As the military is set to deploy troops to the South East geo-political zone to fight crime and terrorism, the Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) has urged people in the region to welcome the decision.
While urging the soldiers taking part in the exercise codenamed Operation Python Dance to observe the rules of engagement, it advised the civil populace against disobedience.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Owerri, Imo State, the national coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the aim of the exercise was justifiable, urging people to obey and report any case of human rights abuses on the part of the military by alerting the Chief of Army Staff, through a dedicated phone line, for immediate action.
His words: “We call on the media and the organised civil rights bodies to partner constructively with the army in the fight against terrorism and all traces of criminality, even as we task the security forces to respect the fundamental human rights enshrined in the constitution.
“We will observe the national military exercises to ensure that the human rights of all citizens are respected. All citizens whose rights are violated or threatened should call 07040303030 for immediate report to be filed to the relevant authorities, including the office of the Chief of Army Staff.”
Onwubiko said HURIWA was not contracted to launder the army’s image, as it was rather discharging a civic duty of informing the citizens on the right thing to do.
“We have been given all assurances that the operations of the Nigerian Army will be according to the rules.”