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AC urges FG to probe killing of 10 Nigerians in Gambia

Posted by Thenationonlineng.com on 2008/11/14 | Views: 2333 |

AC urges FG to probe killing of 10 Nigerians in Gambia


The Action Congress (AC) has urged the Federal Government to urgently launch an investigation into the hacking to death of 10 Nigerians in the Gambia in 2005, as reported by Amnesty International (AI) in a recently report titled ''Gambia: Fear Rules’’.

The Action Congress (AC) has urged the Federal Government to urgently launch an investigation into the hacking to death of 10 Nigerians in the Gambia in 2005, as reported by Amnesty International (AI) in a recently report titled ''Gambia: Fear Rules’’.

In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was concerned by AI's disclosure that while Ghana showed some interest in its (AI) efforts to investigate the killing of 44 Ghanaians by the Gambia over allegations they were planning, along with the Nigerians, to overthrow the Gambian government, all it got from Nigeria was total silence.

AC said while the repeated requests from AI were ignored by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Yar'Adua administration has not done any better on the lingering issue, despite its so-called citizen diplomacy.

``As we have said repeatedly, the welfare of the citizens is the main reason for the existence of any government. We therefore urge the Yar'Adua administration to swing into action today to find out what happened to those hapless Nigerians, who were among the over 50 foreigners who were intercepted on their way to Europe by the Gambian security forces in the waters off Gambia in 2005.

``The Nigerian government should use all its clout, as a regional power, to pressure the Gambia to disclose why the Nigerians were so mercilessly and crudely hacked to death and where their bodies were buried, so they could be exhumed and ferried home for a decent burial, after all the investigations must have been concluded.

``It may also not be out of place for Nigeria to use the platform provided by ECOWAS, to which both nations belong, to deal with the issue if Gambia fails to cooperate, as this country being ruled by an increasingly paranoid despot has obviously been doing on this issue,'' the party said.

AC admonished the Yar'Adua administration to show more interest in the welfare of Nigerians, whether they are here at home or in a foreign land, saying the frequency with which Nigerian citizens are being harassed, attacked or sentenced to death for various offences around the world should be of concern to any serious government.

The party said the Nigerian government should learn from the high premium placed on their citizens’ welfare by other governments around the world,saying when a government shows it cares for its citizens, it will have no problem in carrying them along in the task of nation building.

``But when a government fails to put the citizen at the centre of its policies,it can only hope to resort to coercion to win their cooperation. There is a caveat, however: patriotism cannot be forced,’’ it said.

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