Proscription of Boko Haram, Ansaru, ACF Cautions Against Infringing on Citizen’s Human Rights
Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, a northern apex socio-cultural organization and the Northern Elders Forum Wednesday kicked against the federal government about the proscription of Jamaatu Ahlis-Sunna Liddaawati Wal Jihad known as Boko Haram and Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis.
ACF’s spokesman Anthony Sani, in his reaction said, “The proscription of Boko Haram and Ansarul may appear to be the right course of action, but we do not know how the strategy of ‘stick and carrot’ would be effected with an illegal organisation.
According to the groups, the decision would not end the ongoing crisis in the nation.
On his part, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Ango Abdullahi, said, “We don’t know the content of the proscription as regards the Boko Haram and Ansarul. “Maybe the federal government has a way of going about it now that the religious sect has been banned.”
“Boko Haram, to my understanding, is not an organization that has been in existence under the Nigerian laws. You proscribe an organisation when it is recognised or registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as an organisation … It was founded as an organisation offending the laws of Nigeria. This is the basis one can say that such organisation could be proscribed.
“But, outside that, one begins to hope that there will not be infringement on freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of propagating religious beliefs and many rights that are enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.”
He stressed further: “I hope that none of these freedoms will be touched because if they touch them there is a clear infringement on the right of the citizens. And the citizens will go to court to challenge the violation of their rights.
“Our concern is that these organisations are not in any law book, not in Corporate Affairs. Government initially said they didn’t know the group. So you only proscribed what is in existence under the law.
“What I thought government should do is to concentrate on what they are doing and to see in what way these people can emerge and engage in discussion and dialogue so that these crises could come to an end.
“Our concern is that our rights as citizens will not in any way be breached.
“Everybody was happy when the committee on peace and dialogue was set up, and then soon after there was a declaration of state of emergency. The people you said they should come and talk with you—how will they come out when there is a state of emergency? How do you expect them to come out? The proscription, again, is undermining the work of the committee; the committee cannot make progress after this proscription, headded
Also lending his voice, a former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abubakar Tsav, has flayed the ban.
According to Tsav, “Is this ban an Act of National Assembly or a decree by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan?
“Why did the President not include MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta), NDVF (Niger Delta Volunteer Force), OPC (Odua People’s Congress), Ombatse, etc in the ban since these organisations also engage in acts of terrorism?
“Was Boko Haram a legal organisation before the ban? He(President) just sleeps, dreams and acts on his dreams without thinking. Laws are made for all but GEJ’s law is discriminatory and with ethnic bias, he added.
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