Twelve months after a commission of inquiry submitted its report, the representative of Niger East Senatorial District, David Umaru, has condemned the reluctance of the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to implement the report of the commission he set up to probe the clash between the military and Bosso community in the state.
The senator, who is also the Chairman of Judiciary Human Rights and Legal Matters, said Bello has forgotten the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry he instituted to look into the clash between the military and the community.
Umaru stated this over the weekend while speaking at the opening of a sensitization seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission in Minna.
While expressing concern and dismay over government’s inability to implement the panel’s report 12 months after the commission submitted it, he said: “The refusal of the state government to make the report public and issue a white paper amounts to an irresponsible act, particularly as many people affected by the crisis are awaiting government’s action and justice.
“It is unacceptable that the governor has undermined the plight of the people from across the entire state affected by the Bosso community and military clash during which many lives were lost.
“It is sad for the government to have continued to brush aside such an important report, while the widows and children of victims and the general public are kept in the dark over the situation.
“I am aware that the commission completed sitting and submitted its report since December last year.
“It is unfortunate that the government is sitting on the report instead of implementing it to bring succour to the affected families.
“This is unacceptable.”
While calling the government to commence the implementation of the report without further delay, the lawmaker said many villagers whose houses and farms were destroyed by the military invasion have since been subjected to untold hardship, while waiting in vain for justice to be done.
Umaru said it was not the military, but the police that has the constitutional role in restoring peace during civil crisis, adding that the police should be empowered and efficiently trained to handle such situations instead of the military.
Umaru also called on the Niger State Government to re-establish the Customary Courts earlier abolished in the state and replaced by Sharia Courts, adding that such action of government was a miscarriage of justice.
According to him, the abolishing of customary courts in the state has continued to deny Christians in the villages’ access to fair hearing in cases that has to do with customary laws such as marriage and devoice.
He also urged the government to reintroduce the teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge in public schools, saying the abolition of CRK in public schools amounted to depriving children of the right to moral upbringing.