretary and Ibrahim Idris Bello, Secretary of the forum, concerning the arrest of 486 northern travellers in Abia state.

“KCSF is dismayed over the news of the arrest and manhandling of 486 northern migrant traders by the Nigeria Army on Monday June 16, in Abia state, on allegations of being members of Boko Haram.

“Report reaching KCSF shows that these people are traders going about their legitimate business and belonging to Northern Traders Association based in Port Harcourt. Therefore, KCSF found this action of the Nigerian Army disturbing as it smacks of discrimination based on their perceived faith as well as ethnic and geographical origins.” The statement said

The statement added that “While the KCSF supports the efforts of the Nigerian security forces in trying to contain the menace of Boko Haram sect and other un lawful groups/militant groups in the country, it is pertinent to call on the Federal Government, the leadership of the Nigerian Army and other security operatives in the country to always exercise caution in the discharge of their duties in order to, especially, avoid ethnic profiling or stereotyping.”

The forum also urged the Nigerian security forces to be seen to uphold, rather than undermine the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The statement further read: “The KCSF is calling on the federal government to hasten the prosecution of suspects as well as the release of innocent northerners and arrange to pay them compensation for breaching their liberty and fundamental human rights.”

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