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THISDAY (Jun 25, 2002)

By Andrew Ahiante

A group, known as Global Peace Movement (GPM), has called on the Federal Government to release Lt-General Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd), Major Hamza Al Mustapha and others facing trial over alleged involvement in killing and assassination of prominent Nigerians during the military administration of the late General Sani Abacha.

GPM President, Mr. Mike Uyo, said at a press conference that most cabinet ministers who were part of the late dictator's evil administration were walking freely in the streets of major Nigerian cities, wondering why some few people should be selected for punishment.

He said in the spirit of true national reconciliation, the Federal Government should release those facing trial over the evils of the late military Head of State.

As the spate of killings by police continued in Lagos, the group called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Young Arebamen, called their men to order, threatening that further killing of innocent citizens would attract serious protest from the civil society.

Registering their discomfort with the killings, Uyi said the group was strategising on how to mobilise the civil society to take over the policing of Lagosians, since it had become clear that police in the state could no longer do their job except to kill innocent civilians whom they were employed to protect.

The reaction by GPM came barely a week after police killed a SS2 student at the Ajuwon Bus Stop and also killed two more students, one of University of Lagos, on Saturday.

Uyi said the next killing would not be taken lightly saying that they would mobilise the youths to police headquarters and demand immediate relocation of officials there to pave way for a new police that would respect the human rights of the civil society.

In the press conference titled: "Peace Conference on Obasanjo's Impending Impeachment, the fate of Nigeria's Democracy and the Qualification of Bamaiyi and others for Release, Gani, IBB-The Dele Giwa saga", the group noted many politicians were bracing up to cause confusion in the 2003 elections, urging Nigerians not to give in to such plans.

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