HURIWA Petitions NJC Over Enugu Election Tribunal
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has submitted a formal petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC), raising serious concerns over an alleged miscarriage of justice in the Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. The petition focused on the conduct of the tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Kudirat Morayo Akano, and her panel members during the adjudication of Petition No: EPT/EN/GOV/01/2023.
HURIWA’s petition highlighted critical issues related to the tribunal’s handling of the election dispute filed by Chijioke Edoga and the Labour Party, challenging the outcomes of the March 18, 2023, gubernatorial election in Enugu State. At the center of this dispute is the authenticity of Governor Ndubuisi Peter Mbah’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate.
The organization contended that the tribunal’s dismissal of compelling evidence and testimony from NYSC officials regarding the questionable nature of Governor Mbah’s certificate is a cause for alarm, raising questions about the tribunal’s commitment to truth and justice.
Furthermore, HURIWA raised concerns about Justice Kudirat Akano’s appointment as the Chairman of the tribunal, despite her involvement in a previous case in Osun State. The organization questioned the reasons behind her selection for such a critical governorship dispute and her impartiality given the allegations against her.
HURIWA emphasized that the Enugu State governorship dispute is of utmost importance and that the mishandling of the case has far-reaching implications for justice and the rule of law in Nigeria. The organization called for a thorough and impartial investigation into the conduct of Justice Akano and her panel, a comprehensive review of the judgment, accountability for any miscarriage of justice, and measures to uphold the sanctity of national symbols such as the NYSC certificate.
The organization pointed out that the NYSC certificate serves as a symbol of national unity and service, and allowing individuals with questionable certificates to remain in office could undermine the credibility of all certificates issued in Nigeria and threaten the sanctity of national symbols.
In conclusion, HURIWA expressed hope that the NJC would swiftly and justly address these concerns to restore public confidence in the judicial system and ensure that justice is not only served but also seen to be served. HURIWA emphasized the gravity of the miscarriage of justice in Petition No. EPT/EN/GOV/01/2023 and implored the National Judicial Commission to take immediate and decisive action to investigate the matter thoroughly, review the judgment, and uphold justice to protect the foundations of the nation
What is President Tinubu Afraid of? – HURIWA Queries Bid to Keep Academic Records Secret
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has made a strong demand for transparency regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s academic records from Chicago State University amidst allegations of identity fraud. President Tinubu recently took legal action to prevent the release of certain confidential educational records, raising concerns.
A media statement on Tuesday emphasized that transparency in this matter is crucial for electoral integrity and democracy. They cited Nigeria’s constitutional right to access information and argued that citizens have the right to know their political leaders’ educational backgrounds.
The media statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko also questioned the transparency of Nigeria’s electoral process and supported calls for the release of President Tinubu’s academic records. They believe this will enhance transparency and credibility in Nigeria’s democratic processes.
Additionally, HURIWA raised concerns about recent PEPC’s judgment related to the Federal Capital Territory and President Tinubu’s economic policies, including the removal of fuel subsidies and currency devaluation, which they argue have negatively impacted the economy.
Lastly, HURIWA supported the call for the prosecution of INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, accusing him of electoral process manipulation and advocating for a thorough investigation to safeguard electoral integrity.
HURIWA Criticizes President Tinubu’s Nepotistic Appointments
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has voiced deep concern over President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent appointments, labeling them as unconstitutional and undemocratic. In a statement, HURIWA expressed worry that these appointments suggest an unwelcome pro-ethnic bias within the administration.
“President Tinubu’s swift appointment of Olayemi Cardoso as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Zachaeus Adedeji as the acting chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service within just two days has heightened suspicions of favoritism towards his South-West region, especially those linked to Lagos State”.
HURIWA argued that such appointments run counter to the promise of “Renewed Hope” that brought President Tinubu to power. They pointed out that key roles in security, judiciary, and the economy are now predominantly held by individuals from the South-West, raising concerns about diversity and inclusivity.
The association called for a transparent, inclusive governance process, emphasizing that political rewards and ethnic nationalism should not dictate the nation’s trajectory. HURIWA also questioned the lack of representation for the South-East in the president’s ministerial appointments.
HURIWA urged President Tinubu to rethink his approach, emphasizing that the time for a more inclusive and nationally-oriented leadership is now.
HURIWA Cautions Military on South East Crisis, Calls for Justice
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has warned the military against premature media propaganda regarding the South East killings.
The group, on Wednesday, called on the Nigerian Army to adopt non-kinetic methods for addressing security challenges in the region and assure residents that their duties are national. This follows the claim by the Chief of Army Staff that the sit-at-home order imposed by IPOB, which caused fear and economic disruption has ended.
HURIWA commended the army for improving human rights observance but urged sustained constructive partnership with South East stakeholders and a proper investigation of recent killings. They demanded justice for victims and raised concerns about Asari Dokubo’s claims of private armed activities in the region.
HURIWA Decries PEPT’s Judgment as a Blow to Justice
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has strongly criticized the recent judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) that dismissed all petitions filed by the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election in which Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerged as the winner representing the All Progressives Congress (APC). HURIWA considered the ruling as a clear miscarriage of justice and a concerning sign of the tribunal’s competence and impartiality.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA, emphasized the importance of respecting the hierarchy of legal decisions, where higher courts’ judgments, especially those of the Supreme Court, should serve as binding precedent for lower courts. It expressed bewilderment at the PEPT, a lower court, daring to challenge or undermine a well-established Supreme Court ruling, particularly regarding the interpretation of Section 134(1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution.
While noting that the constitutional provision imposes a challenging requirement on presidential candidates, demanding not only a majority of votes but also at least one-quarter (25%) of all votes cast in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), HURIWA cited the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution as emphasizing the need for precision and strict adherence to established legal principles.
“The Supreme Court in Orakul Resources Ltd & Anor V NCC & Ors. (2022) LPELR 56602 (SC) held that ‘in the construction of a statute, all the provisions dealing with the subject matter and the overall context, the intention or purport of the stature are to be considered together, holistically and not in isolation in order to identify the real intention of the legislature. Sections 130–134 of the Constitution must be given a compound interpretation to adequately sieve the spirit of the law.
“The interpretation of this constitutional provision, which sets the threshold for presidential candidates, necessitates precision and unwavering adherence to established legal doctrines. The decision of the appellate court to disregard the Supreme Court’s authoritative guidance on this matter not only introduces legal confusion but also casts a shadow on the integrity of our judicial system”.
HURIWA further criticized the PEPT for its heavy reliance on technicalities while failing to deliver substantial justice. The organization noted that the tribunal placed blame on the petitioners for not presenting sufficient evidence of electoral misconduct, despite the fact that INEC had blatantly refused to provide them with essential documents, contrary to the tribunal’s order.
Additionally, HURIWA expressed grave concerns about alleged leaks of the verdict to the President, the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Nigerian Army, leading to unjustified warnings of potential violent protests. These allegations raised significant questions about the fairness and impartiality of the tribunal’s proceedings, potentially violating the principles of justice.
HURIWA called on relevant authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into these allegations, including an examination of the tribunal’s conduct. The organization emphasized the need for justice to be served and the preservation of the sanctity of legal processes.
In conclusion, HURIWA urged all Nigerians to remain vigilant and actively engaged in matters of national significance, particularly those affecting the democratic process. The organization reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to promoting and protecting human rights and the rule of law, pledging continued advocacy for justice and accountability in Nigeria.
HURIWA Tasks Army Chief to Correct Terrorist Classification
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, to base his counter-insurgency strategies on legality and accurate information.
HURIWA criticized the misclassification of North West-based terrorists as bandits and urged military leaders to address internal saboteurs collaborating with these terrorists, which has led to increased military casualties.
They emphasized that General Lagbaja’s statements to the United Nations, wherein he referred to terrorists as bandits, were contextually, historically, and factually incorrect, given that the Nigerian government legally classified them as terrorists in the middle of the previous year.
HURIWA demanded swift action against the terrorist mastermind Dogo Gide, who declared himself the governor of a portion of Niger State, stressing the importance of safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity and urged the military to adopt more accurate terminology when dealing with these armed groups.
SHoGDI Boosts Staff Skills with Successful M&E Training
Makurdi, Benue State, – In a proactive step towards bolstering its organizational prowess, the Spring of Hope for Girlchild Development Initiative (SHoGDI) conducted an internal capacity-building session focused on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) at its office premises in Makurdi on Monday.
Recognizing the pivotal role that staff capacity building plays in organizational development and overall success, SHoGDI invested in a comprehensive training session aimed at honing participants’ skills in the realm of M&E.
The training, centered on the concepts and practices of M&E framework design, held the dual purpose of augmenting understanding and competence in the design of both Programs and M&E Plans. Under the guidance of the session’s facilitator, Mr. Charlse Adi, participants were led through a dynamic learning process that covered key principles of M&E.
The primary objectives of the training were to increase participants’ grasp of the intricacies underlying M&E frameworks and plans and to empower them with the ability to adeptly design effective Programs and M&E Plans.
The culmination of the training was marked by a post-training assessment, which participants undertook to gauge their newfound knowledge. The feedback from Mr. Charlse Adi, the facilitator, was resoundingly positive, as he expressed his satisfaction with the participants’ performance in the post-training test. Their proficiency in grasping the concepts and techniques of M&E was evident in their results.
The SHoGDI internal capacity-building session stands as a testament to the organization’s commitment to fostering continuous learning and professional growth among its staff members. By equipping its workforce with enhanced skills in M&E, SHoGDI aims to further elevate its impact and ensure the realization of its humanitarian and growth-oriented objectives.
HURIWA Calls for Support After Violent NDLEA Attack
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the recent attack on NDLEA operatives by alleged notorious drug dealer Sowunmi Ayodeji Kayode, who drove his luxury car to crush an NDLEA officer during a search of his house.
The group in a statement by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko questioned why individuals suspected of being underworld kingpins have upped their sophistication of violent attacks against NDLEA operatives while advocating for stringent penalties for such audacious crimes.
HURIWA called for public support for the NDLEA’s efforts to combat hard drug addiction in Nigeria. The group also encouraged NDLEA operatives to continue their work and assured millions of law-abiding Nigerians would continue to support their efforts.
HURIWA further commended the NDLEA’s hierarchy for providing effective, efficient, and result-oriented leadership in addition to the deployment of appropriate operational assets and approved adequate medical care for the injured officer.
In conclusion, HURIWA condemned the audacity of the suspected drug baron to inflict such violence on the NDLEA operative but praised the hierarchy of NDLEA for providing prompt life-saving interventions and urged the alleged drug baron to surrender himself to the authority for a judicial process in compliance with the Principle of Rule of law.
HURIWA Urges Release of Zamfara Abducted NYSC Corpers
In the wake of the abduction of eight National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members by suspected bandits in Zamfara State, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on Nigerians to rally behind the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) management’s vigorous efforts to secure the prompt release of these innocent captives.
HURIWA implored the kidnappers to release the youths, emphasizing their mission to assist Zamfara’s rural populace with crucial social issues such as education, healthcare, and community empowerment.
The Civil Rights Advocacy Group, in a statement by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko urged both the Zamfara government and citizens to collaborate with NYSC to ensure the safety of corps members posted in the state.
Continuing, the organization questioned the Zamfara Police spokesperson’s delayed response to the incident within their jurisdiction, while commending the NYSC management for their swift and strategic actions to secure the release of the abducted individuals.
HURIWA further stated that the NYSC management’s dedication to the welfare and safety of corps members across Nigeria was evident, given the prevailing insecurity. The group noted that the victims, en route to the NYSC camp in Zamfara, were abducted during their journey from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The NYSC leadership was already on site, coordinating efforts with relevant authorities to ensure the safety of the kidnapped individuals.
The statement urged kidnappers to exhibit humanity by releasing the innocent corps members who came to Zamfara to contribute essential services to the state’s people. HURIWA also underscored the need for robust security measures and intelligence gathering by security agencies to proactively address such criminal acts, emphasizing that these young lives must be safeguarded and promptly returned.
HURIWA Alleges Unjust Persecution of Catholic Priest in Borno, Demands Immediate Release
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has launched a scathing accusation against the Borno State Police Command, denouncing what it terms as intolerable and unconstitutional persecution.
The focus of this allegation is the prolonged and unlawful detention of Reverend Father Peter Chukwuneke Uchebo, a Roman Catholic priest, under unproven allegations of rape. In a fervent call for justice, HURIWA demanded the immediate release of the unfairly detained priest while also urging the Acting Inspector-General of Police to intervene and ensure due process.
HURIWA, a prominent civil rights advocacy group, in a statement by its National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko raised its voice against what it sees as a blatant abuse of power, underlining that the Nigerian Police, established under constitutional guidelines and the Police Act of 2020, must adhere to the principles of justice and fairness rather than inflicting undue suffering on citizens based on vague charges.
The rights group’s strong statement didn’t stop at condemnation alone. HURIWA also implored the Catholic hierarchy in Maiduguri and across Nigeria to take action by pursuing legal avenues to safeguard the fundamental human rights of Father Peter Chukwuneke Uchebo.
The priest has languished in harsh detention conditions since July 2023 without being presented before a competent court, which the group finds to be in direct contradiction with established legal standards.
Moreover, HURIWA revealed that the police’s purported offer of releasing the priest on the condition that he waives his right to pursue legal remedies against his wrongful detention is not only archaic but also unconstitutional and deplorable. Such tactics, which attempt to suppress victims of police misconduct, are considered primitive by the advocacy group.
HURIWA further highlighted the events that unfolded, narrating how a day marked as a holiday led to a sequence of events resulting in Father Peter’s arrest. “The priest’s assistance in construction activities within the premises of the Roman Catholic Church involved the participation of some students. Subsequently, an accusation of rape was leveled against a school staff member. The situation escalated, with Father Peter being wrongly ensnared in the incident, triggering his arrest and detention”.
Amidst these unfolding events, HURIWA pressed for justice and transparency, emphasizing the need for thorough investigations and adherence to due process rather than subjecting individuals to unwarranted punishment. The group emphasizes that the Nigerian legal system must stand as a beacon of fairness and justice for all citizens, regardless of their background or role.
As the clamor for Father Peter’s release grows stronger, HURIWA’s voice reverberates, urging the Borno State Police Command to uphold the principles of justice and fairness. The organization asserted that the authorities’ actions should reflect the true spirit of Nigeria’s legal framework, a framework built on respect for human rights and the rule of law.
In this escalating standoff between justice and adversity, HURIWA underscored the importance of a swift resolution that adheres to legal tenets. The plight of Father Peter Chukwuneke Uchebo has ignited a fervent call for justice, urging society to rally behind the principles that underpin Nigeria’s democratic ideals and ensure a just and equitable society for all.
Mmeko Umu Mbaise skips New Yam Festival for Grand 10th Anniversary Celebration
In a heartfelt address to the esteemed members of the Mmeko Umu Mbaise Socio-Cultural Family Club, Chairman Kennedy Onyegbado announced the club’s decision to forego the current year’s Mbaise New Yam Festival.
The decision, according to a statement made available to The World Satellite by the Association’s Public Relations officer; Agbaere Kelechi is a deliberate move to focus on planning and preparing for a grand and unforgettable celebration in 2024, marking the 10th anniversary of the association’s establishment.
“The annual Mbaise New Yam Festival is a moment of cultural significance that transcends geographical boundaries, allowing the Mbaise community to come together in unity, celebration, and reflection. The festival is celebrated with fervor and gratitude for the bountiful harvest, while also paying homage to ancestral wisdom and resilience”.
Chairman Onyegbado’s address emphasized the club’s commitment to preserving the deep-rooted Mbaise heritage within the heart of Abuja. While acknowledging the physical distance that separates the members from the ancestral land, the Chairman encouraged a continued embrace of unity, tradition, and empowerment for the Mbaise people.
“The decision to forgo this year’s celebration, while undoubtedly difficult, reflects the club’s dedication to making the upcoming 10th-anniversary celebration truly remarkable and inclusive. By channeling efforts and resources towards planning a grand event, the Mmeko Umu Mbaise Socio-Cultural Family Club aims to create an occasion that resonates with the core values of the Mbaise community”.
Onyegbado’s address further invited each member to actively participate in this collective endeavor, laying the foundation for an event that not only commemorates the association’s journey but also sets the stage for even greater achievements in the years ahead.
The chairman’s conviction in the positive outcomes of this decision is unwavering, and he believes that the additional time and dedication invested in planning will yield a celebration that exquisitely honors the Mbaise heritage and spirit.
“Despite the absence of this year’s festival, the Mmeko Umu Mbaise Socio-Cultural Family Club remains steadfast in its commitment to preserving and promoting the Mbaise cultural heritage. The unity of the members remains a source of strength, enabling the club to uphold the cherished values, customs, and traditions that define the essence of the Mbaise identity”.
As the club looks forward to the upcoming 10th-anniversary celebration, Chairman Onyegbado expressed his gratitude to each member for their unwavering support and understanding. “Through this collective effort, the club aims to fortify the bonds that unite the Mbaise people, and in doing so, inscribe a new and vibrant chapter in their cultural history”.
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HURIWA Urges Swift Reforms Amid FCTA Secretariat Breach
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed deep concern that calls for immediate action following the alarming security breach at the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) secretariat.
According to the foremost civil rights advocacy group, the recent invasion by suspected armed robbers, resulting in the burglary of vehicles and sensitive equipment, underscores the pressing need for effective security measures and comprehensive governance reforms in the FCT.
HURIWA in a media statement by its National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko noted that the audacious incursion at the heart of the FCTA secretariat raises urgent questions about the safety and well-being of the residents and workers in the capital city.
“The brazen attack, which saw the theft of crucial vehicular components from vehicles parked in a high-security area, underscored a clear breakdown in security protocols and a failure of administrative oversight”.
HURIWA called on relevant authorities, including the FCT Administration, to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and hold accountable those responsible for this security lapse. The organization emphasized that the safety and security of residents and workers in the FCT should be an absolute priority, and immediate measures must be taken to prevent further incidents.
Highlighting that the recent spate of security breaches in the FCT, coupled with reports of unchallenged criminal activities in vital government departments, reflects a disturbing trend that demands a comprehensive review of security strategies, HURIWA urged the FCT Police Command to enhance its presence and responsiveness, ensuring that the city’s residents are protected, perpetrators of crime are brought to justice.
Moreover, HURIWA underscored the concerning state of governance within the FCT, emphasizing that effective governance is essential for providing public services and security and creating an environment conducive to growth and development. The allegations of corruption among top officials and the absence of clear governance direction are hindrances to the FCT’s potential progress.
Continuing, HURIWA’s Onwubiko echoed concerns regarding the FCT’s state of decline, citing years of inadequate governance direction and a troubling lack of accountability among officials. He highlighted glaring issues such as poor supervision, criminal negligence, inadequate policing, and a deficient transportation system.
While also revealing that housing challenges and unchecked landlord authority have further contributed to the city’s woes, HURIWA emphasized that the FCT’s ministerial position should be based on merit, not ethnicity, in order to restore effective leadership.
Therefore, HURIWA further called for a collaborative effort between all stakeholders, including the FCT Administration, security agencies, and civil society organizations, to address the multifaceted challenges facing the FCT. “It is crucial to establish a governance framework that prioritizes transparency, accountability, and the welfare of the residents.
While stating that the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) remains committed to advocating for the rights and safety of all Nigerians, Onwubiko urged the authorities to heed the calls for immediate action, ensuring that the FCT becomes a safe, secure, and thriving capital city for all its residents.
*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko*
*Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)*
NIGER: HURIWA Cautions Tinubu on Unauthorized Military Action
In a resounding caution, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged President Bola Tinubu to exercise prudence in committing the Nigerian Army to military actions without proper legislative concurrence in line with the constitution. The association emphasized the need to uphold constitutional checks and balances to preserve democratic integrity and national security.
Addressing concerns about potential deployments of the Nigerian Army to foreign military operations in the neighbouring Niger Republic with the aim of restoring democratic order in that Country, as contemplated by President Tinubu’s leadership who incidentally heads the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), HURIWA underscored the gravity of adhering to constitutional safeguards, calling on the National Assembly to ensure that President Tinubu follows legal protocols in matters of national security, and to fully comprehend relevant constitutional provisions and international agreements.
In a press statement issued Sunday by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the foremost Rights Group asserted that President Tinubu’s engagement of Nigerian troops in warfare or conflict without the National Assembly’s requisite approval constitutes a breach of constitutional trust and could potentially trigger impeachment. The Association stressed the paramount significance of maintaining the foundational principle of checks and balances to safeguard democratic governance.
Amidst concerns that President Tinubu may seek authorization from the ECOWAS Parliament for military involvement in the Niger Republic, HURIWA clarified the limited recognition of the ECOWAS Parliament within the Nigerian Constitution. The Association highlighted that decisions involving military commitments require explicit consent from the National Assembly, the legitimate representative of the Nigerian people.
HURIWA pointed to Section 5 (4) of the Nigerian Constitution, which grants extensive executive powers to the President. “However, these powers are counterbalanced by constitutional safeguards, as exemplified by Subsections 5 (4) (a) and (b). These subsections stipulate that the President cannot declare a state of war between the Federation and another country without the National Assembly’s sanction and that the deployment of armed forces outside Nigeria requires prior approval from the Senate.
Additionally, HURIWA referred to Article 5, Section 80, of the Nigerian Constitution, which mandates legislative authorization for the withdrawal of funds from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for expenditures. The association argues that such authorization is equally essential for deploying the Nigerian Army to foreign military operations.
Likewise, HURIWA challenged President Tinubu’s reliance on the ECOWAS Parliament’s authorization for military action. The association asserted that the Nigerian Constitution does not grant the ECOWAS Parliament the constitutional authority to sanction the deployment of Nigerian troops in foreign territories. HURIWA further observed that even the so-called ECOWAS Parliament has refused to permit the use of military force to unseat the coupists who seized power by the barrels of the guns in Niger Republic.
While underscoring the legal dimensions of the issue, HURIWA also, highlighted other crucial considerations, including constitutional integrity, preservation of legitimacy, national security implications, operational aspects, and national interests. The association emphasized that adherence to constitutional safeguards is essential for upholding democratic principles and the rule of law.
However, HURIWA acknowledged the complexities President Tinubu faces as both the President of Nigeria and the Chairman of ECOWAS. Hence, the association underscored the necessity for expert advice across legal, diplomatic, and operational/military domains to ensure decisions are in Nigeria’s best interests.
Ultimately, HURIWA called on President Tinubu to prioritize the rule of law, democratic norms, and the constitutional balance of power. Simultaneously, the Association urged the National Assembly to assert its constitutional responsibility, safeguarding the nation’s interests and ensuring military engagements follow lawful procedures. “Failure to do so could risk the National Assembly’s legitimacy being relegated to a perception of usurpation rather than representation”.
Moreover, HURIWA criticized the idea of military involvement in Niger Republic while Nigeria faces internal conflicts and terrorist activities. The association’s message underlines the need for prudence and adherence to constitutional principles in foreign military actions.
International Youth Day: MFOH Nigeria Calls for Sustainable Support
Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria); an international franchise owned by Thecoaches has proudly joined the global celebration of International Youth Day with a powerful message resonating the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
As the world marks this significant day under the theme “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World,” MFOH Nigeria in a press statement by the National Director; Blessing Inyang reaffirmed its commitment to fostering a brighter future for our planet.
“In line with the 2023 theme, the world is shifting towards a greener future, a cause that MFOH Nigeria passionately champions. As Nigeria’s representative at the upcoming Miss Face of Humanity Global Showcase in December, MFOH Nigeria’s Amb. Chika Rita Ezenwa is poised to advance the core values of International Youth Day”.
With a deep dedication to promoting green skills, sustainable living, and environmentally-conscious practices, MFOH Nigeria recognizes that empowering our youth is essential for a just and sustainable world. Amb. Chika Rita Ezenwa’s leadership, marked by her commitment to humanitarian causes and environmental responsibility, aligns seamlessly with the 2023 theme.
“The Miss Face of Humanity Global Showcase is a platform that transcends beauty and pageantry, embodying a vision for positive change. As Amb. Chika Ezenwa prepares to represent Nigeria in this prestigious event held in Mexico, MFOH Nigeria calls upon sponsors and partners to join hands in supporting Nigeria the Organisation. Your sponsorship will enable us to represent Nigeria effectively on the international stage and contribute to the global dialogue on sustainability and youth empowerment.
“MFOH Nigeria remains steadfast in its mission to uplift and empower youth, shaping a sustainable world for current and future generations. Together, let us propel the youth towards a greener, more equitable future”.
Pampering Of Asari Dokubo’s ‘Private Army’ By Nigerian Army Is Unconstitutional;- HURIWA Affirms
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has criticized the Nigerian Army’s statement dissociating itself from any collaboration with ex-Niger Delta militant leader Mujahid Asari-Dokubo or his private security outfit.
HURIWA believes that the toleration of any private army in Nigeria by anyone, regardless of their connection to the temporary office of the President, is unconstitutional, unlawful, treasonous, and intolerable. The association questioned the legitimacy of such a private army and the double standards of the Nigerian Army hierarchy under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
HURIWA in a press statement, Friday raised concerns over the possibility of covert collaborations between Asari-Dokubo’s private military company and the Nigerian military, potentially contributing to the rise of “unknown gunmen” wreaking havoc in the South East of Nigeria. Hence, the association demanded a thorough investigation into Asari-Dokubo’s claims, particularly given the ongoing security challenges in the South East attributed to “unknown gunmen.”
The statement signed by HURIWA’s National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko also called upon the Nigerian Army to engage with relevant statutory agencies responsible for licensing private security outfits to invalidate the legitimacy of Asari-Dokubo’s private military company and verify the nature of the licenses granted for the possession of multiple AK-47 rifles, as claimed by Asari-Dokubo.
The association emphasized the importance of upholding the rule of law, transparency, and the protection of Nigerian citizens and urges the Nigerian Army to act swiftly and decisively in addressing these grave concerns.
HURIWA Demands Bawa & Emefiele’s Release, Condemns Arbitral Actions as Fascism
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has expressed deep concern over the continued detention of the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, by the Department of State Services (DSS) since June 14, following his suspension by President Bola Tinubu. Similarly, the Rights group has called for the release of the suspended governor of CBN Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA raised alarming implications of potential fascism and a full-blown dictatorship under President Tinubu’s administration.
“Abdulrasheed Bawa was taken into custody by the DSS just hours after his suspension by President Tinubu. To date, the DSS has remained silent on the precise allegations, the status of the investigation, and whether charges will be filed in court,” stated Comrade Onwubiko.
Highlighting that the lack of clarity regarding the specific reasons for Bawa’s arrest, the absence of formal charges, and the denial of his fundamental rights are deeply troubling, HURIWA emphasized that such lack of transparency and due process is not only unconstitutional but also a breach of Bawa’s fundamental rights as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and other relevant laws that protect personal liberty and mandate lawful places of detention.
Furthermore, HURIWA noted that the prolonged detention of Abdulrasheed Bawa without access to legal counsel and his family constitutes a blatant violation of international human rights norms. More so, the group pointed out that arbitrary or unlawful detention is strictly prohibited by international human rights instruments, and Bawa’s case raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to upholding these vital standards.
Hence, in light of these troubling developments, HURIWA called for the immediate and unconditional release of Abdulrasheed Bawa. The organization firmly believes that the continued detention without formal charges or access to legal representation violates the principles of justice, democracy, and human rights that Nigeria should uphold as a responsible member of the global community.
The foremost civil rights advocacy group underscored the urgent need for all relevant authorities to respect the rule of law, due process, and the protection of fundamental rights just as it urged the Nigerian government to address these allegations promptly and transparently, ensuring that no individual is subjected to arbitrary or unlawful detention under any circumstance.
“We call upon the international community to closely monitor the developments in Nigeria and lend their support in safeguarding democratic values and human rights in our country. Together, we must stand against any actions that threaten the democratic fabric and jeopardize the well-being of Nigerian citizens,” HURIWA concluded.
Dr. Maryam Shetty Grateful for President Tinubu’s Support
Dr. Maryam Shetty, a nominee for a ministerial position, has responded to President Bola Tinubu’s decision to withdraw her nomination, expressing her gratitude for the President’s unrelenting support and conveying thanks for his decision. Dr. Shetty also acknowledged Vice President Kashim Shettima for his support.
On Friday, she took to her social media platform to share the news, stating that she was informed during the plenary session about the withdrawal of her nomination. In place of Dr. Shetty, President Tinubu chose Dr. Mariga Mahmoud, another nominee from Kano State, for the ministerial position.
Read Also: Tinubu Dey Carry Us Go Where We No Know!
However, no specific reason was given by President Tinubu for replacing Dr. Shetty. Before the nomination withdrawal, she publicly expressed appreciation to President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima for their unwavering support on various occasions.
Hon. Emeka Chinedu Wishes Constituents a Hopeful August
In a heartfelt message, Hon. Emeka Chinedu, the esteemed Member representing Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, has extended warm wishes to his constituents as they step into the new month of August.
Addressing the challenges that the community faces amid difficult times, Hon. Chinedu expressed his confidence in the collective strength and determination of the constituents to overcome these obstacles together. He emphasized the importance of unity and collaboration to tackle the various hurdles and work towards creating a better future for all.
As the new month commences, the honorable member urged everyone to approach it with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication. He highlighted the need to strive for progress and development within the constituency, aiming to make it a place where prosperity and well-being are accessible to every resident.
In his message, Hon. Emeka Chinedu sincerely hoped that August would bring hope, good health, and happiness to all members of the constituency. He concluded his heartfelt wishes with an “Amen,” expressing his prayer for the community’s well-being.
As his constituents receive warm greetings from their representative, they are inspired to face the challenges ahead with optimism and a determination to work collectively towards a brighter future for Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency.
The message serves as a reminder of the importance of strong leadership, unity, and hope during these times of uncertainty, as the community joins hands to navigate through the coming month.
Augustine Igweshi Celebrates 10 Years of Peace Advocacy
In a heartwarming milestone, Mr. Augustine Igweshi, the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development (CEPASD), commemorates ten transformative years of promoting peace and advancing sustainable development.
From its humble beginnings as a seed of passion to a flourishing purpose-driven organization, CEPASD has empowered lives across communities in Africa.
The journey started during Mr. Igweshi’s university days when he first began exploring the essence of peace. As the years passed, his passion grew, leading to the establishment of several peace foundations – Austin Francis Peace Foundation, Right Step Peace Foundation, Ladder of Light International Peace Foundation, and finally, the Center for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development in 2018.
Through a decade of unwavering commitment and dedication, Mr. Igweshi and CEPASD have achieved a remarkable impact, fostering positive change in communities across the continent. From conflict resolution initiatives to sustainable development projects, their efforts have touched countless lives, leaving an indelible mark on society.
As the 10th-anniversary approaches, Mr. Igweshi extends his heartfelt gratitude to the supporters who have been instrumental in the success of CEPASD’s endeavors. The upcoming celebration in November 2023 promises to be a momentous occasion, commemorating a personal achievement and a collective triumph for peace and development in Africa.
“Stay Tuned” echoes Mr. Igweshi’s call to action, inviting individuals and organizations to join in the journey towards a more peaceful and sustainable world. The anniversary celebration will testify to the power of unity and collective action in driving meaningful change.
Mr. Igweshi’s ten-year journey exemplifies the values of “Peace | Passion | Purpose | Impact.” With passion as the driving force, his purposeful advocacy has resulted in a significant impact, touching lives and empowering communities.
In a world that seeks lasting peace and sustainable development, CEPASD’s 10th-anniversary celebration stands as a beacon of hope. The remarkable work of CEPASD reminds us of the transformative potential that lies within every individual, urging us all to contribute to a more harmonious world.
HURIWA Praises Tinubu, NYSC in NDLEA’s Drug War
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has commended President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for their unwavering commitment to joining the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency’s (NDLEA) aggressive war against hard drugs in the country.
HURIWA in a media statement by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Wednesday revealed that President Tinubu’s recent speech at an NDLEA event has garnered praise for highlighting the urgent need for effective rehabilitation of drug addicts and the avoidance of stigmatization.
“His call for a people-centered approach to address drug addiction has struck a chord with advocates of drug policy reform, who emphasize the importance of understanding and supporting individuals struggling with drug addiction in their journey to recovery.
“On the one hand, the NYSC, known for its role in national development and youth empowerment, has taken a commendable stance against the scourge of drug abuse.
“Under the visionary leadership of its Director-General, Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, the NYSC has made the fight against hard drugs and cultism a centerpiece of its operations.
“The Director-General’s address to Corps Members nationwide emphasized the organization’s commitment to staying ahead of drug-inspired lifestyles by implementing effective mechanisms to identify and weed out potential drug addicts in their ranks.
“This proactive approach has been hailed as a phenomenal step in the fight against drug abuse and is seen as an excellent example of how organizations can play a vital role in tackling the drug menace”, HURIWA explained.
Also, in a bid to ensure accountability and assess the effectiveness of the NYSC’s counter-narcotics mechanisms, HURIWA disclosed it dispatched a team of drug law legal experts to various states, including Imo, Abia, Lagos, Oyo, Bayelsa, and Kaduna who conducted interviews with Corps Members to evaluate the organization’s efforts in combating drug addiction.
The findings, according to HURIWA revealed that the NYSC has put commendable measures in place to detect and address drug addiction even before Corps Members are admitted into the camps.
“This proactive approach has earned the organization praise and underscores its commitment to creating a safe and drug-free environment for Nigerian youth”.
Furthermore, HURIWA’s Onwubiko emphasized the importance of maintaining the excellent mechanism established by the NYSC to combat hard drugs. He called on all other government agencies to follow the NYSC’s example and integrate robust anti-drug strategies into their operations.
“The fight against drug abuse demands a united front, with all arms of government and civil society collaborating to ensure the success of drug rehabilitation programs and the eradication of drug abuse from Nigerian communities”.
More so, in line with President Tinubu’s vow to support the Marwa-led NDLEA in waging a determined war against drugs, HURIWA underscored the critical need for adequate funding and operational autonomy for the NDLEA.
According to the leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group, such measures are essential to bolster the agency’s capabilities and ensure the success of rehabilitation programs aimed at transforming drug addicts into productive members of society.
The association further lauded President Tinubu’s commitment to prioritizing the fight against drug abuse, which remains a significant public health concern in Nigeria.
Just as addressing drug addiction requires a multi-faceted approach, which includes not only rehabilitation but also prevention, education, and community engagement; HURIWA believes that comprehensive drug rehabilitation programs, coupled with robust drug demand reduction initiatives, can effectively combat drug abuse and minimize its negative impact on individuals, families, and society as a whole.
Therefore, HURIWA stressed the urgency of addressing the growing concern of drug abuse in the country, just as the Group commended President Tinubu’s commitment and the NYSC’s proactive efforts in combating hard drugs, which serve as a model for other government agencies to emulate.
“By collectively taking bold steps and implementing evidence-based drug policies, Nigeria can work towards a drug-free and safer society for its citizens”, HURIWA inspired.
Court Grants Godwin Emefiele Bail, Rejects Flight Risk Claim
The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted bail of N20m to suspended Governor Godwin Emefiele. The bail was given with one surety in a like sum after Justice Nicholas Oweibo considered Emefiele’s counsel’s submissions.
The court dismissed the Federal Government’s claim of him being a flight risk due to lack of evidence. Emefiele, aged 61, pleaded “not guilty” to charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
However, the bail application was opposed by the Federal Government’s counsel, Nkiru Jones-Nebo, citing a lack of time to respond and concerns about Emefiele retaining his passport. The court overruled the opposition and ordered Emefiele to be held at Ikoyi Correctional Centre until his bail is perfected. The trial is scheduled for November 14.
Gov. Mbah’s Certificate Is Fake, Says NYSC to HURIWA
In response to online reports from the election tribunal suggesting a change in the NYSC’s claim regarding the alleged forged certificate of Governor Peter Mbah, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has revealed it stormed the NYSC headquarters on Friday in demand of clarity and, if warranted, an immediate public apology from the NYSC’s Director-General to Governor Peter Mbah within 48 working hours.
HURIWA revealed this in a press conference on Saturday in Abuja while addressing the controversy surrounding Enugu State Governor; Peter Mbah’s NYSC Certificate reiterating the NYSC’s stance that the certificate presented by Governor Peter Mbah is not genuine and has no connection to the NYSC
Addressing the media, HURIWA’s National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko emphasized its ongoing advocacy for transparency, accountability, and justice in public institutions, revealing that the Group has been actively involved in demanding clarity regarding Governor Peter Mbah’s certificate of discharge even before he assumed office as the Governor of Enugu State in addition to how it suspended its advocacy on this matter, respecting the legal process, and awaiting the judgments of both the election petition Tribunal and the regular courts.
However, HURIWA expressed concern over the misleading reports being peddled online implying that the NYSC Management has conceded the validity of the governor’s certificate, whereas the NYSC has consistently maintained its position that the certificate in question is a forgery and bears no association with the organization.
“To clarify the recent developments, HURIWA sent a delegation to the NYSC headquarters seeking confirmation of any changes in the NYSC’s claim. The NYSC top management staff firmly reiterated that they have not altered their position, confirming that Governor Peter Mbah’s NYSC certificate is fake and not issued by the NYSC”.
Hence, HURIWA emphasized that the NYSC’s assertion on the alleged forgery remains unchanged, and there has been no capitulation on the part of the NYSC. Hence, the organization called on all stakeholders, including the media, the NYSC, and Governor Peter Mbah, to respect the legal process and refrain from propagating unfounded claims.
“As a civil rights body, HURIWA’s advocacy on this matter is grounded in its commitment to upholding justice, human rights, and the rule of law. The organization remains neutral and non-partisan, seeking transparency and accountability from public officeholders”.
While urging the Media to exercise professionalism and impartiality in reporting the issue, verifying information before dissemination to avoid misinformation and confusion, HURIWA called on the NYSC to provide any additional evidence it may possess to support its claim regarding the alleged forged certificate, just as Governor Peter Mbah was also implored to cooperate fully with the legal process and present all relevant documents and evidence to the courts.
Concluding, HURIWA reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for transparency and accountability at all levels of government and public institutions. The organization trusts in the judiciary to dispense justice fairly and independently as the legal proceedings continue.
Law Firm Trains 26 Nigerian Law Students for Bar Finals
The Law Firm of Maxwell Opara & Associates (Chibunnam Chambers) has successfully completed a training and mentoring program for 26 law students from various Nigerian Law School campuses. The program aimed to prepare them for their upcoming Bar Final Exam.
Known for its commitment to training aspirants to the Nigerian Bar, Barr. Maxwell Opara, Principal Counsel revealed in a Facebook post on Friday that the law firm has seen an increasing number of students applying to be posted to its prestigious chambers.
“The students underwent comprehensive mentoring in crucial areas like law office management, legal drafting, ethics, punctuality in court, and client management. Interactive sessions ensured they were well-prepared with the necessary knowledge and materials”, Opara stated.
In an encouraging announcement, Maxwell Opara shared that the law firm has had an impeccable record, as all students who have undergone training with them have successfully passed the Bar Finals Exams.
To mark the students’ completion of the program, the firm organized a passing out party and provided valuable career advice, urging them to remain focused, diligent, and resilient.
The Law Firm of Maxwell Opara & Associates expressed gratitude to the Council of Legal Education for selecting their office as an official Law Students Externship center, attributing the training’s success to divine guidance.
The Managing Partner, Pastor (Mrs) Nnenna Maxwell Opara led the students in a prayer intercession, seeking God’s guidance and protection as they prepare for their upcoming Bar finals.
Thecoaches, NHRC Forge Partnership to Promote Human Rights
[Abuja, Nigeria] – In a significant step towards advancing human rights in Nigeria, Thecoaches, the international franchise owners of Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The National Human Rights Commission. The partnership aims to effectively consolidate the respect and enjoyment of human rights across the nation.
The momentous event took place at the headquarters of The National Human Rights Commission, where representatives from both parties gathered to solidify their commitment to this noble cause.
Among the notable attendees from The National Human Rights Commission were Mr. Abdulrahman A. Yakubu, the Director of Civil and Political Rights, who represented the Executive Secretary, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN). Also present were Mrs. Rabi Anwar, the Director of Legal Services and Enforcement, and other staff members of the Commission.
Thecoaches was represented by Amb. Chika Rita Ezenwa, the reigning Miss Face of Humanity 2023, who has already demonstrated her passion for humanitarian causes. Accompanying her was Mr. Kennedy Onyegbado, the Public Relations Manager for Thecoaches.
During the ceremony, the representatives discussed various strategies and initiatives to promote human rights in Nigeria. The partnership aims to raise awareness about the significance of human rights and to empower individuals to stand up for their rights and the rights of others.
Amb. Chika Rita Ezenwa, in her remarks, expressed her deep commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of Nigerians and promoting the values of respect, dignity, and equality. She emphasized the role of Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria as an influential platform to advocate for human rights causes and inspire positive change.
Mr. Abdulrahman A. Yakubu, speaking on behalf of The National Human Rights Commission, commended Thecoaches for their initiative and dedication to collaborating with the Commission in promoting and protecting human rights in the country. He highlighted the importance of partnerships with private organizations in advancing human rights initiatives and fostering a culture of respect for human dignity.
The MOU signifies a pivotal moment in the history of Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria and reflects a profound commitment to creating a better future for Nigerians by ensuring that their rights are upheld and protected.
As this partnership takes shape, the nation eagerly anticipates the impactful endeavors that will stem from the collaboration between Thecoaches and The National Human Rights Commission. Together, they strive to foster a more equitable, just, and inclusive society where human rights are not just upheld but celebrated and embraced.
HURIWA Urges Release of Ecological Fund to Anambra State
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on President Bola Tinubu’s administration to release the Ecological Fund to the Anambra State Government to manage the existential threats caused by flooding in the South-East state.
In a statement by the National Coordinator; Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the Federal Government over the dispensing of the fund, which is shrouded in secrecy and devoid of transparency. “The 2022 flooding, which displaced millions and killed thousands across the Federation, should not be allowed to recur.
“The Ecological Fund Office, created in 1985, aims to reduce ecological problems nationwide through mitigation. In July 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved N16.04 billion ecological fund projects across 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory”.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko, stated that evidence of the money disbursed has not been seen in the country, pointing to mismanagement of the fund by corrupt managers at both state and federal levels.
The group further called for an urgent comprehensive solution to the erosion-prone Onitsha-Owerri Road in Anambra.
Emperors Fabrics Abuja Opens, Promotes African-Made Culture
Abuja witnessed a remarkable milestone in promoting African-made culture as Emperors Fabrics Abuja celebrated its grand opening, with a Fashion Night Hangout organized by Fusion Ambassadoz, and showcased a vibrant fusion of African creativity and innovation.
With a commitment to uplifting talents in fashion, art, technology, and diverse businesses, the Fashion Night Hangout, which was held at Emperor Fabrics in K-City Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja on Friday captured the essence of proudly African-made products.
Emperors Fabrics Abuja, known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship, provided the perfect setting for the occasion. Attendees were treated to an array of captivating designs that blended traditional African aesthetics with contemporary techniques.
The collection of fabrics and fashion pieces on display presented a tapestry of colors, patterns, and textures that embodied the decadent spirit of African culture.
Beyond fashion, the event embraced the advancements emerging from Africa’s technology and entrepreneurial landscape. Exhibitors showcased groundbreaking innovations across various sectors, further exemplifying the continent’s potential for growth and ingenuity.
The grand opening of Emperor Fabrics Abuja served as a testament to Fusion Ambassadoz’s dedication to nurturing African talents and promoting proudly African-made products. By breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes, the group aims to establish Africa as a global hub of artistic expression and innovation.
The Fashion Night Hangout left attendees with a renewed appreciation for Africa’s immense creative prowess. As Fusion Ambassadoz continues to foster an environment of collaboration and growth, the impact on both local and global scales promises to be transformative.
HURIWA Urges FG to Cut Ties with Finland Over Simon Ekpa
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has issued a strong appeal for an immediate halt to the escalating wave of barbaric killings and violence plaguing the South-East geopolitical zone.
In an official statement released on Wednesday by the National coordinator; Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA called upon the Federal Government to sever diplomatic ties with Finland and expel the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria.
This action, according to HURIWA is intended to facilitate the apprehension of Simon Ekpa, who has allegedly been actively promoting sit-at-home orders, instigating violence, and orchestrating killings in the South-East region.
Furthermore, HURIWA urged President Bola Tinubu to demonstrate a commitment to upholding the rule of law and democratic principles. They called upon the President to direct the Attorney General of the Federation, Ministry of Justice, and Department of State Services to comply with a recent judgment from the Appeal Court. This judgment ordered the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to HURIWA, the South-East region has witnessed the loss of numerous innocent lives over the past two years due to the activities of gunmen and security operatives. They specifically highlight the alarming increase in violence since Kanu’s incarceration in mid-2021. The group emphasizes the urgency of addressing these security concerns and protecting the lives of residents in the South-East.
CWOT2C Demands Probe Into Alleged JAMB Score Forgery
The Creative Women of The 21st Century (CWO2C) has made a fervent appeal to the relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged forgery of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) scores.
The foundation, renowned for uniting accomplished women in the industry to inspire and mentor aspiring young girls, has expressed deep concern over the recent claims and counterclaims surrounding the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results of Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Founder; Nsikan Isaac emphasized the importance of integrity and fairness in the educational system, particularly when it comes to examinations that determine the future of thousands of young individuals.
The CWO2C Founder further stressed that allegations of score manipulation cannot be taken lightly and should be promptly addressed to uphold the credibility and transparency of the examination process.
“The embattled candidate, Miss Mmesoma Ejikeme, has been at the center of a controversy regarding her UTME results. Claiming to have obtained a score of 362, she insisted that the result was displayed on the JAMB portal when she checked. However, JAMB has vehemently denied issuing such a result and declared it inauthentic.
“JAMB’s spokesperson disclosed that the format of the result notification slip displayed by Miss Mmesoma in a viral video was last used in 2021, raising doubts about the legitimacy of her claimed score. Moreover, the examination body announced the withdrawal of her “authentic” 2023 UTME result, where she reportedly scored 249, as a consequence of her alleged dishonest conduct.
“Both Miss Mmesoma and her father, Romanus Ejikeme, have remained resolute in their stance, asserting that both the 362 and 249 scores were genuinely obtained from JAMB”, the statement highlighted.
Despite the ongoing dispute, CWOT2C expressed confidence in the investigative process and urged the authorities to delve into the matter without prejudice.
Concluding, CWOT2C highlighted the importance of upholding justice and integrity in educational institutions, emphasizing that if the allegations of forgery are proven true, the perpetrators must face the full force of the law.
Read Also: JAMB Alleges Widespread UTME Score Forgery
Hence, CWOT2C’s Nsikan called on all stakeholders involved to ensure a fair and transparent investigation, serving as an example of accountability and preserving the trust of students and parents in the examination system.
- By Ken Gbados
HURIWA Sets Agenda for Service Chiefs, Challenges CDS, COAS, CAS
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on newly appointed service chiefs to rebuild the failing intelligence-gathering capacities of the Armed Forces and ensure harmony in Nigeria’s counter-terror operations.
The group, in a statement signed by the National Coordinator; Emmanuel Onwubiko urged collaboration between the Nigerian Army, Air Force, and Navy to avoid avoidable military airstrike casualties in the Boko Haram theatre of war.
HURIWA further urged the new Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen. C.G Musa, Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen T. A Lagbaja, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral E. A Ogalla, and Chief of Air Staff, AVM H.B Abubakar, to work collaboratively and stamp out unprofessional conduct and indiscipline.
Also, the group emphasized the need for comprehensive reforms within the military, urging fighters who have lost touch with their constitutional obligations to be re-conscientized.
Additionally, HURIWA called on the Armed Forces to take back the original responsibility from the mercenaries of ex-Niger Delta militant Mujaheed Asari Dokubo, who claimed his men were contracted to secure the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway from murderous bandits and terrorists.
Diphtheria Outbreak Raises Alarm in Abuja Suburb
A diphtheria outbreak in Abuja’s Dei-Dei suburb has ignited concerns about public health safety due to the disease’s rapid spread. The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has confirmed eight cases detected through testing.
Diphtheria, characterized by symptoms like sore throat and fever, spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. The WHO highlights the severity of the disease, with potential complications affecting various organs. Treatment involves antitoxin administration and antibiotics.
Read Also: Yeast Infection and Why It Is Recurring
The FCT Primary Health Care Board urges vaccination, avoidance of crowded environments, and adherence to recommended doses, emphasizing the significance of immunization programs. Nigeria has reported 557 confirmed cases, necessitating immediate action to protect communities.
Tony Ejiogu Reignites APGA’s Hope in Imo
Imo State, Nigeria – With the November 11 governorship election drawing closer, Tony Ejiogu, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), has returned to Imo State from a brief trip, infusing a renewed sense of hope and determination within the party and its supporters.
Ejiogu’s homecoming over the weekend was marked by a warm welcome from enthusiastic APGA members and numerous citizens of Imo State who believe in his vision for a brighter future. The candidate expressed gratitude to the crowd, acknowledging their unwavering support as a catalyst for reinvigorating APGA’s hope in the state.
As Imo State stands at a crucial crossroads, Ejiogu’s return signifies a turning point in the campaign. His presence not only reinforces APGA’s commitment to the people but also reignites the collective hope for positive change and good governance.
Ejiogu’s leadership embodies the aspirations of Imo State’s citizens. With a vision that encompasses progress, development, and inclusivity, he is determined to address the challenges faced by the state and usher in a new era of growth and prosperity.
APGA’s hope for Imo State is reignited as Tony Ejiogu’s return signifies a rallying cry for all citizens to stand united. It is an opportunity for Imo State to embrace a leader who will prioritize the needs of the people and work tirelessly to build a better future.
As the November 11 governorship election approaches, Tony Ejiogu’s return to Imo State has further invigorated the APGA campaign, instilling hope and enthusiasm among party members and supporters. The warm reception he received underscores the strong backing for his vision of progress and good governance, as citizens eagerly anticipate the positive changes his leadership could bring to Imo State.
Read Also: Imo Guber Race: Tony Ejiogu Raises the Bar
Imo State’s destiny lies in the hands of its people. Together, let us reignite the flame of hope, unite as one, and strive for a brighter future under the leadership of Tony Ejiogu. The path to progress begins with this renewed hope and collective determination.
- By Ken Gbados; Media Relations, and communications strategist
HURIWA Slams New IGP’s Special Intervention Squad
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Sunday, tackled the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun over the establishment of a Special Intervention Squad to be deployed to the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, described the Special Intervention Squad as another killer squad rebranded after the manner of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the repackaged Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT).
The group cautioned the new IGP, who said there is a tiger in him, not to be overzealous but be very circumspect and build up strategies and implement them to coordinate the rebuilding process of the Nigeria Police Force in Nigeria and in the entire South-East geopolitical zone.
HURIWA warned IGP Egbetokun not to establish another Squad that would be synonymous with unlawful cum extrajudicial killings, torture, and extortion like the notorious SARS.
The group said Nigeria is yet to recover from the numerous atrocities committed by men of the disbanded SARS and the rebranded SWAT teams. According to data by global rights group, Amnesty International, at least 115 citizens in the South-East were brutally killed by SARS operatives within four months whilst the group was in existence. The several cases of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, organ trafficking, mass arrest, torture, extortions, and ill-treatment have not stopped despite the disbandment of SARS.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “IGP Olukayode Egbetokun should be circumspect, especially with his establishment of a Special Intervention Squad which may turn another killer squad by police like the one that caused 2020 nationwide protests. This is unacceptable.
“The IGP shouldn’t be overzealous. Let him be very circumspect, and reflect before jumping to create media sensationalism. Police are burdened by corruption, bribery, gross indiscipline, lack of proper training, poor facilities, and unreliable statistical data. The IGP should build up strategies and implement them to solve these teething problems first.
“The police is nonexistent in the South East due to the activities of unknown gunmen and ex-Niger Delta agitator, Asari Dakubo made a suspicious statement which links him to the phenomenon of unknown gunmen in the South East but IGP is afraid of Dokubo to arrest him.
“Dokubo said his armed mercenaries are in active operations against those he called bandits all across the Country including the South East of Nigeria. He said it was his armed mercenaries that are killing bandits and not soldiers. What does he mean by these statements if not a nexus between his mercenaries and the so-called unknown gunmen?
“The IGP should coordinate the police rebuilding process in the South East, build up the intelligence department which is lacking. These are rational objectives than chasing shadows with the superfluous plot to set up a unit within the police. Egbetokun is chasing shadows and failing to pay attention to the issues that matter.”
Eid Mubarak: Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria Calls for Unity
Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria), a renowned beauty pageant organization under the management of Thecoaches has extended warm Eid Mubarak wishes to the Muslim community in Nigeria as they celebrate 2023 Eid al-Adha.
In a heartfelt message by the brand’s Ambassador; Chika Rita Ezenwa on Wednesday, MFOH Nigeria called on all Nigerians to unite in promoting humanity and fostering unity by spreading the message of Eid Mubarak.
“Eid al-Adha holds great significance for Muslims worldwide, symbolizing devotion, sacrifice, and unity. Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria recognizes the power of this message and urges all Nigerians to embrace its values”, MFOH Nigeria stated, emphasizing the importance of uniting as a society, regardless of religious affiliation, to promote compassion, understanding, and unity.
Further in their call for unity and promoting humanity, Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria encouraged Nigerians to actively engage in acts of kindness and empathy during this auspicious occasion. “By extending warm wishes, showing support, and reaching out to one another, we can foster a sense of togetherness and strengthen the bonds within our communities”, MFOH Nigeria revealed.
Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria, known for its commitment to uplifting communities and making a positive impact, believes that Eid Mubarak presents an opportunity for all Nigerians to demonstrate unity and compassion.
Therefore, the organization concluded by highlighting the significance of embracing the values of Eid al-Adha, such as sacrifice, empathy, and care for others, in our daily lives.
HURIWA Urges Southern EFCC Chair, Condemns Akwa Ibom Police
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for the appointment of a candidate from the South as the next Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a press statement issued by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the foremost civil advocacy group emphasized the need for equity and competence in the leadership of the EFCC.
HURIWA expressed concern over the consistent appointment of individuals from the Northern part of Nigeria as EFCC Chairmen since the establishment of the commission, about 20 years ago. This trend, the organisation noted, has led to the perception that the position is micro-zoned to the North, depriving equally competent individuals of the South of the opportunity to contribute to the fight against corruption.
HURIWA, therefore, urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom they described as a prominent leader known for his commitment to fairness and justice, to seize the opportunity to promote equity by appointing a candidate from the South as the next EFCC Chairman. “Such a decision would send a powerful message of unity and inclusivity, fostering a harmonious and balanced Nigeria”.
In addition to the call, for a Southern EFCC Chairman, HURIWA also condemned the alleged attempted assassination of the gubernatorial candidate for the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Albert Bassey, in Akwa Ibom State.
Continuing, the organization called on the newly appointed Acting Inspector-General of Police, Dr. Kayode Egbetokun, to immediately remove the Akwa Ibom State Police Commissioner over the incident.
Senator Albert Bassey was reportedly violently chased out of the governorship election Tribunal in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, during the last hearing of his petition calling for the voiding of the governorship election result in the 2023 election.
Furthermore, HURIWA supported Senator Bassey’s petition to the President of the Court of Appeal, requesting the relocation of the Governorship Election Tribunal to a safer location in Abuja, citing threats to his safety and that of witnesses.
However, HURIWA commended the timely intervention of Senate President; Senator Godswill Akpabio, who reportedly called the attention of the Acting Inspector-General of Police to rescue Senator Bassey Albert and his star witness at the Tribunal from suspected killers in police uniforms.
The organization also condemned the circulation of fake news claiming that the Calabar division of the Court of Appeal had ordered the arrest and detention of Senator Bassey Albert.
Emphasizing, the need for national institutions like the EFCC to reflect Nigeria’s diversity and promote inclusivity. HURIWA called for the appointment of the EFCC Chairman based on merit, competence, and a proven track record in the fight against corruption. The organization highlighted the adverse effects of the frequent change in EFCC chairmanship, which has undermined the commission’s integrity, public trust, and confidence.
HURIWA concluded by strongly urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to appoint a candidate from the South as the next EFCC Chairman, prioritizing competence and qualifications, just as it called for the nationalization of the EFCC Chairmanship to ensure equitable representation from all regions of Nigeria.
By fostering transparency and credibility in the appointment process, HURIWA believes Nigeria can strengthen its fight against economic and financial crimes and promote a more inclusive and united nation.
COFAA Celebrates Sir Ujah’s Induction Into the Order of KSJI
The CYON Old Friends Association Abuja (COFAA) has been ablaze with celebrations as Sir Sabastine Ujah, a highly regarded member, has been initiated into the esteemed Order of Knights of St. John International (KSJI). This honor not only recognizes Sir Sabastine Ujah’s exceptional contributions but also signifies the immense potential it holds for the future of COFAA.
Sir Odey Peter Odey (KSJI), the visionary President of COFAA, wasted no time in extending his heartfelt Congratulations to Sir Sabastine Ujah on this momentous achievement. Recognizing the significance of the induction, Sir Odey Peter Odey emphasized the positive impact it would have on the association and its endeavors.
In his congratulatory message, Sir Odey expressed his admiration for Sir Sabastine Ujah’s commitment to service and dedication to the Catholic faith. He lauded Sir Sabastine Ujah’s exemplary character and leadership qualities, acknowledging his tireless efforts in advancing the goals of COFAA.
Sir Odey further highlighted that Sir Sabastine Ujah’s initiation into the Order of Knights of St. John International would elevate COFAA’s standing within the Catholic community. This prestigious order is renowned for its commitment to charitable works, spiritual growth, and fostering unity among members. This affiliation presents COFAA with an opportunity to expand its outreach and make a broader impact in the lives of others.
The President also expressed his anticipation of leveraging the expertise and network that Sir Sabastine Ujah would bring to COFAA. He emphasized the importance of collaboration and encouraged all members to rally behind Sir Sabastine Ujah, leveraging his newfound status for the benefit of the association and the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja.
Titanic Director Criticizes OceanGate After Tragic Incident
Renowned Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron, famous for directing the blockbuster movie Titanic in 1997, has voiced his concerns about the submersible involved in a recent incident where five lives were lost. According to Cameron, the team responsible for building the submersible, known as the Titan, had taken shortcuts and failed to meet necessary certification standards.
In an interview with the BBC, Cameron expressed his suspicions about the technology used in the Titan sub. He admitted that he would not have boarded the submersible due to his doubts regarding its safety and construction. Cameron, who has completed 33 dives to the Titanic wreck himself, emphasized the importance of reliable technology and adherence to safety protocols.
The Titan sub was constructed using carbon fibre and titanium, but its parent company, OceanGate, did not pursue certification because they were aware that it would not pass the required standards. This revelation raises questions about the thoroughness of the submersible’s design and manufacturing process.
Cameron drew attention to a previous expedition he led in 2012, known as the Deepsea Challenger, which utilized different technology. During this expedition, he reached a remarkable depth of 10,912m (35,800ft) in the Pacific Ocean’s deepest known trench. Comparing the two experiences, Cameron highlighted the contrast in safety and reliability between the Deepsea Challenger and the ill-fated Titan submersible.
When Cameron heard about the simultaneous failure of the sub’s navigation, communication systems, and tracking transponder, he immediately suspected a disaster. Based on his expertise and instincts, he concluded that the sub was lost. This catastrophic event further emphasizes the importance of robust and dependable equipment in deep-sea explorations to ensure the safety of those involved.
Hon. Emeka Chinedu Transforms Mbaise Secondary School
Hon. Emeka Chinedu, the Member representing Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, has successfully renovated and handed over the dilapidated Principal’s House at Mbaise Secondary School Aboh. This achievement showcases his commitment to improving the learning environment for future leaders.
The transformed Principal’s House provides a vibrant and functional space, fostering a conducive atmosphere for learning and leadership development. This accomplishment is part of Hon. Emeka Martins Chinedu’s ongoing initiatives to enhance educational facilities in the constituency and empower the youth.
Hon. Chinedu’s leadership and advocacy for education position him as a champion of progress, while his unwavering commitment establishes him as a representative to watch in the 10th Federal House of Representatives.
The successful renovation and handover of the Principal’s House at Mbaise Secondary School further demonstrate his dedication to enhancing the learning environment and leaving a lasting legacy of positive change.
As Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Constituency rejoices in the completion of the Principal’s House renovation, Hon. Emeka Martins Chinedu’s transformative projects continue to shape a brighter future for education in the constituency.
10th Senate: Akpabio Defeats Yari, Vows to Work In line With Constitution
Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, Tuesday took the oath of office after defeating his rival Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari to emerge, as president of the 10th Senate.
Former senate minority leader Akpabio received 63 votes to defeat the former governor of Zamfara Yari, who received 46. Prior to the start of the 10th National Assembly, the electorate of parliamentarians had started voting on the Nigerian Senate floor.
After reviewing Senator Godswill Akpabi’s history, Senator Ali Ndume proposed the former Akwa Ibom governor. Senator Olamilekan Solomon Yayi of Ogun State seconded Akpabio’s candidacy. Senator Ishaku Abbo also proposed Senator Abdul Aziz Yari as a candidate for Senate President.
Meanwhile, Akpabio has vowed to work and carry out his responsibilities in accordance with the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution.
Akpabio, a politician and attorney, held the position of minister for Niger Delta Affairs from 2019 to 2022. On May 11, 2022, he resigned at President Muhammadu Buhari’s request in order to run in the All Progressives Congress presidential primary.
He presided over Akwa Ibom State as governor from 2007 to 2015, while Yari was chosen to lead Zamfara State on April 26, 2011.
Democracy Day: MFOH Nigeria Ignites Hope for a United Nigeria
As Nigeria celebrates Democracy Day, Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria), the foremost brand in the pageantry world and dedicated advocate for humanitarian causes, has seized the occasion to advocate unity and progress, leaving Nigerians inspired and motivated.
In a media statement by its brand ambassador, Chika Rita Ezenwa, on Monday, MFOH Nigeria highlighted the significance of unity, collective responsibility, and progress, serving as a call to action for all Nigerians to come together and work towards a brighter future.
“As a humanitarian-based global showcase for female change-makers who believe in the power of humanity to change the world, Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria has been a relentless force in championing causes that promote peace, unity, and social development.
“Today, let us reflect on the strides we have made as a nation and the collective responsibilities we hold in shaping our future. Let us recognize the strength that lies within our unity and collective responsibility as Nigerians. Together, we can overcome challenges and forge a path towards a brighter future”, stated MFOH Nigeria.
Underscoring the importance of unity, inclusivity, and progress in Nigeria’s democratic journey, MFOH Nigeria emphasized that diversity is a strength and called for all Nigerians to stand together, regardless of tribal, religious, or ethnic differences, to build a more prosperous and harmonious nation.
“Our democracy grants us the power to shape our nation’s destiny. Together, let us exercise that power wisely and responsibly, standing firm against all forms of division and embracing the spirit of unity”.
“We have the power to shape our nation’s destiny. Let us harness this power through unity, respect, and collaboration, and together, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way,” emphasized Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria, urging citizens to put aside their differences and work harmoniously towards a prosperous Nigeria.
Hon. Emeka Chinedu Expresses Gratitude to Constituents and God for Successful First Term
Hon. Emeka Chinedu, the member-elect for Ahiazu Mbaise/ Ezinihitte Federal Constituency has expressed his heartfelt gratitude to his constituents and the Almighty God for a successful and eventful first term in office.
As the ninth National Assembly concludes with a valedictory session, Hon. Emeka Chinedu thanked his supporters for their unwavering support and acknowledged the opportunity to serve a second term.
Following the valedictory session held at the National Assembly, Hon. Emeka Chinedu emphasized the importance of returning to his constituency and focusing on the needs of his constituents. In light of the prevailing insecurity concerns across the country, he decided against organizing an inaugural party in Abuja, considering it could be counterproductive.
In a Press Release by Nnamdi Ukasanya; Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to the Member-Elect, Hon. Emeka Chinedu expressed his gratitude to God and his constituents for the trust placed in him, leading to his re-election for a second term. He acknowledged their support, prayers, and cooperation during his first tenure, which he believes contributed to his commendable performance.
The representative also took the opportunity to seek forgiveness from any of his constituents whom he may have unintentionally offended during his previous term. Recognizing the imperfections of human beings, Hon. Emeka Chinedu emphasized his willingness to move forward with forgiveness, extending it to anyone who might have offended him as well. He urged the entire constituency to support and cooperate with him as he embarks on his second term in office.
Addressing the security-related challenges facing the nation, Hon. Emeka Chinedu announced that instead of an inaugural party in Abuja, he plans to hold a Thanksgiving outing in the constituency. This decision aims to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants, allowing for a more inclusive and secure celebration.
As Hon. Emeka Chinedu concludes his first term and prepares for his second term in office, he remains committed to serving the interests of his constituents. The planned Thanksgiving outing will be an opportunity for him to express gratitude, reconnect with the community, and outline his vision for the upcoming term.
MFOH Nigeria Unites Stakeholders to Protect the Rights of Indigents
In a significant effort to address the challenges faced by indigent populations in Nigeria, Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria) on Wednesday held a one-day Stakeholders Dialogue on the Rights of Indigents at the prestigious National Human Rights Commission.
The event, held under the theme “Protecting the Rights of Indigents; Problems and Solutions for The Nigerian State,” brought together distinguished guests, activists, and experts to deliberate on strategies and solutions to protect the rights of indigents.
The event gathered prominent personalities, human rights activists, legal experts, representatives from civil society organizations, United Nations, Diplomats, and government officials who came together to deliberate on the dire situation faced by indigents in Nigeria. The dialogue aimed to shed light on the issues, promote awareness, and advocate for the effective protection of their rights.
Welcoming Guests at the event; Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria; Amb. Chika Rita Ezenwa emphasized the urgency and significance of protecting the rights of indigents. She highlighted the importance of recognizing and upholding their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights instruments.
In his keynote address, the National Human Rights Commission’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu SAN represented by Mrs. Agarase Arase; Director, of Corporate Affairs and External Linkages reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to protecting human rights in Nigeria.
She underscored the significance of addressing the challenges faced by indigent populations and stressed the importance of collective efforts to safeguard their rights. She further highlighted the role of the commission in advocating for human rights and pledged continued support for initiatives aimed at protecting the rights of indigents.
During the panel discussions, it became evident that indigents face multiple challenges, including limited access to quality education, inadequate healthcare facilities, and a lack of employment opportunities. The participants stressed the urgent need for collaborative efforts between government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to tackle these issues effectively.
Moreover, the stakeholders through presentations from the Public Complaints Commission, Legal Aid Council, and ActionAid Nigeria deliberated on the significance of legal frameworks and policies that promote inclusivity and protect the rights of indigents.
They called for the implementation of measures to ensure equitable access to education, improved healthcare services, and viable employment options, which would alleviate the plight of indigents and empower them to contribute meaningfully to society.
Earlier, Amb. Alfredo Miranda, the Ambassador of Mexico to Nigeria, captivated the audience with a thought-provoking presentation on promoting the rights of indigents. His insights and experiences shed light on successful strategies employed in Mexico and offered inspiration for potential solutions in Nigeria.
The dialogue concluded with a set of recommendations that will be presented to relevant government bodies and institutions. The recommendations highlighted the need for comprehensive social welfare programs, increased funding for indigent-focused initiatives, and the establishment of monitoring mechanisms to ensure the effective implementation of policies.
By fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and exploring sustainable solutions, the dialogue instilled a sense of optimism and determination among all participants. It is evident that this event will serve as a catalyst for positive change, empowering stakeholders to take concrete actions and create an inclusive society where the rights of indigents are safeguarded.
By Ken Gbados.
Media Strategist, Kennedy Onyegbado Honored For Exemplary Leadership
By Lucy Odu,
Kennedy Onyegbado, an esteemed figure known for his outstanding contributions as an ideal church leader and trusted communicator, was recently presented with the prestigious Excellence Service Award.
The recognition took place during the Laity Awards and Unveiling of Church digital bell, a momentous event organized by the Parish Laity Council at All Saints Catholic Parish Dutse-Alhaji, Abuja Archdiocese.
Kennedy Onyegbado’s unwavering commitment to service and his outstanding contributions to the Catholic community and society at large stood out as the primary reasons for this well-deserved recognition.
The Parish Laity Council, in their tribute, highlighted Onyegbado’s transformative impact in both his entrepreneurial endeavors and church initiatives.
He has proven himself as an exceptional church leader, having served as the youth president from 2012 to 2015 and later as the Parish Pastoral Council PRO from 2012 to 2023.
His tenure in these roles was marked by his exemplary leadership, profound spirituality, and commitment to the growth and development of the parish.
As an ideal church leader, Kennedy Onyegbado consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of the parishioners. He implemented innovative programs and initiatives that empowered young individuals, fostering an environment of unity and spiritual enrichment within the parish.
Furthermore, his skills as a trusted communicator have been widely recognized. He is the CEO of Ken-Gbados Concepts Limited, a company that has made significant strides in various sectors, including media and communications. His expertise in this field led him to establish The World Satellite, a digital magazine that has become a beacon of insightful content and diverse perspectives.
The Excellence Service Award celebrates his ability to inspire and engage through effective communication. Through his role as publisher of The World Satellite, he has created a platform that resonates with audiences, providing them with thought-provoking articles and features.
In response to receiving the award, Mr. Onyegbado expressed his gratitude to the All Saints Catholic Parish Dutse-Alhaji and the Parish Laity Council. He emphasized the importance of servant leadership and the transformative power of effective communication in building a stronger and more connected community.
The Excellence Service Award bestowed upon Kennedy Onyegbado not only recognizes his remarkable achievements but also serves as an inspiration to others. His exceptional church leadership, coupled with his expertise in communication, has left an indelible mark on the parish and beyond.
As Kennedy continued to lead by example and positively impact the lives of those around him, this recognition reinforces his status as an exemplary figure and a trusted communicator within the church and the wider community.
Ukwa in Diaspora Congratulates Alex Otti, Advocates Community Priorities
The Ukwa in Diaspora Group, representing the Ukwa people (Ndoki and ASA) residing outside Nigeria has sent its heartfelt congratulations to Governor Alex Otti on his inauguration as the Governor of Abia State. In a goodwill message by the Convener; Rt. Hon. (Amb) Graham Elendu addressed to Governor Otti, the group expressed their excitement and hopes for a successful tenure ahead.
As the oil-producing region within Abia State, the Ukwa community has played a significant role in the state’s development over the years. In their message, the Ukwa in Diaspora Group emphasized the importance of considering the concerns and aspirations of the Ukwa people in Governor Otti’s governance.
With a focus on promoting transparency and inclusivity, the group urged Governor Otti to prioritize the needs of the Ukwa community during his time in office. They highlighted key areas such as infrastructural development, access to quality education, healthcare facilities, and employment opportunities, which they believe are essential for the betterment of the Ukwa people’s lives.
Rt. Hon. (Amb) Graham Elendu emphasized the importance of Governor Otti actively involving the Ukwa community in decision-making processes and ensuring their representation in key positions. This approach, according to Elendu, would not only demonstrate the governor’s commitment to unity and fairness but also foster a collaborative environment for the growth and prosperity of Abia State.
The Ukwa in Diaspora Group further expressed their readiness to support and collaborate with Governor Alex Otti in building a prosperous Abia State. They believe that by working together, they can create an environment that empowers the youth, provides equal opportunities for all, and ultimately uplifts the lives of the Ukwa people and all Abians.
Governor Otti, known for his leadership abilities, was encouraged to lead with wisdom, strength, and determination. The group’s goodwill message concluded with a hope that his tenure would be marked by progress, unity, and a deep sense of responsibility towards the Ukwa people and all Abians.
As Governor Alex Otti begins his tenure, the Ukwa in Diaspora Group’s message serves as a reminder of the expectations and aspirations of the Ukwa community. Their advocacy for prioritizing the needs of the oil-producing region reflects the desire for inclusive and equitable development in Abia State.
MFOH Nigeria Leads the Fight Against Period Poverty
In a powerful and informative Instagram live session held on Thursday night, Miss Face Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria), Amb. Chika Ezenwa, took center stage as a guest speaker to address the pressing issue of period poverty in Health. The live session (Let’s Talk Period with Great), organized by the esteemed Glowcare Foundation, aimed to raise awareness and promote dialogue on period poverty in Health.
During the engaging discussion, Amb. Chika Rita Ezenwa captivated viewers with her passionate advocacy for change and her unwavering commitment to fighting period poverty. As an influential figure in the realm of humanitarian work, she utilized the digital platform to shed light on the challenges faced by millions of women and girls worldwide when it comes to accessing menstrual products and proper menstrual health education.
With eloquence and empathy, MFOH Nigeria’s Amb. Ezenwa shared compelling statistics, personal anecdotes, and valuable insights on the detrimental effects of period poverty. She highlighted the impact it has on the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of individuals, stressing the urgent need for collective action to eradicate this issue.
As the discussion unfolded, viewers were inspired by the MFOH Nigeria’s bold call to action, urging governments, organizations, and individuals to prioritize menstrual health and hygiene as fundamental human rights.
She emphasized the significance of providing affordable and accessible menstrual products, implementing comprehensive menstrual education programs, and breaking down the social stigmas surrounding menstruation.
The Instagram live session served as a platform for open dialogue, allowing participants to ask questions, share their experiences, and contribute to the conversation. Amb. Chika Ezenwa expertly navigated through the queries, offering valuable guidance and encouraging further engagement to tackle period poverty at its roots.
As the event concluded, the MFOH Nigeria expressed her gratitude to the Glowcare Foundation for organizing the session and providing a space to discuss such a crucial issue. She reaffirmed her commitment to this cause, vowing to continue raising awareness, mobilizing resources, and collaborating with stakeholders to bring about lasting change.
With her compelling presence and dedication to humanitarian efforts, Miss Face Humanity Nigeria has proven to be a prominent advocate for menstrual health and a driving force in the fight against period poverty.
As the world prepares to observe the 2023 World Menstrual Day on May 28, 2023, Amb. Chika Ezenwa’s impactful contributions in the Instagram live session serve as a reminder that collective action is essential in creating a future where no one is left behind due to period poverty.
- By Ken Gbados.
Meta fined $1.3 billion for violating EU data transfer rules
The European Data Protection Board (EDPU) has fined Meta €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion USD) for moving user data from the EU back to the US without the express consent or necessary safeguards.
The largest-ever penalty of its kind, it relates to data transfers made by Meta after the EU’s more strict GDPR requirements went into effect in 2020.
The verdict has been challenged by Meta, who also emphasized the dangers of fragmenting the web as a result of this strategy.
Additionally, it has been collaborating honestly on a new Data Privacy Framework with EU regulators. The EDPU has penalized Meta for what it feels is an unjust reading of its efforts.
This is a significant setback for Meta, which is already feeling the effects of the global decline in ad spending and data collecting limitations. Due to an impending change in EU law, Meta may also be subject to a civil lawsuit and could suffer another large loss in ad revenue.
Legal professionals don’t see any way for Meta to avoid paying or significantly settling with the EU. The next step will be a drawn-out legal struggle as Meta tries to have the punishment reduced.
Game-Changer Unveiled as Dangote Refinery Begins Operations
The 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Refinery, which started operations on Monday (today), is a facility for processing crude oil grades from the three continents of Africa, Asia, and America.
Additionally, it was learned that Nigeria would receive a daily surplus of 38 million liters of gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation fuel from the refinery, which would fully satisfy the nation’s need for fuel.
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In accordance with the information in a document that was obtained from the business on Sunday, the Dangote Refinery could support the construction of 26,716 filling stations, generate 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, and offer a $21 billion market for Nigerian crude oil annually.
Meta’s Twitter Rival Is Set To Launch Next Month
With selected creators receiving training on how Instagram’s text-based app, informally dubbed “Barcelona,” would operate, Meta’s Twitter rival is getting closer to being live.
Users are able to sign onto the app with their Instagram credentials and sync their IG followers, and it is intended to function like a massive group chat. Users can submit text updates with a maximum of 500 characters, links, photographs, and videos that are no longer than five minutes, as well as like, reply, and re-post.
It is Meta’s first attempt to create a decentralized network, and the software is being built on a decentralized back end. Before the site is made available to the general public, a number of celebrities and prominent sports figures are also provided early access.
In order to capitalize on this trend, Instagram has rolled out a number of changes, including Broadcast Channels, its one-to-many messaging function, and “Notes,” which allows users to share a discussion starter in a bubble resembling Stories above their Direct inbox.
Payments integration is part of Elon Musk’s ambition for the app, which will enable more usage options. Suppose Meta can make the app as simple to use as feasible without some of the hassles associated with other decentralized apps. In that case, it might significantly influence when it opens the following month.
Meta Offers Fresh Perspectives on Content Removal
The data shows some noteworthy changes, including an increase in the removal of pornographic and sexually explicit material as a result of spammers’ increased posting of pornographic videos in huge quantities on Facebook.
Additionally, Instagram is taking its fight against drug use portrayals more seriously while Meta is stepping up the enforcement of its dangerous organization’s policy.
Removals of fake accounts fell in Q1 2023, from 1.3 billion in Q4 2022 to 426 million in Q1. During the second half of 2022, requests for user data from governments throughout the world climbed by 0.8%.
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Government requests are growing, according to Meta’s statistics, so social media platforms must make important judgments before formal regulations are put in place. Additionally, Meta has released a summary of its transparency reporting over time, giving information about its continuing development.
MFOH Nigeria Strengthens Ties with Mexico, NCC Ahead Of International Pageant
By Ken Gbados.
Miss Face Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria) is leaving no stone unturned in the quest to promote beauty with a purpose and foster goodwill between nations. An expression of this will was evident at the recent series of diplomatic visits, including a meeting with the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and a visit to the Embassy of Mexico by the Brand’s Ambassador, Chika Ezenwa.
On Monday, Ambassador Chika Ezenwa paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Professor Adeolu Akande. The meeting, which took place at the NCC headquarters in Abuja, focused on the beauty queen’s plans for the upcoming International Pageant in Mexico and how the NCC can support her humanitarian efforts.
The MFOH Nigeria expressed her appreciation for the NCC’s role in promoting communication and technological advancements in Nigeria. She also highlighted the importance of using technology for positive social change and empowering women and girls in the country.
During the meeting, the NCC Chairman commended Ambassador Chika Ezenwa for her commitment to humanitarian causes and her role as a positive role model for young Nigerians. He also pledged the NCC’s support for her initiatives, particularly in the areas of digital literacy, youth empowerment, and healthcare.
Following her meeting with the NCC Chairman, the MFOH Nigeria, on Tuesday paid a visit to the Embassy of Mexico in Nigeria, where she met with the Mexican Ambassador; Alfredo Miranda. The beauty queen reiterated her commitment to using the International Pageant platform to promote diversity, cultural exchange, and charitable causes.
Both ambassadors engaged in fruitful discussions regarding the upcoming International Pageant, sharing ideas on how to make the event a resounding success. They emphasized the importance of collaboration and diplomacy in promoting global goodwill and building stronger ties between countries.
As preparations for the International Pageant intensify, Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria will continue to engage in diplomatic visits, reaching out to various countries to establish strong alliances and create an inclusive platform for contestants from around the world.
With her passion for humanity, commitment to positive social change, and strong diplomatic skills, Ambassador Chika Ezenwa is poised to represent Nigeria with grace and excellence at the International Pageant in Mexico this November.
The MFOH Nigeria’s visit to the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Embassy of Mexico marks a significant step in strengthening ties between Nigeria and Mexico, as well as promoting international cooperation in the areas of beauty, technology, and humanitarianism.
President Buhari Approves Postponement of 2023 Census
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the postponement of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, earlier scheduled for 3-7 May 2023, to a date to be determined by the incoming Administration.
The President gave the approval after meeting with some Federal Executive Council members and the National Population Commission Chairman and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday (28 April 2023).
In arriving at the decision to postpone the Census, the meeting reiterated the critical need for the conduct of a Population and Housing Census, 17 years after the last Census, to collect up-to-date data that will drive the developmental goals of the country and improve the living standard of the Nigerian people.
The President noted that with the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country, the conduct of first and second pretests, the recruitment and training of ad-hoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructures, appreciable progress had been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
He also commended the methodology being put in place by the Commission to conduct accurate and reliable Census, especially the massive deployment of technology that is capable of delivering world-class Census and laying a sustainable basis for future censuses
The President further directed the Commission to continue with preparations for the 2023 Population and Housing Census to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate these achievements.
The meeting was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Honourable Minister of Information and Culture
29th April 2023
MFOH Nigeria Seeks Easy Access to Justice for Indigents
Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria); the prestigious humanitarian-based global showcase for female change-makers who believe in the power of humanity to change the world has continued to take proactive steps in advancing the task of helping indigents and persons with special needs in Nigeria.
The expression of this will was underscored on Wednesday during a strategic meeting between the team of Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria and senior staff of the Legal Aid Council in Abuja at the Boardroom of the Legal Aid Council.
The meeting was for the MFOH Nigeria to seek collaborative effort with the Legal Aid Council in such a manner to encourage an atmosphere of alliance to effectively and efficiently establish and maintain objectives and commitments with regard to all matters related to easy access to justice for the indigents.
While highlighting the difficulties that indigents in Nigeria face in their bid to access justice, the MFOH Nigeria’s Ambassador; Rita Chika Ezenwa assured that the Miss Face of Humanity brand is poised to seek avenues to make it possible for everybody, irrespective of religion, sex, and tribe to have equal access to justice, whether rich or poor.
The MFOH Nigeria further stated that the investigation revealed that a lot of people could not access justice because of the cost and because of that, some of them resulted in self-help, adding that most Nigerians do not know where to seek redress when their rights have been infringed upon.
According to her, it is for that reason that the Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria has resolved to partner with the Legal Aid Council to sensitize and create more awareness among the people of the Country on a wider range of legal issues.
Welcoming the team of Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria on behalf of the Director General, the Director of International & Corporate Operations; Bamidele O. Ibikunle who led the team of senior staff of the Council thanked the Miss Face of Humanity brand for taking such initiative.
Bamidele reiterated the commitment of the Legal Aid Council to support engagements geared towards access to justice for indigent persons in the country. According to him, the Legal Aid Council was set up with a nationwide mandate to serve the needy and indigent Nigerians whose rights are breached and who have no financial power to seek the services of legal practitioners.
Additionally, he expressed the readiness of the Legal Aid Council to partner with genuine organisations willing to advance the provision of free quality legal service to indigent Nigerians and give voice to the voiceless.
Wole Soyinka vs. Obidients: An Analysis
By openly challenging Yusuf Datti; Labour Party’s Vice Presidential candidate to a public debate, Prof Wole Soyinka demeaned and put himself on the firing line. Honestly, the great Kongi is far above that level and must never be tempted to enter the trenches with the madding crowd, he won’t come out of it unscathed.
Without a scintilla of doubt, the barrage of attacks and vitriol heaped on anyone with a dissenting opinion by the Obidients is not only undemocratic but smacks of fascism. Fascism thrives where dissenting opinions are frowned upon and only one opinion appears as the sole gospel truth. This is uncalled for in a democracy. I guess this explains why Prof Wole Soyinka described the group as fascistic
However, describing the Obidients as solely an Igbo group or thinking that all of them are members of the Labour Party is an obvious mischaracterization. The Obidients cut across different tribes, states, and even religions. There are more silent Obidients from other tribes that I have personally encountered in real life than those ranting on social media.
This is the silent majority tagging along with the noisy minority. Unfortunately, these are groups of young people mostly frustrated with the system and seeking means to either repair it magically or get the whole thing destroyed, altogether.
The coming administration of President Tinubu will either reinforce the Obidient movement or stifle its life by meeting the aspirations of most Nigerians. If anyone thinks he can stop the Obidients with propaganda or intellectual arguments, such a person wastes his time. These guys are not ready for any intellectual argument that goes against them.
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And they don’t even respect status or stature, not even the mighty Wole Soyinka! Even if any of the ancient prophets were to appear to them in criticism, they would give it to the prophet in a ‘wotowoto’ manner. They are simply too disgruntled to respect anyone or anything!!
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Uzogara Tobechukwu and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite (TWS). TWS will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”
Hon. Martins Chinedu Reiterates Commitment to His Constituency
By Ken Gbados.
The member representing the good people of Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency in the National Assembly; Hon. Emeka Martins Chinedu has continued to emphasize his commitment to implementing his pledge of advancing the desire of the people for quality legislation and representation in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living.
The Honourable whose reelection for a second term to the Green Chambers was a referendum for his unprecedented massive developmental and legislative strides expressed this in his Easter message on his Facebook page on Sunday.
“Easter epitomizes the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of mankind and necessitates the need to rededicate our lives to reflect the sacrifices of Christ Jesus, as a way of advancing forgiveness, love, peaceful co-existence and the course of development in Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency.
“I reiterate my commitment to continue to make sacrifices as well as defend our interests as a way of appreciating the love and support shown to me before, during, and after the last elections. It is also my earnest prayer that the miracle of Easter brings peace, love, and prosperity to our households and the Federal Constituency at large”.
Senate Presidency: HURIWA Roots for Kalu
As the jostle for the Senate Presidency has taken centre stage and the South-East is on top of the contest, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); a civil rights advocacy group totally indifferent to politics but not to matters that have to do with good governance in Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the current Senate Chief Whip, and Senator-Elect for Abia North Constituency; Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, in his quest to become the president of the 10th Senate, saying he possesses the aptitude to lead the Senate.
HURIWA, in a Press Release, signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the group’s endorsement was anchored on the reason that good governance is premised on having institutions that function optimally and benefit the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Orji Uzor Kalu possesses such distinctive leadership qualities and he is charismatic and so is qualified and suited for the office of Senate President come June 2023.
Describing the former Abia State Governor as a sensible and reasonable politician, who has the capacity to mobilize the 10th Senate to pursue a common course for the good of the country, HURIWA reechoed the strong belief that if Senator Uzor Kalu emerges as the Senate President, he has the capacity to mobilize the South East behind the APC and also douse the tension in the sub-region.
Beyond this, HURIWA’s Onwubiko also highlighted Senator Kalu’s thorough and clear thinking about Nigeria and his practical solutions which are available in his books, writings and interviews over the years.
“It is gratifying for us to read in the media that His Excellency, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has thrown his hat into the ring to contest for the Senate Presidency. It would be recalled that HURIWA had earlier issued a statement advocating for the Senate President to be zoned to the South East in the interest of equity and fairness and the current Chief Whip of the Senate is the most qualified Senator for the position based on the Senate rules as well as his pedigree.
“The Senate has rules, and to be honest, if true democracy should be in play, Orji Uzor Kalu should not be in contest with anybody. This is because apart from being the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, and the Senate Leader, he is the next ranking member in the Senate going by the position he occupies today in the 9th Senate.
“Besides, the Senate is an established institution that needs somebody with experience, someone with the skills and will be able to relate. Senator Kalu is a result-orientated leader, patriot, thinker, businessman, and investor, whose deepest desire is to bring Nigeria into line with modern development thinking and growth.
“At home in Nigeria, North, South, East, West, and abroad, Kalu demonstrates his understanding of the challenge of advancing Nigeria through fearless legislative thinking, robust political re-engineering, and strong administrative structures. We wholeheartedly endorse him for the presidency of the 10th Senate,” the group said.
The statement further noted that, though Senator Uzor Kalu hails from the South East, his tentacles have spread across the country in his pursuit of education, business and politics. Given his high profile status in the National Ruling Party- APC, HURIWA maintained that he has remained a political pillar of hope in Nigeria despite various obstacles mounted against him.
“The calibre of stakeholders, even from the opposition Party that trooped to his house in Abuja for consultations in the build-up to the 2023 elections shows that he is a person of significant political force and by the Will of God, he possesses the aptitude to lead the 10th Senate.
“The Northerners are comfortable with him because he is a patriotic statesman. The Yorubas love him because he has always run successful businesses employing thousands of Yorubas. The Igbos love him because he excelled in governance.
“More so, he is being adjudged one of the fiercest party loyalists from the South East. In 2016 Senator Kalu formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC), he contested and won the 2019 Senatorial elections and led the APC to landslide victories for other legislative positions in Abia North. The former Governor also led a strong campaign in his Abia North to become the only zone in the South East to have given Buhari 68% votes during the 2019 general elections”, HURIWA added.
Also, HURIWA, which labelled Kalu a patriot said that his commitment to Nigeria is overwhelming as demonstrated by his capacity to implement his pledge of advancing the desire of the people for quality legislation and representation in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for the people.
“Since his inauguration into the 9th National Assembly in June 2019, Senator Kalu has been visible on the floor of the Senate through his legislative engagements and oversight functions, perhaps due to his wealth of experiences as a successful entrepreneur, an astute politician, administrator of repute, with a proven record of success in administrative governance and business management.
“He is first among equals, and since he has personally made the commitment to venture into the race, we have no other option than to rally behind him”, HURIWA explained
Therefore, HURIWA enjoined Nigerians, the Senators-elect to close ranks and place national interest above personal and political inclinations and support Senator Uzor Kalu, describing him as a trained and experienced leader with a global view.
Made up of philosophers, researchers, writers and journalists from different backgrounds, ethnicity, language and training, HURIWA explained that its decision is built on the yearning for Nigeria to fulfil her vast potential and take her place among the advanced democracies and economies.
“It is glaring that he is a ranking Senator and a Principal Officer of the current Senate. What’s more? He has been a pan-Nigerian and has the interest of the South-East at heart. He is better experienced when compared with other members from the South East geopolitical zone and has built bridges across the country. His position as Senate President would also go a long way to douse the pockets of misgivings over the emergence of the South West and the North East as President and Vice President of the country.
“Other members who may be called ranking senators are not members of APC and their parties do not command a majority in the Senate, while those in the APC are not Principal Officers of the Red Chambers. The leadership of the party which includes the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, they are better disposed to have him as the head of the National Assembly. He has been a loyal party man.
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“When it comes to the internal politics of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu understands the chemistry of the Red Chambers and would ensure that projects meant for the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones are protected and well captured in the appropriation bill of the executive arm of government,” the Group concluded.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
March 30th 2023.
MFOH Nigeria & NHRC in a Stronger Human Rights Partnership
The expression of the will of Miss Face of Humanity Nigeria (MFOH Nigeria) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to collaborate in advancing and effectively consolidating the respect and enjoyment of human rights in Nigeria attained a new height recently.
This was evident on Thursday during a strategic meeting with the Director overseeing the Human Rights Institute; Mr. Obinna Nwakonye and MFOH Nigeria’s Ambassador; Queen Rita Chika Ezenwa in Abuja for proper Human Rights exchange programmes.
The meeting, held at the Human Rights Institute was to express the readiness of both organisations to support Human Rights issues in Nigeria as well as fast-track roboust developmental engagements aimed at providing avenues for public enlightenment, and dialogue to enhance awareness and consolidate on the progress both organisations are making in ensuring that everybody has a fair chance to state his/her case.
According to Mr. Obinna Nwakonye, the National Human Rights Commission welcomes collaborations with credible NGOs and CSOs such as MFOH Nigeria whose goals align with that of the Commission in seeking avenues to deepen the fight against human rights abuses and ensuring that everybody has a fair chance to state his or her case.
In her remarks, Amb. Rita Chika Ezenwa expressed the pleasure of Miss Face Humanity Nigeria as an organisation in partnering with the National Human Rights Commission.
She noted: “the reason for this partnership is to seek more veritable platforms to contribute to the advancement of humanity through campaigns and outreaches geared toward peace, and respect for human rights in Nigeria, believing that it will create countless opportunities for Nigerians to share their voices”.
MFOH Nigeria is an international franchise managed by THECOACHES. It is a humanitarian-based global showcase for female change-makers who believe in the power of humanity to change the world.
While National Human Rights Commission serves as an extra-judicial mechanism for the respect and enjoyment of human rights. It also provides avenues for public enlightenment, research, and dialogue in order to raise awareness of Human Rights issues.
- By Ken Gbados
HURIWA Slams Keyamo for Preempting Election Tribunal on Allegations against Tinubu
Civil rights advocacy group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Thursday, slammed the Minister of State for Labour and Employment; Festus Keyamo, for saying the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal will clear the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu of all allegations brought against him by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, slammed the so-called spokesman for the Tinubu campaign for preempting the courts as if the ruling party already has the courts in their pockets.
On Tuesday, the former governor of Anambra State filed another suit at the election tribunal challenging the declaration of Tinubu by INEC who he said “was not duly elected by the majority of the lawful votes cast at the time of the election.”
The former Anambra State governor claimed there was rigging in 11 states including Rivers, Lagos, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Imo, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, and Plateau, adding that he would demonstrate this in the declaration of results based on the uploaded results.
Reacting to his petition in a post via his verified handle on Wednesday, Keyamo said that all the deceit, lies, and disinformation about simple and clear issues would be busted in the court.
He wrote, “I am excited about the issues raised in those Election Petitions. All the deceit & lies & disinformation & misinformation about otherwise very simple and clear issues are about to be busted by our Law Lords. Whoever continues to argue after that should relocate to another planet?
“Nigerians will finally see a huge difference between calm, dispassionate adjudication of issues and all the hoopla caused by garrulous spokespersons shaking and falling on stage, ignorant TV hosts turned debaters, misinformed documentaries, illiterate tweeps, and some dancing Hijabi mamas.”
HURIWA’s Onwubiko stated, “The statement by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, is totally condemnable. We rebuke the loquacious Keyamo. Is he insinuating that the judiciary is now in the pockets of APC? We demand to know why he has already leaked the judgment of litigation that is yet to start.
“We also charge the Supreme Court once again to redeem its image and not be a cash-and-carry platform to window-dress corrupt politicians who rigged their ways through elections.”
March 23, 2023
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.
Hon. Nken Abonta Celebrates Dr. Alex Otti’s Victory
The member representing the good people of Ukwa East/West Federal Constituency; Hon. Uzoma Nkem Abonta has congratulated Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, his Deputy; Prince Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu and the entire Abia state on their declaration as Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect of the state.
In a signed statement, Hon Abonta who described Ukwa East/West Constituency as one that has constantly been marginalized described their victory at the poll as a mandate whose time and season has come.
“The Jubilation across the state and in Ukwa particularly further proves that your victory was a collective effort of Abians across party lines who are tired of maintaining the status quo of bad leadership as experienced in the past years. Abians spoke loudly through their votes, and the will of the people prevailed.
“Consequently, the saying “To whom much is given, much is also expected” will come to play as Abians are already expecting so much from you.
“However, I am particularly very optimistic that you possess all it takes to deliver good and all-inclusive governance to the good people of Abia State, and that you have constantly showcased convincingly. You have always been a shining star.
“Bring your undoubted wealth of experience to the table, and let your developmental strides project Abia State to enviable heights as we are also aware that your experience in human capital development is also indisputable. Remember, Abians look up to you for total liberation.
“More so, the people of Ukwa are hopeful that your government will accord them the required attention and commensurate developmental gestures to compensate for the decades of neglect even though they remain the goose that lays the golden eggs.
“Congratulations once more and may God Almighty grant you sufficient wisdom to pilot the affair of our dear state out of its present shambolic state and restore it to “God’s own State” that it should be.
Peter Obi Set Igbo Political Trajectory Backwards; – Nnamani
The Senator representing Enugu East in the National Assembly; Chimaroke Nnamani, has claimed that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party; Peter Obi, “set the Igbo political trajectory 24 years back”.
The Senator who lost his senatorial return bid to the Labour Party’s candidate; Kelvin Chukwu, on Sunday accused Obi of playing wicked and dangerous politics. Nnamani made the claim via his official Twitter handle on Monday.
“Peter “Gringory” Obi set the Igbo political trajectory 24 years back. He has become a twin blight and scourge on the land. His devious opium served to Christians within sections of Nigeria and to Igbo domiciled in different sections of Nigeria is wicked and dangerous.”
According to the result released by INEC, the LP candidate polled 69, 136 votes to defeat Nnamani of the People’s Democratic Party who scored 48, 701 votes.
Relatedly, Nnamani has announced his exit from the PDP. In a signed statement on Monday, he expressed appreciation to his constituents for the unalloyed support over the years.
Nnamani stated that he had consulted with his associates and constituents and decided to quit the PDP on account of irreconcilable differences with the party’s national leadership.
He added that he had moved on and hoped that his modest contributions to the development of his constituency would be the building blocks on which his successors could build on.
However, he affirmed his acquaintance with the President-elect; Bola Tinubu, pledging to continue to partner with him, and thanked Nigerians, especially the Ebeano political family, while urging them to remain steadfast in the years ahead.
Education is Necessary for Human Existence; – MFOH Nigeria
A leading international showcase of change-makers; Miss Face of Humanity (MFOH Nigeria) has continued to implement its pledge of advancing the course of education because of its importance to national development and humanity in general.
A testament to the will of the international franchise managed by Thecoaches to explore the place of education to humanity and contribute to addressing the challenges bedeviling the sector in Nigeria was underscored by the visit of the MFOH Nigeria’s Ambassador; Rita Chika Ezenwa on Monday to LEA Primary School Wuse III, Zone 6, Abuja FCT.
The visit was a homecoming for MFOH Nigeria’s Amb. Chika Ezenwa, and was timely as the pupils were starting their second-term examination. Amb. Chika, on behalf of the brand, identified and paid the school fees of eight indigent, but serious-minded pupils who could not be allowed to sit for the exams.
Also, MFOH Nigeria took care of the registration, PTA, Uniform, and school fees of one of the pupils who had lost hope of continuing with her education due to lack of funds by the guardian.
Earlier, Amb. Chika, who was a pupil of the school had an interactive session with a cross-section of the pupils during which she admonished them to be resilient and focused as education provides stability in life, and it’s something that no one can ever take away from you.
“By being well-educated, you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself. Education helps a person hone their communication skills by learning how to read, write, speak, and listen.
“Education develops critical thinking. This is vital in teaching a person how to use logic when making decisions and interacting with people, she enthused.
While fielding questions from newsmen on the sidelines of the visit, Amb. Rita Chika Ezenwa revealed that whereas education is designed for the prosperity of humanity and needs to be taken more seriously, education is one sector that has not been given proper attention in Nigeria.
“Education is light to humans and brings one out of the dark. It is certainly the hope for a good life and its importance to man is immense and for this reason, must be given proper attention.
“Quality education must be delivered at all times in our schools so that humanity is touched and advanced positively. An uneducated society is the worst thing for humanity. It means that humanity should be about the humanity of humans which is polished by education. Amb. Chika remarked.
The MFOH Nigeria team was received by the school Assistant II; Ms. Akawu Catherine who thanked the brand and urged the Ambassador to continue to develop and nurture the needs of humanity through education.
GUBER POLL: HURIWA Wants INEC Disbanded, Accuses Police of Abdicating Her Duty to Thugs
The leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group- the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the Nigeria Police Force, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and all other security agencies for allowing armed hoodlums suspected to be working for incumbent governors in Rivers and Lagos State particularly, to harass, intimidate, physical attack, scare away supporters of other political parties other than one of the incumbent governors and perpetrate other illegalities such as snatching and destruction of ballots boxes and sundry manslaughter and outright murders.
HURIWA has also called for the dismissal of the Lagos and Rivers States Police Commissioners for alleged collusion and conspiratorial partnerships with their state governments to look the other way and allow the reign of armed political thugs working for the Lagos State Government and that of the Rivers State government just as the Rights group described the Independent National Electoral Commission under Mahmood Yakubu as being IRREDEEMABLY MANIPULATED AND COMPROMISED by politicians controlling the governments of Rivers, Lagos, Anambra, and several other states whereby these governors recruited and deployed thugs to operate freely.
HURIWA has therefore advocated the immediate disbandment of the management of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the appointment of fresh commissioners to be selected by foreign-led management consultants, and also the Rights group has called for the prosecution of the management staff of the national office of INEC including the resident electoral commissioners of INEC in Lagos, Imo, Rivers, Ebonyi, and Anambra States for their irredeemable compromises during the last two elections of February 25th and March 18th. HURIWA said these criminal collusions and compromises amounted to crimes against humanity.
Relatedly, the prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has described the Force Police spokesman, Adejobi Olumuyiwa, as Igbo phobic and a joke of a law enforcement officer for him to have described the criminal threat to unleash violence made by MC Oluomo against Igbos as a joke.
Musiliu Akinsanya also known as M.C Oluomo, chairman of the Lagos parks and garages had in a trending video made a direct threat against Igbo voters in Lagos.
HURIWA recalled that a video had surfaced online of MC Oluomo threatening Igbos in Lagos State against voting for another political party.
MC Oluomo said Igbos who would not vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC, should sit at home.
But amidst the groundswell of calls on the Police to arrest MC Oluomo for incitement of violence in the Gubernatorial election which rightly witnessed sporadic violence and attacks targeting Igbo voters as threatened by MC Oluomo who is a loyalist of the Lagos State Government and a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress, the Force Police Public Relations Officer rather sarcastically dismissed the apprehensions raised by millions of Nigerians about the threat made within the last 48 hours and instead said nobody has the right to stop the people of Lagos from voting for the candidate of their choice.
The truth is that hundreds of thousands of voters were harassed by armed thugs in parts of Lagos State 48 hours after MC Oluomo made the threat and these thugs successfully suppressed many voters from voting in Saturday’s governorship election. But here we have someone paid by taxpayers’ money helping alleged criminals threatening to unleash violence on voters of other parties other than APC, as a joke. This statement coming from this FPPRO is a monumental scandal for which he needs to apologise or be dismissed from that seat.
HURIWA recalled that the reaction of the police force spokesman came when he was featured on Channels Television, Olumuyiwa assured that the Lagos State Police Command has commenced an investigation into MC Oluomo’s inciting comments.
HURIWA recalled too that the Force Police Public Relations Officer had also said: “I saw a video of MC Oluomo with one mama Chidinma – an Igbo woman debunking that threat, that it’s not true, it’s just a joke he was making with a particular woman. So, let us take it as a joke as he said. But, nobody has the right and audacity to tell Nigerians not to come out and vote; it’s not allowed and not proper. MC Oluomo has come out to debunk it, so let’s leave it that it’s not true. The Commissioner of Police in Lagos had debunked it, and MC Oluomo himself has done the same, so Lagosians should go out and vote for the candidate of their choice.”
HURIWA strongly condemns the lackadaisical attitudes of this policeman known as Olumuyiwa who ought to work as a patriotic and professional police officer but he has rather displayed his incurable IGBO PHOBIC tendencies by hastily concluding that such a threat from MC Oluomo was a joke and so we ask him why is he saying the matter is being investigated since he has already appeared on national television to categorically say that the threat which remains very dangerously potent and indeed has been played out as the guber election proceeds on Saturday in Lagos is a Joke?
HURIWA condemns the Force PRO for manifesting an attitude of someone who is not thoroughly trained as a professional police officer because if he is a professional, he wouldn’t reach a conclusion in a matter he had confirmed is being investigated for possible breach of the electoral Act and besides, the threat by MC OLUOMO contravened several sections of the Electoral Act as amended and has already happened in many parts of Lagos State as reports from observers of that election filter into the office of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
The Rights group said it is certain that if it was an Igbo Speaking native that made such an open threat against Yoruba voters, this Igbo phobic force police public relations officer wouldn’t have dismissed a serious matter as a joke thus choosing the lazy and berated defense tactics adopted by MC OLUOMO when his threat to unleash violence against voters of other parties aside All Progressives Congress and then mention an Igbo name which connotes a covert threat against Igbo voters in Lagos. If I may ask this FPPRO, is he not on this planet earth when MC Oluomo was captured on video during the February 25th Presidential and Legislative elections stopping persons who are Igbo voters from accessing the polling unit in front of his house somewhere in Lagos? Was that one also a joke?
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “MC Oluomo’s action contravenes the Electoral Act 2022, especially Section 125 which provides thus: Any person who at an election acts or incites others to act in a disorderly manner commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both.
“Also, MC OLUOMO’S action violates Section 128 (a) which states: A person who— (a) directly or indirectly, by his or herself or by another person on his or her behalf, makes use of or threatens to make use of any force, violence or restrain commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N1,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of three years.
Young Nigerian Tech Team Builds Alternative INEC IReV Portal
A team of young Nigerian tech professionals volunteering for ‘I am Part of the Social Solutions Initiative’ (#IamPOTS) has built an alternative INEC IReV Portal for today’s Gubernatorial Elections.
With the tag; Trust INEC But Verify and secure your VOTE, the team leader Amb. Godwin Onyekwere Nwachukwuneke advised patriotic Nigerians to download #FenderApp* from Google Playstore here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iampots.fender as they go out to VOTE today just as he encouraged those who may not be voting to help in promoting the app and share to all your contact and groups.
According to Amb. Nwachukwuneke, the App can be used to crosscheck and verify results uploaded by INEC on the INEC IReV and Gather Forensic Evidence incase of Malpractices.
“It’s called Fender Eyewitness and E-results App. It allows every voter to secure their votes by capturing signed polling unit results and entering the number of valid votes gotten by all political parties.
“The captured results get watermarked automatically with the following forensic data:
- Geolocation Information (Longitude and Latitude) of the exact location the Result Picture was taken using the app.
- Date and Time of Capture
- Polling Unit information
“The app doesn’t allow uploads of already existing images from any other sources. All submission must be captured live from a polling unit through the app.
“After submission it allows voters on the app from that polling unit to *UpVote any results they believe to be correct and DownVote any results that is false while uploading evidence of the correct Results.
“The LIVE Results Viewing portal shows Election Results by states in realtime based on the verifiable results submitted from polling unit and UpVoted by voters from that polling unit as a valid result that they witnessed.
“The app also has the eyewitness feature which allows voters and party agents to post events and happening from their polling unit. You can report late arrival of materials, Election Malpractices like Vote Buying, Rigging and any other observation.
“The Eyewitness Report from this app stands a better chance as evidence in court when subjected to forensic investigation. This app is for Voters, Party Agents, Election Observers and the general public”, he explained.
You can download the App from Google Playstore on https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iampots.fender . The IOS App store will be available shortly.
Kindly download and Create your account, if you have any challenge click the support icon inside the app. *Send us a DM through our social media handle’s or watch video tutorial on* facebook.com/IamPOTS and Twitter.com/_IamPOTS
Chatham House: Alake Reveals why Tinubu Delegated Questions
The APC Presidential Candidate; Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday spoke at the Chatham House in the United Kingdom where he was engaged in his action plan for Nigeria and about the controversy concerning his age and refusal to attend the debate.
During the engagement, Tinubu had asked some persons on his team, including Femi Gbajabiamila; speaker of the house of representatives, and Nasir El-Rufai; governor of Kaduna, to answer questions on his behalf.
Tinubu’s action, however, elicited reactions on social media with Nigerians questioning his decision not to answer all the questions himself.
Incidentally, the Director of Strategic Communications of the APC Presidential Campaign Council; Dele Alake has given reasons why Bola Tinubu delegated questions while giving an address at the Chatham House.
Alake, while speaking in an interview with Channels Television said that delegating questions to team members is “one of the innovations” of Tinubu.
“This is one of the innovations of Asiwaju Tinubu. Don’t forget that one of his main solid strengths has been identifying talents,” he said.
“Anybody who has his head properly screwed on his head would know that Asiwaju is the primus inter pares in team building; that is what he sought to display.
“Everybody acknowledges his talents in showcasing professional and technocratic experts in various fields. Those who are saying what you have just said are ignorant of the nuances and dynamics of leadership. Leadership is not a one-man show.
“Successful leadership is one based on a team that is professional and highly skilled. Asiwaju has been noted to be an advocate of that and that is what he displayed.
“Apart from delegating, he also answered questions personally and directly. He wanted to show the caliber of his team and that is what he equally did at the Eko Hotel town hall meeting.
Read Also: Tinubu’s Plan of Action: An Assessment
“That style is being copied by some of his opponents, but they can’t get the traction because they don’t have the solid team he has.”
December 16 for Oluwabamise Ayanwola’s Burial
The family of Ayanwola Oluwabamise has set December 16 for the burial of the slain 21 years old fashion designer who was allegedly raped and murdered by a BRT driver in the Lekki axis of Lagos on 26 February 2022.
The deceased elder brother; Pelumi Abegunde, who announced on Wednesday during her 22nd posthumous birthday ceremony at the family house in Oko-Oba, Agege informed that she will be buried in Lagos.
Vanguard reported that the posthumous birthday was graced by family, friends, and members of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Lagos State, led by Comrade Kehinde Adeoye.
According to the report, Comrade Adeoye seized the occasion to call on the state government to prosecute the prime suspect for Bamise’s murder in a court of competent jurisdiction by the law of the land.
It would be recalled that Bamise went missing after boarding a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), on Saturday, February 26, 2022, at Chevron, Lekki en route to Oshodi at about 7 pm to visit her elder brother whose wife was about to put to bed.
Sadly, her decomposing body was found by the roadside on Ebute-Ero/Carter Bridge, Lagos Island few days after boarding the bus. The body has since been lying at the Mainland Hospital mortuary.
The bus driver, 48 years old Andrew Nice Omininikoron, was later arrested at his hiding place in Ogun State by men of the Department of State Services (DSS) and is facing a five-count charge before a Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS)
Andrew is being charged with conspiracy, murder, and two counts of rape among others but his accomplices are yet to be fished out.
Read Also: RAPE: A Sad Reminder of Our Vulnerability
Until her death, Bamise worked as a fashion designer at Chevron Estate in Ajah, Lagos, but spent the weekends at Ota, Ogun State, with her sibling.
Violence Against Women is Violence Against Humanity;- Nerita
Miss Face of Humanity (MFOH) Nigeria; Queen Nerita Ezenwa has called for a global collective effort in tackling the shadow pandemic of violence against women emphasizing that violence against women is violence against humanity.
The stunning beauty queen, entrepreneur, and ardent humanitarian made this call in a statement on Friday commemorating the International Day for The Elimination of Violence Against Women, which kicks off the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
In the statement sighted, Queen Nerita revealed that in line with this year’s campaign’s theme; UNITE! Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls, she is poised to use the MFOH platform to mobilize all of society to become activists for the prevention of violence against women.
Call on The Global Community
Also, Queen Nerita drew the attention of the global community to how gender-based violence has continued to impact millions of women, girls, and marginalized people around the world, particularly in Nigeria bedeviled with democratic backsliding, conflict, and instability.
“In this context, it is important to underscore the particular horrific impact banditry, insurgence, and militancy is having on women, girls, and marginalized groups in Nigeria
“There has been an alarming increase in reports of gender-based violence including conflict-related sexual violence in temporarily conflict-controlled areas; sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment; and economic abuse.
“Women are unduly affected by conflict and are at far greater risk of gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence.
“It is vital that the global community end impunity for sexual violence, which threatens the lives and wellbeing of women and girls, and prevents them from accessing opportunities that are fundamental to freedom and development – namely, education, healthcare, and jobs.
“MFOH Nigeria will continue to show commitment in providing and advocating global leadership towards ending such violence through seeking platforms at engaging government and stakeholders”, Nerita explained.
Continued commitment in tackling violence against women
Advocating for a multi-year effort aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls, Queen Nerita noted the need to focus on amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence, prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
Continuing, Queen Nerita stated that given the enthusiasm, and managerial abilities of women in building a formidable home and the society at large, women have the potential to contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of a nation and humanity at large.
However, she frowned that despite these inherent attributes, violence against women is still a rising issue in the polity. According to her, this is in recognition of the vast number of women with little or no education and skills to enable them to support their livelihoods or to become active in the mainstream economy of the country.
Queen Nerita, therefore, hinted that within the ensuing 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which kicked off today ending on 10 December Human Rights Day, she is committed to providing change-makers who believe in the power of humanity to change the world the needed support to mobilize and call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.
“We still have more to do. No one should live under the threat of violence. No one should go through humanity fearing violence, abuse, and persecution. That is our ultimate goal at Miss Face of Humanity and my reign will continue to lead this work in Nigeria and on the global stage as the Miss Face of Humanity International next year”, Nerita asserted.
- By Ken Gbados
Naira Rebound: Matters Arising
Reportedly, the naira, which has been falling against major currencies in the past two weeks, has staged a rebound. It recorded gains on the parallel market as it exchanged for about N730 to a dollar on Thursday.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian currency hit an all-time low of about N850 to the US dollar on the black market shortly after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced plans to redesign high-value currency notes.
Issues in Naira Redesign
CBN had said the affected currency notes will cease to be accepted after January 31, 2023, and asked currency holders to pay their currency notes to the banks before then.
While some have begun paying their hordes of naira notes into banks, many have sought refuge in the dollar, mopping up the dollar bills from Bureaus de Change, to preserve value.
What may have caused the rebound
In Lagos, black-market traders attributed the recovery of the naira to its scarcity, saying this was responsible for the inability of speculators buying dollars to offer higher rates for the greenback.
“There is no naira in the system,” one currency dealer told newsmen in Central Lagos District, the heart of the financial market.
He said the dollar had risen to N730, but said if a seller wants naira to be paid into his bank account, it would be done at a lower rate of N700.
In Port Harcourt, a dealer priced the dollar at N700 but demanded N720 to sell dollars to buyers. In Abuja around the Zone 4 area, some BDCs recalled the drop in patronage of the dollar over varying accounts of information.
According to Umaru Abu, “People are scared that with recent information that the US is rejecting the $100 bill, buying the dollar could be a risk, but we have now heard from CBN officials that it is not true.
“Some of my colleagues said maybe people are buying more assets due to the CBN naira redesign policy and are cutting down spending in dollars. But we have observed some drop in patronage since Tuesday evening,” he noted.
Pressure from the Dollar
In the meantime, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) is worried about the pressure the naira is facing from the US dollar.
A dollar exchanged for about N780 to N820 in the parallel market earlier, far above the around N450/$ official rate, due to insufficient supply, which has implications on inflation and the sourcing of raw materials and services.
ICAN president; Mallam Tijjani Isa, stated this on Thursday in Lagos during a briefing to commemorate International Accounting Day 2022. “As a nation, we must find a permanent solution to the forex crisis if we are to develop at the desired pace,” he said.
The president in the company of the Chairman, Body of Past Presidents of the Institute, Dr. Sir Ike Nwokolo, led other members to embark on a health walk among other activities to commemorate International Accounting Day 2022.
Naira gain may be short-lived – AZA
While the latest firming of the naira against the dollar could be good to tame the rising inflation, analysts say the recovery by the local currency is unlikely to be sustainable, noting the flight into the dollar will resume.
“While Nigerian bureau de change operators have confirmed reduced demand at current parallel market levels, we expect dollar appetite to pick up again in the coming days and the naira to resume its recent slide,” AZA Finance wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.
Read Also:Naira Redesign: Matters Arising
The CBN has set limits to acceptable amounts of cash deposits into accounts, warning that it would monitor such transactions in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Since then, the EFCC has raided the offices of bureau de change operators and black-market currency traders in Abuja, Lagos, and other towns.
- Source: Daily Trust
Festus Daumiebi Cautions on Political Intolerance in Bayelsa
Festus Daumiebi; a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state has raised concerns on the activities of politicians in Bayelsa state, which according to him is becoming worrisome as some youths are being arrested and detained arbitrarily.
In a statement via his Facebook pages, Festus Daumiebi said: “The activity of politicians lately in our beloved State is becoming worrisome. Some youths have been arrested and detained on the orders of some political officeholders on some salient issues. I frown at such a move as the government should welcome constructive criticism.
“It is not everything that a government should respond to. The level of political intolerance in Bayelsa State is becoming a great source of concern. This is a new disturbing trend that must be discouraged by all well-meaning Bayelsans. Those who offer themselves to serve the public must develop thick skin with deaf ears also.
“In my contest to the red Chambers as the APC candidate in the 2019 general elections, I was called unprintable names, both here on this blue app and in the electronic media with fake, unsubstantiated, vague, and very untrue allegations but I laughed over them all.
“Most of those guys who did that to me then are my friends today. I would have as well, arrested, detained, or even charged them to court but I opted for the part of tolerance.
“No public office holder in Bayelsa State in our history has been criticised as much as Chief DSP Alamiesrigha of blessed memories was done. Yet he never arrested or detained anyone on mere criticism in the name of defamation.
“Bayelsa State is too small for us to practice this dangerous trend of political intolerance. I am appealing to any political leader or public office holder in Bayelsa State irrespective of the political party that has arrested or detained anyone, be it your party faithful or opposition member to please, release such person for the sake of peace.
“We are Bayelsans before our political affiliations and we must learn to put Bayelsa first. Release Bubby Ugo, Esule Isaac, and indeed, any other political prisoner if any in Bayelsa State. Let us not overheat the polity. Bayelsa State is all we have”.
For record purposes, Festus Daumiebi concluded by asserting that his call for political tolerance in the state is devoid of political sentiments.
Kola Abiola Harps on Solving Nigeria’s Security Situation
Kola Abiola; the presidential candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) has assured that he will address the deteriorating security situation in the country by reinventing Nigeria’s security architecture if elected president in 2023.
Kola Abiola gave this assurance on Sunday while speaking at the Presidential Town Hall Meeting Series organized by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in collaboration with Arise TV.
“We need to address the security architecture. The will is there, we need to ensure implementation and look at the welfare of our armed forces. If you meet a bandit leader and he says there’s no difference between you and us, what would you say?
“The trust has been eroded, the common man cannot feel the presence of a government, I’m coming with zeal to change this mindset,” he said.
Kola Abiola on National Security Council
Kola Abiola further noted that the insecurity plaguing the country underlines the degradation of the country’s security architecture, stressing that the failure of the National Security Council to convene a meeting since 1999 has further exacerbated the situation.
“The security issue is one of the problems that just goes to show the larger problems we have and there is a need to address true security architecture.
“The National Security Council has not sat for one day since 1999 and this is the body that governs the security situation in Nigeria. It is always going out of the architecture to run the country’s Defence.
“The office of the National Security Adviser is not coordinated which has cascaded into the economy. Also, the biggest problem we have is what you just said — the average person in Nigeria has not felt the presence of the government which is why the government has collapsed.
“Recall the olden days whereby the security starts from the local chiefs and the police but a breakdown in trust has led to the security issues. The trust is gone because the leadership is seen as the same as the bandits.
Read Also: Insecurity And Presidential Compromises
“We have never implemented the system itself and if you think back and look at the structures outside the police and security systems, we have the immediate manpower that can solve it in the short run.”
Ike Ekweremadu: Ohanaeze Faults High Court’s Judgement
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization has criticized the swift judgment that Senator Ike Ekweremadu should forfeit his 40 landed properties by the Justice Inyang Ekwo-led Federal High Court.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary; Dr. Alex Ogbonnia on Saturday, the Igbo apex body noted it stands on moral probity to state that a hasty exparte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on a man who is undergoing some travails in the United Kingdom falls short of ethical standards and natural justice.
“We are aware that there are several allegations of corruption cases pending in the EFCC but the urgency and selective judgment in the case of Ekweremadu are not only curious but indeed true to type”.
Continuing, Ohaneze maintained that Ike Ekweremadu should be allowed to defend himself on his properties, and if found wanting should surely face the consequences.
Read Also: 2023: Igbo And Nigerian Charter Of Equity
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls on all the Nigerian legal luminaries of goodwill to intervene against gradual steps towards totalitarianism in Nigeria.”
A Look at Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky Social
Founder and former CEO of Twitter; Jack Dorsey, has launched a new social media platform; the “Bluesky” social.
The Bluesky Social is coming barely a week after Elon Musk; the United States business tycoon and owner of Tesla vehicles acquired the ownership of Twitter for $44 billion on April 14, 2022, and completed it on October 27, 2022.
Reportedly, just within two days of announcing the app, which is in its testing stage, Dorsey’s Bluesky Social, has garnered over 30,000 users.Bluesky social is said to give creators independence from platforms and developers, as well as the freedom to design, allowing users to customize their experience by giving them control over their algorithms.Read Also: How Jumia Black Friday will Enrich Shopping ExperienceDorsey co-founded Twitter 17 years ago and briefly served as its CEO, and returned as CEO from 2015 to 2021 when he resigned.
How Jumia Black Friday will Enrich Shopping Experience
Africa’s e-commerce platform; Jumia, has revealed that the 2022 Jumia Black Friday campaign tagged ‘Beat Sapa’ is geared towards helping consumers navigate the current economic realities while supporting SMEs and brands to reach millions of consumers.
Speaking to journalists during a virtual conference, Massimiliano Spalazzi; Chief Executive Officer of Jumia Nigeria announced that the 2022 edition of the Jumia Black Friday shopping event will enable consumers in Nigeria to get massive discounts on a wide range of products across different categories from top international and local brands.
“The Jumia Black Friday campaign is another opportunity for us to enrich the shopping experience of our consumers. With the current economic situation, it is important to ensure that consumers can still shop for their needs at the best prices.
“This 9th edition is set to provide this, and we are happy to have partnered with the biggest household brands and SMEs. We are encouraging our consumers to take advantage of this campaign and “Beat Sapa” with Jumia.
Jumia Black Friday Partnership
Spalazzi further revealed that this year’s Jumia Black Friday is in partnership with Adidas as the Platinum sponsor and Nivea, Xiaomi, Oraimo, and Guinness as the Gold sponsors.
He noted that the annual commercial event, which was introduced into Nigeria for the first time and in Africa in 2014 by Jumia, has largely contributed to the adoption of e-commerce nationwide through massive awareness.
While speaking on the development, Oladele Adeyole; Country General Manager for Beiersdorf Nivea Consumer Nigeria Limited expressed delight in partnering with the e-commerce platform on this year’s Jumia Black Friday campaign.
“Our customers can expect the best deals on the quality range of product assortment from the Nivea brand. We are aware of the tough economic conditions, which is why at Nivea, we believe in care beyond skin which means being part of the solution. We want to make self-love and self-care accessible and affordable for all.
Aside from having heavily discounted prices, consumers are also expected to get flash sales on selected products and free shipping by brands, daily games, prime members’ dedicated offers, and JumiaPay discounts, amongst others.
The management further encouraged consumers to take advantage of the offers during the Jumia Black Friday Sale by simply downloading the Jumia App.
The campaign, which is scheduled to run from 4th November to 27th November 2022 is expected to feature Treasure Hunt, Brand Days, Daily Check-In, Flash Sales, and Jumia Games, where consumers will win exciting prizes and get further discounts on several products.
Also, it will have JumiaPay incentives, Jumia Prime members dedicated offers, and free shipping on a wide range of products to consumers within Lagos, Abuja, and Ibadan.
Women’s Empowerment Drives Societal Value; – NGO
Elevate Women for Empowerment and Support Initiative has called on the government and relevant stakeholders to focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment to achieve sustainable development stating that it is the catalyst for family and societal values recovery
The NGO made this call in a chat with The World Satellite wherein Treasure Edet; one of the board of trustees informed that the NGO is set up as a charity organization to empower women and help them out of poverty. “The core mandate of the organization is to seek platforms of engagement to achieve gender equality and empower more women and girls”.
In recognition of women’s enthusiasm, and managerial abilities in building a formidable home and the society at large, Edet noted that the NGO became necessary to help women have the potential to contribute immensely to the socio-economic development of a nation.
“There is a need to create an enabling environment and opportunities for the socio-economic empowerment of women. Our strategy is to seek collaborations in organizing skill acquisition programs strictly for women and empower same through practical efforts to enable women and girls to start up a little business that will improve their source of livelihood”, she explained.
Issues with Women’s Empowerment
The NGO frowned that despite inherent attributes, women’s empowerment is still a burning issue in the polity. According to her, this is in recognition of the vast number of women with little or no education and skills to enable them to support their livelihoods or to become active in the mainstream economy of the country.
“The problem is further exacerbated by the alarmingly high number of our women who are either unemployed or under-employed. Again, those who are successful are being looked at from an immoral point of view. Women are pathfinders and they work assiduously to achieve any feat they set out for”, Edet explained.
Reckoning with the challenges facing women
While reckoning with the challenges facing contemporary women, Treasure informed that women face limited access to credit to capitalize on their micro-informal businesses. “Despite having brilliant business ideas, the women and girls are sometimes regarded as high-risk clientele group as they do not have the prerequisite collateral.
“They often cannot access project funding from formal financial institutions. This has left the women and girls stuck in the vicious poverty cycle as their businesses remain merely aspirational and micro, providing income for subsistence purposes only.
“Certainly, efforts to design and implement practical programs to generate decent employment, reduce poverty among women and girls and economically empower them to play a more meaningful role in the development and fulfillment of their communities and the nation at large is timely, as it is the catalyst for family and societal values recovery”, she said.
Canvassing policies to promote equality and Women’s Empowerment
The entrepreneur and humanitarian also hinted that Elevate Women for Empowerment and Support Initiative is upbeat at discovering and encouraging talented female youths in Nigeria and beyond to participate effectively in championing women’s empowerment campaigns and development in Nigeria.
This, according to her is underscored by the fact that women are disappointed with the stewardship of our planet, the unabated violence directed against them, and the slow pace of change in fulcrum issues like education.
She asserted that policies are needed to promote equality in childcare responsibilities and provide State support to families, and those who work in the informal economy.
However, she cited as cause for hope, growing support in tackling gender-bias barriers; a ‘driving will’ for change across generations and countries while adding that the last 28 years “have shown us what is needed to accelerate action for equality.
Read Also: Indigenous Women: Struggle And Resilience
“We don’t have an equal world at the moment and women and girls are angry and concerned about the future. They are radically impatient for change. It’s an impatience that runs deep, and it has been brewing for years”, Treasure Edet concluded.
- Written by Ken Gbados
WhatsApp Back Online After Outage
WhatsApp; the messaging platform, which offers end-to-end encryption for messages has come back online after an outage that affected users around the world.
Meta, who owns the popular method of group communication for social, work, and parenting activities said the problem had been fixed but did not give a reason for the disruption.
Earlier today, people trying to send and receive messages on WhatsApp, which has about two billion users globally, began reporting issues at about 08:00 hours
According to the service status website Down Detector, more than 12,000 reports were posted within half an hour. However, at about 10:00 hours service seemed to be returning for many users.
Meta in a statement said the problem had been resolved.
“We know people had trouble sending messages on WhatsApp today. We have fixed the issue and apologize for any inconvenience,” the statement said.
It would be recalled that last year WhatsApp went down as part of a six-hour outage that also hit Facebook, Oculus, and Instagram.
International Youth Day: Igweshi Calls For Youth Solidarity
The theme of the International Youth Day 2022 should remind all stakeholders to support youth solidarity in creating a peaceful and just society where development will strive, considering the challenges facing the youths.
It couldn’t be more apt as there is no better time than now to seek intergenerational solidarity with relevant stakeholders at all levels to contribute their quota to youth social development where young people make up a greater percentage of the world population.
Yet (the youths) do not have a reasonable representation in government or platforms where they can contribute to policy-making and the overall development of Nigeria and Africa.
The enormous contributions and commitment to the realization of United Nations agenda 2030, AU Agenda 2063, and the continual push and demand for sustainable development in the world by the youths can never be overemphasized.
This year (and the previous year) has been a very challenging year and young people around the world have been leading in Championing Peacebuilding and sustainable development as well as demanding a better society.
Many young people are risking their lives while leading action on peace and security with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted the normal way of life and negatively impacted the well-being of the youth.
The fact that government and the UN cannot continue to say they want to solve the problems and yet continually exclude the main people who make up the greater percentage affected by those problems should be a concern and issue to look into.
The youths want better job opportunities, a good education, access to affordable quality health care, responsive and accountable governments, and increased efforts to tackle corruption. This year’s theme should remind all stakeholders to support youth solidarity in creating a peaceful and just society where development will strive.
With over 60% of Nigeria’s population consisting of the youth unemployment, strike action, and insecurity has become the biggest challenge facing Nigeria and the youths have played a critical role in mobilizing, advocating, and creating sustainable solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.
Also, over the years, youths have initiated programs and led initiatives that have made a significant impact on society. International Youth Day 2022 should remind all stakeholders to be in solidarity with the youth and support youth-led and focused initiatives as well as recognize the critical role and contributions of young people in the sustenance of Peace and Development in society.
To the youths all over the world 2022 International Youth Day celebrations today is yet another day for you to remind yourselves of the need to continue to champion a better society while building resilience for sustainable peace and development.
Happy International Youth Day
CENTER for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development (CEPASD)
and President Youth Model African Union Summit
Gentlemen of the media, in today’s interface we are urging you to sensitise the Federal Government’s agencies responsible for the protection of the Rights of Nigerian Consumers to wake up from slumber and save Nigerians from abuses and violations of the legal and constitutionally protected Rights especially in the face of what looks like a deluge of KAYANMATA, and many other unverified and unscientific products that are sold both online and in the traditional market places in which citizens are deceived into believing in the efficacious effects of those products to enhance their sexual lifestyle.
HURIWA is worried that the seemingly growing global demand for sex-related products and increasing awareness of sexual wellness are spurring a boom in the global sex industry Amid rising demand for lingerie, contraceptives, condoms, lubricants, sex toys, etc., Business insider predicts the global sex market will grow by nearly 7% each year up till 2021.
HURIWA shares same observation with a certain writer who wrote that despite its conservative culture and proclivity to avoid sexual matters, Nigeria’s sex industry is evolving just as fast. Also this writer says that the sexual wellness market is dominated by condoms, pills and sex toys, but there is a significant niche that exists outside these, a world of herbs and spices that serve as sexual enhancers. Enter Kayan Mata, a local aphrodisiac. Source: stearsng.com, 8 may 2018.
HURIWA is calling on relevant regulatory agencies to wake up from slumber and protect vulnerable Nigerians from products such as sexual enhancers from being duped especially if these products are yet to be authenticated and accredited. Agencies such as the Federal Competition and Consumer Rights Commission formerly identified as the CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL and NAFDAC are the two leading regulatory authorities that ought to stop deceptive advertisements of sexual wellness and enhancement products that have flooded the airwaves and online/social media and wreaking domestic havoc and destabilising marriages and relationships. The Federal Competition and Consumer Rights Commission say their mandates are as follows-:
What We Do
The Commission in fulfilment of its statutory mandate deploys several regulatory tools to monitor and modify behaviour of service providers and manufacturers. Some key areas of operation include complaint resolution, surveillance and enforcement, consumer education, as well as research and strategy.
Using different mechanisms, the Commission resolves complaints that are filed with it. Usually, consumer grievances and dissatisfaction are filed with the Commission as “Complaints”. The Commission receives these complaints in diverse ways including online, in person, in writing, and multiple social media platforms. Most complaints are resolved using one or more of our resolution tools, such as direct engagement, negotiations, mediation, conciliation, investigations, administrative hearings and collaboration with other regulators. Investigations and hearings usually occur when a market intervention becomes compelling, or conduct is egregious or indicative of a pattern or widespread infraction.
Surveillance & Enforcement
A vital tool of protecting consumers is market surveillance, and enforcement where violations occur. This component of our work is both random and targeted. Most targeted interventions are on account of intelligence gathered by, or provided to the Commission, including anonymous tips. Random interventions are a quality assurance mechanism. Some activities here are preventive and may lead to publishing Guidelines or Advisories on products in the market and restrictions on consumption or use.
Quality Assurance & Development
The satisfaction and safety of the Nigerian consumer are paramount. The Commission is committed to nationwide quality assessment of products and services, through inputs into national & international standards, sampling, analysis, investigation, process auditing, developing and issuance of Guidelines/Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in order to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality, safe and meet consumers’ expectation, while giving value for money.
A fundamental factor in consumer protection is an educated consumer. As such, the Commission engages in routine and periodic consumer education to inform consumers of their rights, available enforcement mechanisms and how to use the processes. Another vital aspect of consumer education is to provide information about key market developments such as Advisories, warnings, recalls and similar interventions. The Commission conducts numerous specific and general awareness campaigns.
Research & Strategy
The Commission engages in domestic and global research on products and services, as well as changing or evolving market trends and consumer behaviour. The objectives are to:
Provide data base for organisational planning purposes on the concept of consumerism;
Develop strategies for interventions; and
Modify existing mechanisms to be more effective and/or efficient.
Research and strategy play a pivotal role in how the Commission accomplishes its mandate and allocates its limited resources.
The mission of NAFDAC is to safeguard public health by ensuring that only the right quality drugs, food and other regulated products are manufactured, imported, distributed, advertised, sold and used in Nigeria.
These two slumbering governmental giant regulatory bodies set up to protect consumer rights should please wake up and work or be restructured and proactive hierarchies set up for these bodies. We have therefore decided to write through the media to one of the most reported sellers of the so called KAYANMATA. The following is our letter-:
OPEN LETTER TO HAUWA SA’IDU MOHAMMED, ALSO KNOWN AS JARUMA TO WITHIN 72 HOURS GO TO THE MEDIA AND REPUDIATE THE ALLEGED EFFICACY OF HER LOCAL AFRODISIAC KNOWN AS ‘KAYANMATA’ OR SHOWCASE THE APPROVALS FROM REGULATORY AUTHORITY….
We, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); the leading civil rights advocacy group have observed with worries the controversies surrounding your business as a sex therapist and sales of local aphrodisiac called Kayanmata, which you claim are aimed at rescuing women from failed marriages.
Evidence available seems to suggest that you are allegedly preying on impressionable women and as such has allegedly built an empire on the gullibility of desperate women. Can you please contradict this allegation with empirical evidence and science based licenced from Nigerian Government.
Allegations are rise of the use of voodoo and ‘Juju’ dark magic alongside these products in order for your clients to successfully trap men and do their bidding after sexual encounters the male folk finds difficult to walk away from. If this are just mere allegations why then is there a popular belief that your products can help young girls catch rich sugar Daddies?
You have also portrayed that your ‘Kayan Mata’ which literally means a woman’s property is said to enhance love and intimacy and even make women receive expensive gifts from men out of inducement – is this not tantamount to love scam and false pretenses punishable in Nigeria, under Section 419 of the Criminal Code, which states:
“Any person who by any false pretense, and with intent to defraud, obtains from any other person anything capable of being stolen, or induces any other person to deliver to any person anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years”?
More so, your clients are alleged to be ladies seeking to win the hearts of wealthy married men, thereby encouraging the act of Adultery. Adultery is a criminal offence under the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria. Section 387 and 388 stipulate imprisonment for two years, and/or with a fine for adultery.
Although, Adultery is not prosecuted under the Criminal Code, it provides for redress if a spouse can prove that adultery occurred. For instance, section 15(2)(b) of the Matrimonial Causes Act states that: “ The court hearing a petition for a decree of dissolution of a marriage shall hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably if the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent”
Again, we are not aware of any approval from NAFDAC, as such selling of unlicensed and unauthorized love portion, which suspectedly did not undergo evaluation and/or approval by the National or Regional Regulatory Authority for the market in which they are marketed/distributed or used, subject to permitted conditions under national or regional regulation and legislation is a crime and punishable or are your products accredited?
Therefore, we are giving you 72 hours from the date of this publication to go to the media and repudiate the alleged efficacy of your products with an apology to the men and women you have allegedly induced with your alleged unlicensed and unauthorized love portions, which has infringed on their rights accordingly.
Failure to do so, we may very likely take legal steps to force relevant Agencies of the Government to rise up and do their duty. UNLESS AND EXCEPT YOU SHOW PROOF THAT YOUR KANTA MATA IS CERTIFIED FIT FOR CONSUMPTION BY NAFDAC AND THE FEDERAL COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION COMMISSION.
Agencies such as the Federal Competition and Consumers Protection Commission (FCCPC), established by law to protect citizens in the market place by preventing abuse, exploitation and any form of mistreatment or disregard with respect to consumers must be compelled by legal means to wake up.
In addition, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), whose function as provided in the enabling law that establishes it are to: Regulate and control the importation, exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water, Chemicals and detergents must be tasked to wake up and defend Nigerians.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko:
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
FEBRUARY 9TH 2022.
Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, we humbly welcome you all to this media briefing organised in commemoration of the World Human Rights Day, 2021 by the prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group; HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
As you all may be aware, Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The theme for this year, is Reducing Inequalities and Advancing Human Rights. It relates to ‘Equality’ and Article 1 of UDHR, which says ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.’ The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights.
However, HURIWA has chosen to apply the theme practically and in our context by reflecting on the series of killings by armed Fulani herders with special focus on Benue state of Nigeria.
This is completely our independent initiative in our capacity as a team of professionals who have no political affiliations but have come together to advance the single agenda of building a formidable and economically strong united Nigeria in addition to achieving just and equitable development in our dear country.
Why the interest in Benue state? You may ask! For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to stress here that we are interested in what is happening not only in Benue but also in Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa and, indeed, all other states of the Middle Belt, South-South, South-East, South-West, North-West and the North-East where these mindless Fulani militia has visited its terror on peaceful and defenseless communities leaving in its trail blood and devastation.
From verifiable evidence, it may take international pressure to dissuade the central government from going ahead with its entrenched active support for Fulani terrorists going by public utterances of key officials of the current administration in Abuja, which appear apparently to be heavily sympathetic to Islamist and Fulani terrorists.
For instance, it would be recalled that HURIWA had in a letter dated August 13, 2020 and signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, asked the Attorney General of Federation and Minister for Justice to prosecute “armed Fulani killers.”
However, the minister in his reply dated October 7, 2020 claimed the cases in question had no case files and as such he could not prosecute them.
Though herdsmen’s incursions into Benue date back to 2012, the crisis got to a head in early 2016 when militant herdsmen stormed Agatu local government area, killing close to 2,000 persons in what many, including the United Nations, described as genocide.
Regrettably, since the advent of the present administration, despite concerted efforts to check the escalating crisis, the state has recorded many incursions of herdsmen across Benue communities, and, from Agatu to Makurdi, Guma to Logo, Buruku to Tarka, and Gwer West to Otukpo, it has been tales of sorrow, tears and blood for local farmers who lost loved ones and property.
While the crisis and killings raged, Ortom and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura, held several meetings to check the invasion of Benue from the neighboring state which culminated in the signing of a peace agreement after the Agatu massacre in early 2016.
All the peace efforts seemingly failed and the embattled communities were left with no choice but to pressure the Ortom government to enact the law prohibiting open grazing in order to put an end to the killings.
Then, in 2017, the government came up with a bill to prohibit open grazing in Benue. The said bill, which was subjected to public scrutiny and inputs by the people through public hearings and debates from stakeholders across the state, including herdsmen, was passed and signed into law, though a six month window period was allowed for sensitization and advocacy before the law came into full effect on November 1, 2017.
Nonetheless before the law came into effect, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore had registered its opposition to the law, insisting that it was intended to frustrate the trade of herdsmen in the state.
The group was alleged to have threatened to resist the law and invade Benue to express its resentment and even went as far as dragging the state government to court over the matter.
Bothered by the threat, the Benue government appealed to the Federal Government to arrest the leaders of the group and prosecute them.
Aside the state government, the leadership of the three major ethnic groups in the state, under the aegis of the Mdzough U Tiv, the Idoma National Forum and Omi’Yi Igede, and through Chief Edward Ujege, appealed to the Federal Government to call the Miyetti Allah group to order.
Whereas the Federal Government took the alarm raised by the people of the state for granted, the unimaginable happened: Women, including the pregnant, children and unarmed men and youths were slaughtered in two days of coordinated attacks that started on new year’s day of 2018 in Logo and Guma local government areas.
Since then, Benue has been turned into a theatre of war; 21 out of the 23 LGAs of Benue State have suffered one form of herders’ attacks or the other. Between January, 2018, and now, armed herdsmen have reportedly killed about 1,773 people (those traced and accounted for) in Benue State. The killers obviously no longer come with cows, but AK47.
Most significant was on the 24th of April, 2018 when armed Fulani herdsmen unleashed terror on Ayar Mbalom community in the Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, killing 19 persons, including two Rev. Fathers identified as Fr. Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha.
It was gathered that the Catholic faithful had gone for morning mass around 5.30am and unknown to them, the militia herdsmen had laid ambush in the community.
The latest of the callous and inhuman atrocities came in the morning of November 13, 2021, when some gunmen invaded a community in Mbayatyo, Mbater council ward of Logo LGA killing scores of mourners at a wake for one of their departed relatives. What could be worse than the killing of bereaved people mourning the death of a loved one?
HURIWA is mostly concerned because the mass killings perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen is a violation of right to life. The sanctity of life is guaranteed under section 33(1) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which provides: ‘Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria’.
Similar provisions can be found in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) 1948, Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966,59 and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 1983.
Importantly, the 1983 Act is a domestication of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 1981 in Nigeria. More importantly, Nigeria is a State Party to these international/regional instruments and their provisions are binding on the country.
In effect, the right to life of a Nigerian citizen as well as those within the territory of Nigeria is derived from multiple sources, including the Nigerian Constitution. There is no question that the victims of the Fulani herdsmen killings have a right to life under the above legal provisions.
There is no doubt also that the various killings of innocent people by Fulani herdsmen violate not only the Nigerian Constitution but also opens them up for criminal liabilities/charges for multiple murders under the Criminal Code Act/Law or Penal Code Act/Law depending on whether the crime was committed in southern or northern Nigeria respectively. Why then has government not been able to prosecute any of them?
Again, the recurrent killings of innocent persons across Nigeria by the Fulani herdsmen, their attacks on communities/villages and their kidnapping activities are all within the purview of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 (as amended). Yet, the federal government has not arrested and prosecuted any of the perpetrators; nor has she declared the Fulani herdsmen and/or their organizations such as Miyetti Allah as a terrorist organization as required by the law.
Position and Demands:
The security of life, property and general welfare of the people is the central role of governments all over the world. In fact, section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) expressly provides that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.
It is strongly recommended that affected individuals and states of the federation should follow the example of Benue State by pursuing possible civil actions against the Fulani herdsmen. Noteworthy, criminal prosecutions and civil actions would help to curb the recurrent Fulani herdsmen attacks.
In the long term, the federal government must adopt critical policy decision (s) in collaboration with all the states of the federation and other critical stakeholders that could end the recurrent killings and other criminalities.
In view of this, we berate a former two-term governor of Benue State and Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs; George Akume for attacking Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on his position of insecurity in the state and nation at large.
Akume had at a press conference on Monday, August 30, 2021 asked Ortom to tender an unreserved apology to President Muhammadu Buhari for using foul language when he called on him to address the security challenges ravaging the country.
It is so awkward that instead of using his good office and closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari to tell Mr. President the naked truth about the atrocities being perpetrated by invading Fulani herdsmen militia against the Benue people, he rather chose to play the role of an errand boy desperate to change the narrative and misinform or mislead the Nigerian people on the true situation on the ground.
Nothing can be more unfortunate and pathetic than a situation where a man who is looked up to by the Benue people as a father and patriot allegedly choses to stoop so low in alleged defense and promotion of a well-orchestrated agenda of Fulanisation, which will ultimately consume everybody, including himself, if not checkmated. Minister George Akume needs to be courageous enough to speak for his good people of Benue State who have given all that he attained as a politician. Without Benue people, there will be no politically relevant George Akume
HURIWA hereby throws her weight behind Governor Ortom. This is because Nigeria would have known peace if many governors were shouting against terror attacks by Fulani assailants and their sponsors.
More so, if every governor had remained resolutely committed in providing security and wellbeing of their citizens as Governor Ortom and a few other governors are doing, the present security challenges would have been a thing of the past.
We call on President Buhari to heed to the voice of reason by Governor Ortom and other governors that have raised concerns on the present dangers facing the Nigerian state occasioned by the atrocious activities of these Fulani herdsmen invaders.
The President can still redeem his good name by supporting and partnering with state governors and other leaders who have seen existential threats posed by these attackers in order to stave off the imminent disintegration of the country under his watch.
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
NATIONAL COORDINATOR; HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA ( HURIWA).
DECEMBER 10TH 2021.
The entire Igbo Nation in the United States of America under the Coordination of World Igbo Congress (WIC), Igbo World Assembly (IWA) and Nzuko Umunna reaffirms the bond and oneness of the Ndigbo in Diaspora and have resolved to act as the coordinating point of Ndigbo in the US. We are unanimous in our strong condemnation of the reported shoot-at-sight order issued by the Inspector General of Police against Igbo youths.
As an umbrella organisation that is not only vested in the interests of Ndigbo in the US but with deep roots in Nigeria, we are aware of sociocultural, economic and political developments in our fatherland. To this end, we are not unaware of worsening security challenges in Nigeria and the concerted efforts by both state and non-state actors to arrest the situation.
The country has witnessed how terrorism, killer herdsmen and banditry that have ravaged some parts of the north is gradually descending to the Southern part of the country, especially the South-east and South South regions–the Igbo heartland. Noteworthy is the fact that until recently, South-east was the most peaceful and stable region in Nigeria.
While this is troubling and a great source of concern for Nigerians in general and Ndigbo in particular, what is more worrisome is the posture of the Federal Government and response by the law enforcement agents to the situation. For some reasons that seems odious and ominous, the utterances from the Presidency, Government and law enforcement officials are laced with a desire to turn the region into a war zone rather than seek for its peace, stability and development. The worst case scenario was the latest comment credited to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba.
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, Nigeria’s number one law enforcement officer was quoted to have said: “If anyone accuses you of human rights violation, the report will come to my table and you know what I will do. So, take the battle to them wherever they are and kill them all. Don’t wait for an order.” This statement if true, is a call for genocide, extrajudicial killings and human rights violations against people of the South East and South South regions.
We have waited to be sure that the Police boss was either misquoted or had a Freudian slip that would be denied and clarified but none of that was done. Not only are we shocked that the IGP Baba did not deny and disassociate himself from such murderous statement but we are equally surprised that the Presidency failed to call him to order and reassure the people of the zones who are already traumatised by such order that this is not case. We want to believe that this is not a state policy that continues to designate the old Eastern region as an occupied territory since the end of the Biafra-Nigerian civil war.
Against this backdrop, Ndigbo in Diaspora condemns in strongest terms, the shoot-at-sight order given by the IG of Police and the military chiefs as part of their Rule of Engagements (ROE), which violates every fabric of Geneva convention on war crimes and on laws protecting civilians in conflict.
Consequently, Ndigbo in the United States have commenced actions to hold the police chief to account and the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces for declaration of war on citizens of Nigeria, particularly in the South East and South South regions.
For emphasis, we want to bring the attention of the IGP, Service Chiefs and Presidency that the international conventions and international rules are not being followed in the latest rules of engagement for their operations in Igboland and therefore, constitute acts or intent to commit genocide.
As an organisation that believes in peace anchored on equity, fairness and justice, we urge the government to explore dialogue as an avenue to lasting peace in the regions and not a military-era shoot-at-sight order. We are asking the government to embrace dialogue, engage with the people and leaders of these regions in order to assuage their grievances, which borders on marginalisation and systemic discrimination.
We are also using this opportunity to inform the international community and human rights organisations that if the government and law enforcement agents continue with the bloodletting, then President Muhammadu Buhari and his service chiefs will have cases to answer at the International Criminal Court.
Finally, for a sustainable solution to the myriads of problems bedeviling the country, which have been exacerbated by the sectional and clannish nature of the current administration, we call on the Federal Government to embrace the 12-point agenda adopted by the governors of the Southern Nigeria, especially on restructuring, state policing and ban on opening grazing of livestock.
Prof Anthony Ejiofor
Chairman, World Igbo Congress
Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze
Chairman, Igbo World Assembly
Sir Ngozi Odumuko
Executive Secretary, Nzuko Umunna
Elder Amadiebube Mbama
Coordinator, Joint Action Committee.
The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is calling for the immediate dismissal, arrest and prosecution of the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal; Danladi Umar for the disgraceful conduct he displayed at BANEX PLAZA WUSE 2 ABUJA yesterday where he was caught on camera beating up mercilessly a Security guard who was only doing his Job by telling him not to park on a reserved parking space.
The misconduct of this so called public officer has shown that he lacks the comportment, the decorum, the decency, the discipline that are required for such a high office of the law.
We hereby call on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Boss Mustapha to sack Danladi Umar without wasting any time except if this government is reckless, rascally, unruly and lawless, then the unruly character that embodies the soul of the government can continue to be there in the office.
We urge the members of the Civil Rights Advocacy Community in Nigeria to provide pro-bono legal services for this citizen that was beaten blue and black by a man who ought not to behave like a wrestling thug.
This was the same character that was used by the President Muhammadu Buhari and he was unusually manipulated, brainwashed and instigated to unlawfully issue an exparte order (A Kangaroo/ Jankara market injunction) that pronounced unconstitutionally the removal of only substantive Chief of Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to have come from southern Nigeria in the last 30 years; Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen.
We condemn the reckless issuance of a press statement by this fellow Danladi Umar of (CCT) in which he was quoted to have called those who witnessed the scene of his public show of brute force against an innocent Nigerian as Biafran boys which showed that he is a bigot or that he knows something most Nigerians do not know- that is, that he may have as well passed another night time experts order creating his imaginary BIAFRAN REPUBLIC for him to know the citizens of his UTOPIAN CREATION.
The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) wants the Federal government to arrest Danladi Umar and prosecute him on ground of treason for him to have pronounced the Nigerian citizens Biafran boys because he may have been procured to issue an illegal exparte order creating Biafran republic because he has the habit of recklessness of issuing frivolous orders from his chambers.
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Umar Danladi, has been caught on camera physically assaulting a security guard at Banex Plaza in Wuse, Abuja.
In a five-minute video that has gone viral online, Mr Danlandi was seen slapping and kicking the yet-to-be-identified security guard, while police officers suspected to be attached to him were trying to restrain him from attacking the guard.
The crowd around the scene was heard shouting “Go away, go away, oga go inside your car, respect yourself. A plastic bottle was seen hauled at his vehicle while the policemen were struggling to calm Mr Danlandi.
The voice from the person filming the scene was heard saying “You are not the most powerful person here, they will beat you here”.
The voice also said in the video clip that the mirror of Mr Danladi’s black sport utility vehicle SUV was smashed.
The CCT chairman was eventually pulled back into his vehicle by the policemen.
But as the vehicle was leaving the premises, the gate was shut.
The vehicle, which had others in its front, was trying to find its way out of the premises when the video ended.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemn in a very strong way the reported fire incident that razed a part of the imposing and newly commissioned headquarters of Nigerian immigration at airport road Abuja. That a newly built structure built at huge cost to the public is being deliberately set ablaze to apparently conceal evidence of massive corruption is disheartening.
This fire incident raises a number of posers:
1. What happened?
2. How did the fire come about?
3. Why the coincidence between the reported expiration of the tenure of the Comptroller General of NIS and the fire incident?
4. Is this a case of sabotage? And if not, why will such a big complex not house 21st century compliant fire service equipment within the complex?
5. Is this a pattern / practice of this current government to go about setting offices ablaze and at the end of the day those fire incidences are not properly investigated?
We think that this fire incident is one too many to be dismissed as a mere coincidence, we suspect that there is a grand design to cover up some alleged financial heists/ malfeasance at the top most level of government. This demands transparent and an open independent probe and not the in- house probe going on as we speak.
The Nigerian Immigration Services headquarters is a NATIONAL INSTITUTION OF GLOBAL SIGNIFICANCE. So the incident of fire emergency must be thoroughly investigated to eliminate or establish case of sabotage or otherwise.
An attack on the Nigerian Immigration Services headquarters is a direct attacks k to the National Security interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This particular fire incident has followed an ugly pattern.
This is because there have been so many fire incidences, first was in the office of the accountant general then followed by (CAC) cooperate affairs commission and then (INEC) Independent National Electoral Commission.
In the case of the three previous fire incidences, those ones happened during the lockdown when there was supposed to be adequate security measures in place , sadly these fire incidences in these major institutions have happened and been swept under the carpet and there are no open investigation and we think that there is something fishy about it . Let the government tell Nigerians what they are hiding and why are the institutions going up in flames.
This is because these institutions that are going up in flames are the custodians of revenue yielding documents and even INEC that went up in flames happened between the period of pendency of the post 2019 post-election petition litigation, if we are not mistaken. So what these regular and orchestrated fires show is that there is more to it than meets the eye.
Recalled that Since March 25, 2020 when President Mohammadu Buhari authorised the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, mysterious infernos have engulfed three prominent government agencies. In quick succession, fire have gutted the Treasury Building, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the latest is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
One interesting mystery of these fire is their sequence. They occurred almost at one week interval. Nigerians were shocked to know that days after the CAC and the Treasury House in Abuja were gutted by fire, a section of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Maitama-Abuja, was gutted by fire.
Exactly one week after the headquarters of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation was gutted by fire, there was another fire incident at the headquarters of the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The fire, according to media sources quoted by a major media outlet, occurred at the six-storey building located in Maitama, Abuja.
The building is located on the same street that houses other top government offices like the National Youth Service Corps, the Nigeria Incentives Risk-Based Sharing for Agricultural Lending and the Nigeria Export Promotion Commission among others.
Nigerians should demand accountability because silence in the face of corruption by the government officials is disastrous. The NIS FIRE SHOULD BE PROBED SO WE KNOW WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED. WE ARE NOT POINTING ACCUSING FINGER BUT WE THINK THE FIRES ARE CERTAINLY MANIPULATED.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
MONDAY 11TH JANUARY 2021.
The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) condemns the Federal Government and the Kastina State government for the spectacular security breaches that led to the kidnap of over 300 students of Government Boy’s Science Secondary School Kankara, Kastina State.
The lack of effectiveness and efficiency in securing any and all parts of Nigeria falls squarely on the desk of Mr. President, so Mr. President has failed in his responsibility to protect Nigerians as clearly spelt out in section 14 (2)(B) of the 1999 Constitution, which makes security and the welfare of the people the Primary duty of the government.
So Mr. President should own up to his cocktails of failures to protect the citizens of Nigeria. Mr. President needs to take immediate steps to remedy these bad situations because Nigeria cannot continue to be a country of the primitive epoch whereby the citizens are killed or slaughtered like chickens at the whims and caprices of non-state actors and the government that is elected primarily to protect the citizens has been busy since five years in lamentation and mourning.
These ugly situations have gone on for far too long than Nigerians can tolerate. Enough is enough. Taking responsibility by the President means dismissing persons who have failed to discharge their obligation to the people of Nigeria and these persons are all in Katsina State.
These people are first the Governor of Kastina State who needs to be impeached by the Katsina State House of Assembly. Others are the Commissioner of Police in Kastina State; the director of Department of States Services (DSS) in Kastina state and the state Commandants of all the paramilitary and the military in Kastina state.
If Mr. President is truly the Commander- in -Chief of the Armed Forces in Nigeria, he should dismiss the people who have failed in discharging their duties if on the other hand the President fails to take actions, it therefore means that the President tolerates impunity and in that case the National assembly should impeach the president, because it is an impeachable offence, that is if the National Assembly members are not Cowards but if they are, then we can live with the reality of our situation as a doomed Nation.
The National Assembly should indeed constitute independent medical examiners to conduct thorough checks to ascertain the health status of the President because he is not showing empathy with the victims of these dozens of killings and he failed to go to the National Assembly to tell Nigerians why he can’t protect Nigerians and Nigeria but instead he flew into Katsina State and he was in Katsina when these boys were kidnapped but rather than visit the school, he stayed back in his private residence when he is allegedly inspecting his private cattle ranch.
Something is not right somewhere and the National Assembly is in this conspiracy to destroy Nigeria by failing to compel the appearance or medical examination of the mental capacity of the Commander in chief who has in five years failed to win the war on terror.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko:
National Coordinator Comrade:
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
December 14th 2020.
The HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) strongly condemns the minister of information and culture Mr. Lai Muhammed on his unbridled, irrational, irresponsible, emotional, and totally provocative reaction to the CNN‘s report on the alleged shooting of peaceful protesters on Lekki toll gate by the Nigerian Army.
It is shameful that rather than applaud and commend the CNN for it’s deployment of the highest quality of technology to ascertain what exactly took place on October 20th at Lekki tollgate Lagos state, a cabinet level minister in Nigeria paid by the public is rather engaging in warfare against the public.
What took place today as press conference by the minister has nothing informative and cultural about it, but rather we will look at it from the dimension of cultural tyranny that was displayed by this person who parades himself as the minister of information. He should cover himself in shame.
The reason for saying this is that the minister is promoting misinformation by fighting qualitative dissemination of information as was done by the cable news network CNN.
One would have expected that a government that is working to promote the welfare of the Nigerian people should be exceedingly happy that the CNN has helped us to expose the hidden information by the characters that unleashed violence on the people at the LEKKI Toll Gates Lagos on October 20th 2020.
The characters that carried out the attacks against the Nigerian people on October 20th at the Lekki toll gate had actually carried out an act of active sabotage by removing the CCTV so it was a state sponsored attack against the people which was meant to be concealed but luckily, CNN has used their superior scientific equipment to decode what exactly took place and instead of the government to use this great information to reach a quick determination on how to deliver social justice and then deal with those who killed peaceful protesters in LEKKI Toll Gates Lagos on October 20th, the central government which focuses on irrelevance and deceit has come out to attack THE TRUTH.
The verbal attack against the CNN by Lai Muhammed is an evidence that the government knew what happened to the protesters on October 20th because only the guilty are afraid. Why is the Federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari afraid of THE TRUTH when CONSCIENCE IS AN OPEN WOUND WHICH ONLY TRUTH CAN HEAL?
We are totally disappointed at the SHOW OF SHAME AND THE SHAMELESS VERBAL DIARRHOEA OF THE BUHARI’S MEDIA SPINDOCTOR AGAINST ONE OF THE GLOBAL MEDIA LEADERS; THE CABLE NEWS NETWORK OF ATLANTA USA.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
NOVEMBER 19TH 2020.
A Statement By The Pro-Democracy and Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) Condemning The Petition Against Most Rev. Dr. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah; The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese of Enugu State, Nigeria By The Sultan of Sokoto; Sa’ad Abubarkar III, And Accusing Him of Incitement and Threatening Christianity by His Unholy Petition.
Yesterday, the media space was agog with the news of the petition by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) asking the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, and the Department of State Services, to as a matter of urgency interrogate, the Most Rev. Dr. Godfrey Onah; Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese in Enugu State over what it described as hate speech, inciting sermon of lies, fabricated to provoke hatred for Muslims.
According to Vanguard Newspaper, NSCIA under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto; Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar III alleged that Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka Catholic Diocese instigated the recent attacks on Muslims in the South-East and South-South regions even as they claim to be in possession of evidence, which indicted the Catholic Bishop in the last Saturday’s assault on Muslims in Nsukka, Enugu State.
The apex Muslim body specifically alleged that some Christian bigots attacked Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosque following a sermon delivered by Bishop Onah. The Sultan explained that the attacks intensified following his appeal to the security agencies on October 23, to offer special protection to Muslims in the two regions in view of the threats they face.
The petition, signed on behalf of the Sultan by NSCIA’s Deputy Secretary-General, Prof. Salisu Shehu, reads in part: “On Saturday, October 31, 2020, some Christian bigots unleashed violent and virulent attack on Muslims in Nsukka and burnt their Mosques as a result of a hateful and inciting sermon, full of lies and fallacies, delivered by one Bishop; Reverend Father Godfrey Igwebuike Onah.
Also, NSCIA recalled its letter dated 6 Rabiul-Awwal 1442 AH (23 October, 2020) wherein they implored the Nigeria Police Force to specially protect the lives, property and places of worship for Muslims living in the South-East and South-South.
The petition to the IGP, however warned that the recurrence of the alleged virulent assault on Muslims in the two regions, if left unchecked, could surely ignite reprisals in other parts of the country, especially in the North.
Why We Are Concerned:
We, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, as a foremost civil rights group, with no political nor religious affiliation but passionate about achieving just and equitable development in our dear country are very concerned about the petition against Bishop Onah by The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs for the following reasons:
First, in his October 18 homily that was based on the #EndSARS protests, Bishop Onah only made a comparison of the treatment given to Muslims and Christians practicing their respective faiths in the various regions of the country and asking and calling attention for equal treatment of everyone based on freedom of association as provided for in the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)
“We hear the Muslim call to prayer from our windows in our bedrooms at 4.00 a.m. and a Christian in Abuja (who) takes her Bible to call people to accept Jesus Christ is murdered by Islamist fundamentalists and nothing happens,” the Bishop bemoaned in his homily published on his YouTube Channel.
Making reference to the perceived discrimination, Bishop Onah added, “It cannot continue and these are the things we have to say NO to. It is not just about the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). It’s about injustice, it’s about violence.”
“It is not possible that Muslims in this country can acquire land and build Mosques anywhere. Many mosques are rising in Nsukka now and Christians can no longer obtain land to build churches in the so-called Christian-dominated states let alone the northern state,” the Nigerian Prelate continued in the homily that has been widely shared.
Secondly, the Muslim Leaders’ claim that Bishop Onah’s homily instigated the worshippers against Mosques and Muslims is fallacious and misleading. In the most recent attacks on October 31 wherein two mosques and a primary school where reportedly destroyed by some rioters in Enugu State was over some disagreement between a Muslim woman and a taxi driver over fare.
According to a source on BBC Hausa service on Monday, the altercation started when a Muslim woman selling tomato took Keke Napep from a village market to her shop in the township area of the state.
The source further revealed to BBC Hausa service that the woman and the Keke Napep driver got into an argument over her transport fare, which resulted in the destruction and burning of properties belonging to Muslims in the area.
Thirdly, Bishop Onah’s sermon on the perceived discrimination of Christians based on their faith are not full of lies and fallacies. Who monitors the incendiary sermons in the Mosques? What happened to the 76yr old Imo woman killed in Kano for alleged profanity against Holy Prophet Mohammed? Why were her killers set free? Who killed Akaluka and why is the killer still free?
Why are Christian girls being abducted and married off in Kaduna, Katsina and Kano and the governors look the other way including Sultan? Why hasn’t the NSCIA petitioned the Inspector General Police and The Department of State Services over the ongoing genocide against Christians in the Christian dominated Southern area of Kaduna State?
Again, in August, this year, the Nigeria-based Islamic rights group; Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) was being accused of collecting $200,000 from Boko Haram affiliate, Islamic State for West Africa Province, to destabilise the country.
A former Intelligence Chief in Mali; San Louis Keita, made the allegation in Abidjan, the Cote d’Ivoire capital, at a news conference on August 7, 2020, alleging that the money was given to MURIC to recruit young Fulani men living in the South West of Nigeria to destabilise that part of the country. Although the group has not too long denied the accusation, but no interrogation was carried out by the Muslim-dominated security agencies of the country.
More worrisome is that, the same group also called for Bishop Onah’s arrest. Could it be a well organised plot against Christians given that heads of all internal security agencies are Moslems? Whereas when Miyetti Allah made claims of supporting attacks on Farmers and Christians, the Sultan said nothing and the guy from Miyetti is going about with top security protection paid by Nigerians on the orders of government.
Our Position And Demands:
The Sultan is inciting and threatening Christianity by trying to play god and must not be allowed to achieve his unholy plans. If we sit back and fold our arms whilst this perceived discrimination is allowed to fester, then we will be shooting ourselves in the foot and destroying the essence of constitutional democracy.
We are by this Media Statement demanding that the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the State Security Service should dismiss the unholy petition else we will not fail to consider the option of seeking legal redress in a Court of competent jurisdiction.
We also urge the President; His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari to save what is left of the unity of this country. In the last five years, his administration has planted animosity between different Ethnic and religious nationalities than even the civil war created so much that it will take the Grace of God and the will to overpower our differences for Nigeria to rebuild the bridge of unity that the discriminatory administrative style of President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed in the last five years.
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
*MISS ZAINAB YUSUF:
Director, National Media Affairs.
For: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
5th November, 2020.
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on the Continuous Breaches of Federal Character Principles By President Muhammadu Buhari, with Particular Reference To The Recent Appointments In PENCOM and National Population Commission Despite Oppositions
It is without any doubts that the current government of President Muhammadu Buahri has consistently violated one of the most ingenious and ambitious affirmative actions entrenched in our constitution to promote national unity, uniquely named Federal Character.
Specifically, Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution provides that the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
Like most Nigerians, HUMAN RIGHTS WWRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is not surprised at the controversies that have trailed the appointments of the Director General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and the Chairman of the National Population Commission.
First, it is on record that PenCom; a critical agency tasked with regulating, supervising and ensuring the effective administration of pension matters in Nigeria, has been without a board or substantive head since April 2017.
Secondly, President Buhari has injected his sectional politics into the National Pension Commission, and further accentuating the leadership crisis bedevilling PENCOM by nominating Aisha Umar from the North-West geopolitical zone as director-general of the regulatory body.
According to Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014: “In the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint a replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”
For the records, Anohu-Amazu was appointed DG in 2014 for a renewable five-year term by then President Goodluck Jonathan, but was controversially removed by Buhari in 2017 along with 22 other heads of federal agencies.
Shortly afterwards, Buhari presented Aliyu Abdurahman Dikko from another zone to the Senate for confirmation as the DG along with five others as chairman and executive commissioners. This immediately provoked a storm of protests. Senators pointed out the illegality of the choice, as “an absolute breach” of the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
Unconcerned, President Buhari continued to pursue his sectional mission. Though forced to withdraw Dikko’s candidature, he retained Umar as acting DG since then, perhaps to wait out Anohu-Amazu’s term, which ended in 2019, so as to circumvent the law and deny the South-East zone the slot.
In a similar development, the appointment of the chairman and members of the National Population Commission (NPC) created fresh controversies in the Nigerian presidency.
According to media reports, the list of appointees previously published by various media houses had Silas Agara; a Christian named as chairman of the NPC. The other six nominees on the list were Muhammed Dottijo (Sokoto); Razaq Gidado (Kwara); Ibrahim Mohammed (Bauchi); Joseph Shazin (FCT); Bala Banya (Katsina); and Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin (Lagos).
However, hours after the story was published, presidential spokesperson; Garba Shehu, sent a brief message to reporters saying a different person was confirmed as chairman.
According to the presidential spokesperson, Nasiru Kwarra; a Muslim was confirmed as chairman of the commission and not Agara. Shehu explained that the earlier circulated name of Agara was a mistake.
Even, a statement made by the president of the senate Ahmad Lawan also showed that a list of names, different from the ones previously published by the media, was approved by the council for the NPC.
Our Position And Demands:
The dangerous infusion of ethnic politics into delicate Federal sectors such as the PENCOM and NPC is deplorable. Once again, President Buhari has demonstrated his Pro-Northerm Moslem agenda which is tearing apart the fabric of national unity. Having sworn to uphold the constitution, he as President, ought to be the embodiment of the ennobling principles of the primacy of the law, national cohesion, equity and inclusiveness.
As experts have observed, one of the most defining characteristics of democracy is the rule of law; laws must apply equally to everyone, even the most powerful government officials and elected leaders.
According to the Pensions Act, the commission’s DG is entitled to five years tenure of office, subject to renewal for another term in office. The former Pencom DG; Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who is from Anambra State, South East Nigeria was confirmed by the Senate on the 30th September, 2014 for a five year term. So she was expected to end her tenure on the 29th September, 2019.
In line with the provisions of the Act, Mrs. Anohu-Amazu ought to be replaced by someone from the South- East, who will complete the remaining part of her tenure of five years.
Besides, “Section 21 of the Pension Reform Act 2014 clearly spelt out the circumstances under which a member of the Commission will seize to hold office. It listed such circumstances as resignation, expiration of term, death, bankruptcy, conviction for a crime, becoming an unsound mind, disability and outright removal by the president, who would then write the affected person.
“Section 21(j) said a member of the Pencom board could be removed if the President is satisfied that it is not in the interest of the Commission or public for the person to continue in office and notifies the member in writing to that effect.
According to credible information at our disposal, this provision was not met in the dissolution of the Pencom board and removal of the chairman, DG and commissioners, as they were not written before the announcement was made.
Therefore Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria frowns at these continuous brazen acts of impunity displayed by the President and strongly opposes the appointment Hajia Aisha Dahir-Umar as DG of National Pension Commission.
Her appointment is a flagrant breach of the Act establishing the PENCOM and we maintain that the replacement for Mrs. Anohu -Amazu must come from the South East since her five year tenure was truncated controversially.
Also, It would be recalled that Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President then had pushed for the nomination of Mr. Funsho Doherty from the south west as successor to Mrs. Anohu -Amazu as the Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), but was frustrated on the basis of the provisions of the Pensions Reform Act, 2014.
By and large, these and many rash decisions of President Buhari promoting religious and ethnic bigotry is threatening to ignite Ethno-religious crises that may scatter Nigeria. Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk sliding into crises of epic proportions on account of the current administration’s lopsided appointments, promotions and uneven recruitments that continue to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.
Obviously, the President of the Senate is being a willing tool in the hands of the Presidency in its agenda of promoting the interest of a particular section of the country, which is contrary to the Federal Character Principle entrenched in the Constitution.
We are by this statement calling on the Senators and the entire National Assembly, especially, the progressive minded ones to live up to the expectations of their offices by always insisting on adherence to the law and equity and stop rubber-stamping executive nominations.
We will not relent in warning that President Muhammadu buhari is pushing Nigeria rapidly to the state of anarchy and disintegration. Hence, the National Assembly need not to be reminded that thoroughness in the national interest is an absolute minimum for effective lawmaking and oversight, and that this phantom national unity built on deception and deceit will not stand the test of time.
*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko:
*Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
OCTOBER 30TH 2020.
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) On The Pathetic Issues Of Bad Road Across The Country With Emphasis On The South East Of Nigeria Which Has The Worst Federal Roads Than Anywhere Else, Calling For The Amendments Of The Federal Road Safety Corps Act To Make It Legally Binding That Federal Government Pays N5 Million Each For Any Death By Accident Adjudged By Investigators To Have Been Caused Due To Poor Roads Infrastructure.
Despite the existence of the Federal Road Safety Commission, set up under the federal road safety commission (establishment) act, 2007 act no. 22 which is an extant act to repeal the federal road safety commission act, cap 141, 1990 (as amended) with the responsibility for traffic management, preventing and minimizing accidents on the highways, the supervision of users of such highways, the regulation of traffic thereon and clearing of obstruction on any part of the highways and for educating drivers, motorists and other members of the public generally on the proper use of highways; and for related matters to safety on the highways, road traffic deaths have continued to rise.
Since over ten years that this Commission was set up, there has been a mixed bag of opinion on their performance given that deaths from accidents have increased and the most dominant causative factor is the deteriorating state of the road infrastructures all over Nigeria. Even, the Corp marshal of the Federal Road Safety commission was quoted recently in the media of claiming that road accident kills more than the much dreaded global pandemic of COVID-19.
Incidentally, Investigations and analysis of data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), and the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, have shown Nigeria as one of the countries with a high number of road fatalities in Africa.
In May, 2017 during the flag off of the Global Safety Week at the Nigeria Union of Jounalists (NUJ) secretariat, Kaduna, The Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission; Boboye Oyeyemi said that there were 33.7 deaths per 100, 000 people in Nigeria every year, making Nigeria one of the countries with the highest number of road fatalities in Africa
According to the data sourced from the Federal Road Safety Corps, there were 12,077 road accidents of which 5,400 persons died in 2015. In 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics said there were 11,363 crashes with 5,053 deaths, and in 2017, 10,026 crashes and 5,049 deaths.
In the 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated road traffic fatalities in Nigeria at 39,802, while the estimated rate per 100,000 deaths stood at 21.4.
In 2019, between January and November, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) recorded 8,527 road traffic crashes (RTC) across the country in which 4,163 people were killed in crashes during the period. In the first quarter of this year, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) recorded 3,947 road crashes and 1,758 deaths, just to mention but a few.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), has listed the causes of accidents to include speeding (4-5 per cent); driving under the influence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances; non-use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints; distracted driving; unsafe road infrastructure; unsafe vehicles; inadequate post-crash care; and inadequate law enforcement of traffic laws.
Virtually all of these causes are prevalent in Nigeria, especially unsafe road infrastructure. Most of the road networks are in decrepit state and can best be described as roads to hell where human lives are wasted daily.
Emphatically, in the south east for instance, most federal roads in that region are dilapidated; a situation which has made vehicular movement cumbersome and more expensive. Currently, many stretches of the federal roads are death traps accounting for recurring high rate of accidents daily.
In a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the zone, the people blamed the deplorable condition of the federal roads on poor handling, substandard job and poor maintenance culture by successive governments in the country.
Our Stand And Ay Forward
Given the humongous lives that are wasted on our roads across the country with the attendant socio-economic losses, all stakeholders must join forces to make Nigerian roads safe. Roads make a crucial contribution to economic development and growth and bring important social benefits.
They are of vital importance in order to make a nation grow and develop. In addition, providing access to employment, social, health and education services makes a road network crucial in fighting against poverty. Roads open up more areas and stimulate economic and social development. For those reasons, road infrastructure is the most important of all public assets.
Judging by existing legislation in Nigeria at both federal and state levels, road safety would appear to be a key and extremely important governance issue. The existence of laws with provisions, designed to regulate road traffic, and the establishment of a specialised road safety agencies to enforce those provisions, one would had expected that the importance of road safety in view of its economic, social and quality-of-life implications and in its vital role in the establishment of public order ought to have been realized, but the reverse has been the case
Being that chapter 5 of the Act setting Up the Federal Road Safety Commission says that the Commission may make regulations generally for the carrying out of the supervision of the user of highways; the restriction or exclusion of type or class of vehicles; the restriction of the use of highway by any breed of animals; the line to be kept on a highway and the direction to be followed by vehicles, and given that here has been a mixed bag of opinion on their performance occasioned by deaths from accidents, there have been calls for the federal Road safety commission to be further empowered to effectively enforce sanity on our high ways.
The issue of government’s obligation to enhance road safety and the vicarious liability of federal and state governments for all the deaths recorded on the Nigerian highways cannot be overemphasized.
Therefore, we are by this statement calling for further amendments of the Federal Road Safety Commission Act to make it legally binding that the federal government pays N5 million each for any death by accident adjudged by investigators to have been caused due to poor roads infrastructure.
Equally, we call for action to have seamless mode of maintenance of the highways similar to what obtains in civilised societies including the United Kingdom whereby accidents caused by bumps are actionable and the United Kingdom’s government is held liable for such. Replicating similar standards will stop the road rage and terrorism.
Generally, stronger leadership is needed to advance road safety in our country. Strong leadership around legislation on key risks such as speeding, drinking and driving and failing to use seat-belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints; safer infrastructure like sidewalks and dedicated lanes for cyclists and motorcyclists; improved vehicle standards such as those that mandate electronic stability control and advanced braking; and enhanced post-crash care.
The pathetic poor road infrastructure across the country has been having major negative impacts on the socio-economic health of the country. For instance, the high accident rate often robs families of their sole bread-winners, either by death or permanent disability, and the nation of young people on whom a lot has been invested in terms of education and training.
Also, there is substantial loss of goods being transported, pushing up insurance premiums and providing transporters with an excuse to avoid insuring their goods. This impacts negatively on the effectiveness of the value-recovery mechanism that insurance is supposed to provide so as to help businesses remain financially and economically viable. GOVERNMENT SHOULD WAKE UP AND BE MORE PROACTIVE!
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
MISS. ZAINAB YUSUF:
Director, National Media Affairs.
For: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
October 12th 2020.
Legal Action Between IGP And PSC Is Disgraceful-: SAYS HURIWA
A Statement By The Pro-Democracy And Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) On The Embarrassing Controversy Trailing The Recruitment Of 10, 000 Constables And The Unprecedented Legal Crisis Tearing Apart The Police Service Commission And The Nigerian Police Force, Urging The President; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) To Call The Two Departments Under His Office To Order For The Sake Of The Integrity And Respect Of The Authority Of The President Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria
The disturbing and embarrassing altercations tearing apart the Police Service Commission and office of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu the head of the Nigerian Police Force has seen for the first time two departments under the Presidency engaging in bitter court cases leading up to a landmark decision by the Court of Appeal interpreting that the Constitutional powers of the Police Service Commission is primarily to appoint persons into the Nigeria Police Force and setting aside an earlier Federal High Court ruling to the contrary.
The matter, which both sides have been trying to stop from boiling over into the public space, has to do with the recent recruitment of 10,000 police constables in response to a presidential directive but, so far, it has remained inconclusive.
More embarrassing is the decision of the Inspector General of Police to further waste public fund on appeal to the Supreme Court, apparently backed by the controversial Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria who in the first place seems to have instigated the IGP’s stubbornness to chase shadows by further plotting to fritter scarce police resources on Appeal against a profound verdict of the Court of Appeal.
Undoubtedly, the Police Force, being an institution established by the Constitution is supposed to protect that Constitution and discharge its duties under it, but we recall that the IGP in disobedience of the Court of Appeal had sent a letter to the Police Service Commission saying the Court of Appeal decision will not be respected. This is an issue of willful disobedience of lawful order of Court made in line with section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The fact that the President of Nigeria controls the police Inspector General of Police constitutionally and the Police Service Commission reports to the office of the President who is the appointing authority of both the Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police shows the President’s clear leadership incapacity and weakness to control just two departments under his office leading to bitter public spat and legal conflict that has dragged on for months and is costing the public multimillion Naira funds in legal fees and other logistics. Neither the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu nor the PSV headed by ex IGP Musiliu Smith is using the internal legal departments of those institutions but have dolled out millions of cash as lawful legal fees to private legal practitioners led by Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Our Recommendations And Position
The Police Service Commission and Nigerian Police Force are two government agencies that are under the Presidency. It is obvious that it is a case of fact that the Commission is constitutionally charged with the responsibility of appointments or recruitments.
According to the appellate court, the word “appointment” used in the Constitution with respect to the powers conferred on the Police Service Commission included “the power of recruitment and or enlistment of recruit constables.”
The appellate Court also in its judgement stated that the police regulation and or provisions of the Police Act, which purportedly vested the Inspector General of Police the power of recruiting constables “are null and void being in conflict with the constitutional powers vested in the Police Service Commission.”
So, whether one calls it appointment or recruitment, it is the same thing, because the public service rules clarify it and the Police Force is a public agency that is under the rules.
Again, whether it is selection or filling of vacancies or appointment of persons who are not already in the system is what the public service rules say about recruitment.
Therefore, there is no doubt that it is the responsibility of the Commission to recruit and the Appellate Court has interpreted this. So there is no need to further waste public funds by two agencies of government fighting meaningless contestation for superiority to protect or safeguard their respective turfs.
As a matter of fact, the top echelon of the Nigerian Police and the Police Service Commission should tell Nigerians how much of the Public funds are being funneled to procure private legal services and why the use of private legal services costing a lot of cash just as the matter in the first place is a meaningless contestation for superiority between the Inspector General of Police and Police Service Commission on a straight forward matter as recruitment.
The Police Service Commission was created by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as an oversight body on the Police, in terms of appointments (which has been interpreted by the Court of Appeal to include the power of recruitment and or enlistment of recruit constables), promotions and exercising disciplinary control on members of the Nigerian Police Force, except the Inspector General of Police.
On the other hand, the Nigerian Police Force is under the general operational and administrative control of an Inspector General (IGP) appointed by the president and whose responsibility is for the maintenance of law and order.
Therefore, there is no need to further extend the quarrel between the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission. Hence we urge the President; His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari(GCFR) to call the two departments to order for the sake of his credibility and the preservation of the integrity of the Office of the President of Nigeria unless respect to the authority of the president of Nigeria means nothing to the President in which case the National Assembly and the National Police Council and Council of State should save Nigeria from this international show of shame and the consequential opprobrium the meaningless litigation brings to corporate Nigeria in the comity of nations.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
MISS. ZAINAB YUSUF:
Director, National Media Affairs.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
6th October 2020.
No Government In The Past Did What We Are Doing With Such Scarce Resources; – President Buhari
Independence Day Address By His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria On The Occasion Of Nigeria’s Sixtieth Independence Anniversary, Thursday 1st October 2020
1. I speak to you today as your President and fellow citizen on this epoch occasion of our country’s 60th independence Anniversary. As President, I wish to renew my appreciation to Nigerians for entrusting me with your hopes and aspirations for a better and greater Nigeria.
2. Today, it is my unique privilege to re-commit myself to the service of this great country of great people with profound diversities and opportunities. We are bound by destiny to be the largest and greatest black nation on earth.
3. At this stage in our nationhood it is important that we reflect how we got here to enable us work TOGETHER to get to where we aspire to be as a strong indivisible nation, united in hope and equal in opportunity.
4. On October 1st 1960 when Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa received the constitutional instruments symbolizing Nigeria’s independence, he expressed his wish that having acquired our rightful status as an independent sovereign nation, history would record that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace.
5. This optimism was anchored on the peaceful planning, full and open consultation and harmonious cooperation with the different groups which culminated in Nigeria emerging as a country without bitterness and bloodshed.
6. Our founding fathers understood the imperative of structuring a National identity using the power of the state and worked towards unification of Nigerians in a politically stable and viable entity.
7. That philosophy guided the foundation that was laid for our young nation of 45 million people with an urban population of approximately 7million occupying an area of 910,768 square kilometers. These demographics led to development challenges for which major efforts were made to overcome.
8. Today, we grapple with multiple challenges with a population exceeding 200million occupying the same land mass but 52% residing in urban areas.
9. Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things? Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?
10. Upon attaining independence, Nigeria’s growth trajectory was anchored on policies and programmes that positively impacted on all sectors of the economy. However, this journey was cut short by the 30-months of civil war.
11. We came out of the civil war with a focus on reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation that enabled the country to put in place world class development structures and a strengthened public service that well served the government. This positive trajectory continued with a return to democratic government which was truncated by another round of military rule.
12. For a cumulative 29 of our 60 years existence as a nation, we have been under military rule.
13. My summary of our journey so far as a nation is necessary to appropriately chart where we need to go and how to get there TOGETHER.
14. Today, I am aware that our economy along with every single economy in the world is in crisis. We still face security challenges in parts of the country, while our society suffers from a high loss of moral rectitude which is driven by unbridled craving for political control.
15. An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.
16. In addition, institutions such as civil service, police, the judiciary, the military all suffered from a general decline.
17. We need to begin a sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are.
18. The stereotype of thinking of ourselves as coming from one part of the country before seeing ourselves as Nigerians is a key starting point to project us on the road to our deserved nation’s evolution and integration.
19. To start this healing process, we are already blessed with the most important asset any nation requires for such – OUR PEOPLE – and this has manifested globally in the exploits of Nigerians in many fields.
20. It has been demonstrated time and time again that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields.
21. Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Nigerian at home have resulted in globally recognized endeavours.
22. I am convinced that if we pursue our aspirations TOGETHER we would be able to achieve whatever we desire. That informed our adopting the theme TOGETHER to mark this epochal event.
23. Together we can change our condition for the better and more importantly, together we can do much more for ourselves and for our country.
24. I chose the path of self-reflection because this is what I do on a daily basis and I must confess that at most times, I always felt the need for a collective reflection as I know that the foundation for a solid future which this administration is laying can only be sustainable if there is a collective commitment by Nigerians.
25. Nigeria is not a country for Mr. President, any ruling or opposition party but a country for all of us and we must play our part, irrespective of challenges we face, to make this country what we desire.
26. To achieve this, we must focus our minds, TOGETHER as a people, on ways of resolving the identified critical challenges that underlie our present state. These include:
a. Evolving and sustaining a democratic culture that leaves power in the hands of the people;
b. Supporting the enthronement of the rule of law, demanding accountability of elected representatives and contributing to good governance;
c. Increasing our commitment to peaceful co-existence in a peaceful, secure and united Nigeria;
d. Harnessing and Optimizing our tremendous human and natural resources to attain our goal of being in the top twenty economies of the world and in the process;
e. Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years;
f. Strengthening institutions to make them stronger in protecting National Interests; and
g. Imbibing tolerance in diversity.
27. I am a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections as has been demonstrated during my period as a democratically elected President.
28. The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.
29. The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.
30. Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.
31. This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.
32. It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.
33. Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.
34. As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community level intelligence in addressing these challenges.
35. In moving forward together, it is important to strengthen our economy to provide sustainable means of livelihood for as many Nigerians as possible so as to eradicate absolute poverty from our midst.
36. I want to re-emphasize my dedication and commitment, a dedication and commitment that propelled my public service career and informed my quest to continually seek for an opportunity to improve the lives of Nigerians, set the country on the path of prosperity and lead the country to a better future.
37. This administration has been focused on rebuilding and laying the foundations for a sustainable Nigeria. Of course, we have met and are still meeting the challenges inherent in any rebuilding initiative – more so that of a nation like Nigeria that has undergone avoidable levels of deprivation – but can be surmounted if we all work together.
38. I wish to re-iterate that our people and our spirit of excellence remains our most important asset.
39. In this wise, the need to return to our age-old ethical and high moral values would be necessary and this informed my launching of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Monday 28th September, 2020.
40. The policy would not implement itself and the first contact of the visibility of its implementation is the Public Service whose on-going reforms would be expected to be sustainable and give a radical re-direction in providing services to all Nigerians.
41. Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.
42. Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.
43. In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.
44. Accordingly, in the last three years, we have introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy and to the weakest members of our society in the shape of:
c. School Feeding Programme
d. Job creation efforts
e. Agricultural intervention programmes
45. No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.
46. In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.
47. Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;
a. Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre
b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.
c. In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.
48. Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
49. Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.
50. Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.
51. It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God Bless us all. Thank you.
DSS RECRUITMENT: Federal Character Is Dead In Nigeria; – HURIWA
*Says NIGERIA’S Unity is destroyed by President Muhammadu Buhari:
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) Condemning the Recent reported Lopsided Recruitment by The DSS and Promotions that Favour One Section of Nigeria-HAUSA/FULANI MOSLEMS, Which Offends Federal Character Principles Since the Inception of The Current Administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
We are all aware that Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution provides that the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
However, in a continued flagrant disregard to these provisions, the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has seen deep seated Northern domination of all strategic federal recruitments and appointments including the recent secret uneven recruitment into the Department of State Security Services by the Director General; Yusuf Bichi that could overfill the security agency with personnel from the Northern part of Nigeria.
According to revelations from media reports, official documents and contributions of senior intelligence officials showed that the North had a massive share of the roughly 1,300 Nigerians currently undergoing cadet training at two different camps of the secret police in Lagos and Bauchi.
According to recruitment filings, of the total 628 cadet trainees, who had resumed at the Bauchi facility as of September 23, 535 identified themselves as trainees joining the service from either the North-East or the North-West. Only 93 were from the South-East, South-South, South-West or North-Central.
More worrisome is that findings also showed that at least 71 of those currently undergoing cadet training hailed from Bichi Local Government Area, Kano State; the Director-General’s home local government area.
Another concern is the appointment of candidates from Northern states of Kwara and Taraba as chairman, and secretary respectively of the Federal Character Commission; a commission saddled with the responsibility to drive the process and implementation of the federal character principle. This is not only unnationalistic and divisive in approach but negates the principle for which the commission was established.
Then, instead of the then outgoing acting Chairman; Mallam Shettima handing over to the most senior Commissioner who happened to be a southerner, he was directed to hand over to Secretary Mohammed Tukur. At the end, another northerner, Abdullahi Shinkafi was again appointed after that as the acting Chairman of the Commission.
Also, with the composition of the present Police architecture it can be safely concluded that the entire police leadership of the country is in the hands of the North-West, which falls short of both regional and federal balance.
The Chairman of the Police Trust Fund board; Suleiman Abbah and the Executive Secretary; Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, are both from the North-West of the country. Also, two other members of the eight-man team, Mansur Ahmed and Usman Bilkisu, are from Kano and Kebbi states respectively in the same region.
It can be safely concluded then that the entire Police architecture is being dangerously titled in favour of one zone of the country as the Minister of Police Affairs; Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi is as well from the North-West. in PENCOM, the President Muhammadu Buhari violated extant laws by naming a Northerner as Chairman to replace a South Easterner whose tenure was truncated.
Our Position And Demands:
It was Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio who said that one of the swiftest ways of destroying a Kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favor to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near.
Obviously, this government has consistently violated one of the most ingenious and ambitious affirmative actions entrenched in our constitution to promote national unity, uniquely named Federal Character. As the nation marks Independence Day on October 1st 2020, Nigerians are now more than ever divided alongside Ethno Religious platforms no thanks to the extremist PRO-NORTHERN MOSLEM TENDENCIES AND CHARACTER OF THE MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S CIVILIAN REGIME.
As a foremost civil rights advocacy group, we- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) will continue to mince no words in warning that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk sliding into crises of epic proportions on account of the current administration’s lopsided recruitments, appointments and promotions that continue to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others. Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.
Yusuf Bichi’s regional recruitment agenda, which came three years after his predecessor implemented a similar hiring process that failed to reflect Nigeria’s diversity is another consistent negation of a critical national consensus and should be resisted and rejected by all well-meaning Nigerians.
If according to the establishing Decree 19 of the National Security Agencies Act of 1986 and the SSS instrument I of 1999 Presidential Proclamation, the Department of State Security is the organization assigned to primarily perform the role of Nigeria’s intelligence agency, the audacity of focusing on one part of the country to bring in new cadets offends our national unity and has long term implications.
Therefore we are by this statement calling for an outright cancellation and for a fresh recruitment that would reflect the federal character principle to be conducted.
Relatedly, we have it from a good authority that as Yakubu Mahmood’s controversial five years tenure as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission ends in December, there is a plot to name President Buhari’s niece; Amina Zakari, who is a commissioner in INEC as his replacement.
Recall that it was this same Amina who Buhari had recommended to Jonathan as acting INEC chair before Yakubu assumed office as substantive chairman of INEC. We Call on President Buhari to address this fears being expressed in many quarters so as not for him to kill Constitutional democracy through nepotism. This is because, the seed of national discord has been systematically sowed over the past five years and should be halted
We recommend that INEC Chairmanship vacancy should be advertised now and Nigerians from all over the World be shortlisted and the most competent three be invited to take written, aptitude and security tests and screenings from where the best will be picked as substantive Chairman.
The current INEC chair whose tenure is almost over is the most compromised and incompetent electoral manager globally and we are listing him in the human rights hall of infamy for conducting the highest number of inconclusive, rigged and annulled elections in the electoral history of Africa.
One very huge problem Nigeria is facing in the implementation of the federal character principle since this current administration in the Commission itself.
The appointment of the Chairman and Secretary violated Section 4 of the subsidiary legislation which states that the distribution of position shall be across the zones. This has been the tradition that Chairman and Secretary are from the North and South respectively. This is the same reason past Governments including that of Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan had appointed Northerners as Chairmen and Southerners as Secretaries.
The principle cannot be implemented in other agencies and bodies of the government if it is not upheld in the commission that is supposed to drive the process.
We reiterate that in the last five years, the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari has planted animosity between different Ethnic nationalities than even the civil war created and that it will take the Grace of God and the will to overpower our differences for Nigeria to rebuild the bridge of unity that the selective administrative style of President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed in the last five years.
We shall continue to express our apprehension over deep seated Northern domination of all strategic federal government’s recruitments and appointments under President Muhammadu Buhari, and that the next government may need to convoke a year-long National Constitutional Conference to try to mend the deeply broken fences.
We repeat our warning and caution that the president muhammadu buhari administration has dragged Nigeria back by 60 years because of the prevalence of his regime’s unrepentant penchant for appointing only northerners into top political and economic offices of the federation.
The recent secret uneven recruitment in the DSS must be canceled so there is a broad spectrum of representation of the diverse interests and groups unless and except we are now being told that the DSS is a Northern Security Service and if that is the case, the basis of one Nigeria is rubbished.
Fresh appointments to fill vacancies in the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) also created uproar on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s PRO-NORTHERN MOSLEM BENT.
HURIWA like most Nigerians are not surprised that Senators across party divides were upset immediately Senate President Ahmad Lawan read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari announcing the nomination of Aisha Umar as the director general of PENCOM.
They alleged that the appointment breached the Federal character principle.
The letter equally announced Oyindasola Oni as nominee for the office of Chairman of the PENCOM.
Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe had risen to protest the appointment in which Aisha Umar, a nominee from the North East, was picked to replace, the former Director-General (DG) of PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, from South East. He described the nomination as a flagrant breach of the Act establishing the PENCOM.
Abaribe pointed out that by the provisions of Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”
Senator Abaribe maintained that the replacement for Mrs Anohu -Amazu must come from the South East. “I recall that the tenure of the incumbent was truncated, therefore the new letter from the president that has now moved the Chairman of the Commission to another zone may not be correct because it is against the law setting up the National Pension Commission,” Abaribe said.
“Before you (Senate President) send it to the appropriate committee, I wish to draw the attention of the committee to it.”
In his response, Senator Lawan rebuffed Senator Abaribe’s point of order and observation.
“If there is any petition to that effect it should be sent to the committee,” he said.
It was later found out that senators across party divides are set to resist the nomination of Aisha Umar as DG of PENCOM.
One of the lawmakers who pleaded not to be named revealed that the opposition to the contravention of the act establishing the National Pension Commission cuts across the south east, southwest and the North central.
“We are set to meet tonight (Tuesday) to harmonise our positions,” the lawmaker said.
The lawmaker recalled that move by Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to push for the nomination of Mr. Funsho Doherty from the south west as successor to Mrs Anohu -Amazu as the Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) was frustrated in the past.
“Professor Osinbajo, as acting President could not push it through.
“They threatened him with impeachment and used the lawmakers from the North to block him, citing provisions of the same Pension Act.”
The lawmaker accused the President of the Senate of being a willing tool in the hands of the Presidency in its agenda of promoting nepotism”.
HURIWA is worried that Senate President Ahmed Lawan is not independent of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Pro-Northerm Moslem agenda which is tearing apart the fabric of national unity. This PHANTOM NATIONAL UNITY BUILT ON DECEPTION AND DECEIT WILL NOT STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND WE MAKE HASTE TO WARN THAT THE PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI IS PUSHING NIGERIA RAPIDLY TO THE STATE OF ANARCHY AND DISINTEGRATION.
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
SEPTEMBER 30TH 2020.
PENCHANT FOR LOANS: HURIWA Challenges President Buhari To Name Those Infrastructures Built Or To Be Built
A Statement By The Pro-Democracy and Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) Condemning The Fruitless Attempts By President Muhammadu Buhari To Defend His Government’s Excessive Chase For Loans, Asking What His Government Has Been with the Revenues Internally and Externally Generated Since 2015.
Undoubtedly, countries of the world in general and developing countries in particular resort to borrowings, ideally, to bridge up any resource availability gap in tackling pressing and essential economic needs that tend to improve on the welfare and standard of living of the citizenry.
As many scholars have argued that no government is an island on its own and would require aid so as to perform efficiently and effectively. Nigerian federal government’s bid to borrow at any point in time is not a problem so long as the proceeds are utilized in a productive way that will facilitate the eventual servicing, liquidation of the debt and economic development of the debtor-country.
Nonetheless, excessive external debt more often than not impedes economic growth as the burden of debt on indebted countries has resulted in channeling of funds to debt servicing, instead of allocating resources to crucial developmental project. Hence, the problem of debt has assumed a crisis proportion in Nigeria.
What makes the debt crisis more precarious is that Nigeria still has the unenviable distinction of being one of the most impoverished countries in the world. More mystifying is the fact that despite the debt forgiveness received in year 2005 from the Parish club, there is still the issue of the persisting debt overhang incurred by this present administration.
The big questions are: can we afford to service additional loan if we already set aside close to N3trillion to service the present outstanding balance? Who would lend us that money and at what price, both in financial and political terms? If we believe we are going to meet the shortfall by printing money, has anybody bothered to consider the inflationary implications?
This statement has been developed to condemn unreservedly and point out the negative effects of too much borrowing as Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is currently on a borrowing spree, which is an undesirable tend.
In the quest for debt forgiveness that resulted in the debt relief from the Paris Club in 2005, Nigeria had pledged to plough the fund used in servicing the debts to infrastructural development, but surprisingly, the debt profile of the country has started rising again after receiving the debt pardoning in 2005.
One wonders therefore how the money saved from servicing the debt since 2005 and the additional loans taken by the federal government of Nigeria since then, particularly since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015 have impacted on the nation’s infrastructural (capital projects) development. Can it be affirmed that the huge debt inclination of Nigeria is justifiable by the growth in the nation’s infrastructural development?
More worrisome is that the mantra of the current administration Of Muhammadu Buhari seems to be that of borrowing. The recurring news of government borrowing has left many Nigerians worried as to whether the government is considering the interest of the next generation. Many financial experts have wondered if the Nigerian government is concerned about the repayment of these loans.
Perhaps more condemnable is that in the midst of the scary current state of growing public debt profile in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to make fruitless efforts in defending his government’s penchant for excessive chase for loans.
According to media reports, President Buahri on Tuesday during a virtual meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) at the State House, in Abuja claimed that his government’s borrowing is to finance infrastructure, asserting that his government took loans in the interest of the country to solve the dire shortfall in infrastructure.
An articulation of the recent borrowing plans of this administration sheds more light on the downward trend the economy is taking with these questionable moves.
Official data indicate that total debt grew from N12.118 trillion in May 2015, to N12.6 trillion in December 2015, N17.36 trillion in 2016, N21.725 trillion in 2017, N24.387 trillion in 2018 and N27.401 trillion in 2019. The figures rose steeply to frightening levels this year with the active support of the 9th National Assembly under the joint session chairmanship of Senator Ahmed Lawan.
In the early years of the Buhari administration, figures from the Debt Management Office indicate that Nigeria’s total debt increased by about 90% between December 2015 and March 2018, from about N12.6 trillion to about N22.71 trillion and that total domestic and external debt stock of the federal and 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, stood at N22.38 trillion or $73.21 billion in June 30, 2018.
It can be recalled that this National Assembly approved a whooping N10.08 trillion or $28 billion loan for the Buhari Administration within a period of one year. With the latest public borrowings of N8.7 trillion and N5.51 trillion accompanying the approvals of the 2020 federal budget, the overall public position has risen to about N41.6 trillion. This is from N12.118 trillion in May 2015 when the Buhari administration took office. This implies that this administration has more than tripled the total public debt in five years.
With the above situation, so many questions are begging for answers. What then has the Federal Government under Buhari been doing with the revenues internally and externally generated? For instance, a statement from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) revealed that in the first quarter 2020, the agency recorded N1.12 trillion revenue and N1.2trillion in the second quarter, 2020.
In 2019, the FIRS achieved total tax revenue collection of N5.263 trillion against a target of N8.802 trillion which translated to about 60 per cent target achievement for the year. The performance was slightly lower than the 2018 collection of N5.32 trillion by N57 billion. There are indeed more questions than answers.
The usual response by the authorities is that following from the debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio criteria, the country is currently under borrowed. It however fails to inform the public that the debt service-to-revenue ratio is terribly unfavourable.
According to financial experts, the current debt service-to-revenue ratio is over 50%. Currently, with the latest borrowings, as indicated in the revised 2020 Federal Government budget, the debt service payment increased to about N3 trillion in 2020 alone for a projected revenue inflow of about N6 trillion.
What would be the country’s future credit worthiness with this huge debt particularly when the international oil market, which guarantees the country’s major foreign exchange earnings, is volatile and highly unpredictable?
Aside from these, are issues of repayment being seriously considered when these loans are being approved, particularly when it is obvious that any incoming administration in 2023 will be inheriting a heavy debt burden and thus will find it difficult to operate?
In the event of a future sovereign default, what remedies are in place to address the problem or what national assets would have to be sold to service the debts? May be, the sorry public debt situation in a number of African countries, such as Zambia and Kenya, among others that have run into serious crises in this regard could be instructive.
Our Position And Demands:
Considering the poor state of the nation’s infrastructure against the backdrop of her huge debt disposition would imply that the essence of borrowing is contrary to Nigeria’s circumstance. Therefore, the claim by the Presidency that the current government borrows to build infrastructures is false. We challenge the President to name those infrastructures built or to be built using these loans.
Again, we will not fail to point out that the role of the National Assembly in this matter has actually compounded the problem. The current federal legislature, which has been tagged by many as a “rubber stamp” of the executive has been living true to this description.
It appears that the National Assembly evaluates these loan proposals using other considerations apart from economic practicability and national fairness. It also appears that it hardly carries out thorough or critical analyses of the loan proposals before approvals are granted.
This has been the case since this 9th Assembly was inaugurated in June 2019. It has actually surpassed the 8th National Assembly and those before it in easily passing borrowing plans without adequate scrutiny as well as the feasibility of a seamless repayment plan.
As it is, this National Assembly appear not be competent in questioning any borrowing or other agenda of Buhari at all. Where then are the expected benefits derivable from the checks and balances of the presidential system of government, which is designed to strengthen governance in the pursuit of the common good.
Also, the negative effects of too much borrowing by a government that is institutionally weak to stop corruption amongst the senior public officials including officials of the anti-corruption bodies which informs the comical move by the Federal government to create another cumbersome agency to control seized or forfeited assets by politically exposed persons convicted of corrupt practices could be devastating to national sovereignty.
It is even surprising that the government is not even cutting the cost of government in the spirit of the trying times. Instead it has resorted to more and more borrowings as the way out of its challenges. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is better advised that the debt to GDP ratio does not guarantee the debt repayment.
The Buhari government is sitting Nigeria on a keg of gun powder for future administrations thereby making the country difficult to govern in future. Maybe the government is hoping for a debt cancellation, as president Buhari recently canvassed for African countries. Is that the kind of change the Buhari administration has brought to Nigeria? Is this part of the promised next level?
Whoever is advising this government to take this unsustainable path should have a rethink. Nigeria needs stability not the building of a pack of cards that would easily crumble at the slightest turbulence. These borrowings should stop. The country can do better with her internally and externally generated revenues if managed properly.
Nigeria is in a terrible race to the bottom with the current unbridled thirst for borrowing. The yet incidences of high debt burden on the country today even after managing to rigor out of the Paris club debt without commensurate investment in capital project in the country, gives an indication of corrupt practices by our leaders; lack of accountability, stealing of public funds, low savings propensity, poor debt management, reliance on mono-product (crude oil), etc.
*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko:
*Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
For: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
SEPTEMBER 18TH 2020.
Insecurity, Not Social Media Causes Migeration Of Africans-: Says HURIWA:
*Faults Plans By Federal Government To Airdrop Relief Materials In Lawless Parts Of Borno State:
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) Warning The Federal Government Against Using The Proposed Airdrops Of Relief Materials To Vulnerable Places In Borno State As Another Gambit To Defraud Nigeria Of Billions Of Naira In The Name Of Feeding IDPs When It’s A Notorious Fact That Borno Communities Are Deserted, And Relatedly Dismissing As Pedestrian The Statement By The International Office For Migration (IOM) That Social Media Is A Major Tool Influencing Young Nigerians To Want To Migrate To Foreign Countries In Search Of Greener Pastures, Affirming That Insecurity Is At The Root Cause Of Migration.
Nigeria has for a decade been embroiled in a huge humanitarian emergency occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency and armed Fulani Herdsmen attacks, the fallout of which called for the biggest crisis management operations since the civil war over fifty years ago. Thousands of people have been killed and properties worth millions of U.S. dollars have been destroyed.
The pertinent level and dimensions of insecurity in Nigeria reveals an increase over time, which constitutes serious threat to lives and properties, hinders business activities and discourages local and foreign investors, all which stifles and retards Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
This rising wave of insecurity has not abated but has assumed a dangerous dimension, which is threatening the corporate existence of the country as one geographical entity. In the light of the above, the country has over the years witnessed massive displacements, poverty and hunger in an aggravated scale, which has in turn increased the migration profile of Nigeria as against the statement by the International Office for Migration that social media is a major tool influencing young Nigerians to want to migrate to foreign countries in search of greener pastures.
The drivers of displacement in Nigeria are multi-faceted and complex and often overlap. The militant Islamist group; Boko Haram has triggered significant displacement in the north-east of the country since 2014.
Violent attacks by armed Fulani Herdsmen on farmers have caused tensions in the North-central region, culminating in significant levels of deaths, destruction of properties and displacements.
Long-standing ethnic conflict between Fulani pastoralists and Hausa farmers in north-western Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states has also triggered displacement. Flooding displaces thousands of people every year.
According to data obtained from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, as at the end of 2019, about 2.6 million people were living in displacement. Conflict and violence led to 248,000 new displacements across 19 states in 2019. The ongoing insurgency in the north-east triggered 105,000, criminal violence in the north-west and north central states accounted for 88,000, and communal violence in the central region gave rise to 55,000.
On the other hand, while more than 82 million Nigerians live on less than $1 a day, forty percent of people in Nigeria live in poverty, according to figures published by the National Bureau of Statistics office in May, 2020, which showed and highlighting the low levels of wealth in a country that has Africa’s biggest economy.
These and so many other indices have escalated the mass exodus of Nigerians to find security, work and new ways of life in other countries.
Relatedly, in the light of the assertion by the Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly; Abdulkareem Lawan that Guzamala, Marte and Abadam local government areas have no people living in them, it has become worrisome the rationale behind the recent disclosure by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq that the Federal Government is to commence the massive airdrop of relief materials to dangerous and inaccessible areas of Borno State.
According to media reports, the Minister had over the weekend disclosed that the Federal Government was donating to the vulnerable people in Borno State 26,067 bags of 12.5kg parboiled rice; 26,067 bags of 25kg beans; 26,067 bags of 12.5kg maize/millet; 1,304 bags of 20kg iodized salt; 2,607 kegs of vegetable oil; 4,345 cartons of seasoning cubes; 2,173 cartons of tin tomato.
Our Concerns And Demands
Given that the speaker of Borno House of Assembly had stated clearly that most of the rural areas in Borno are deserted, who then would be the beneficiaries of the massive airdrop of relief materials?
We recall that earlier in April, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army; Senator Muhammadu Ali Ndume called for the disbandment of the Presidential Committee on the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives, alleging fraud in the distribution exercise.
Senator Ndume had alleged that the data generated for Social Investment Program (SIP) register, on the basis of which the palliatives are being distributed, does not reflect the reality of the poverty level in the country.
Therefore, we are by this statement warning the federal government against using this as another gambit to defraud Nigeria of billions of Naira in the name of feeding IDPs when it’s a notorious fact that Borno communities are deserted. So who do they want to feed between Boko haram terrorists and Ghost IDPs?
It would be recalled that in a related statement we issued earlier on the alleged widespread corruption, which characterised the implementation of the social investment programme and the school feeding programme, we restated our demands for the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to take up the challenge for a public debate on the administration of school feeding programme especially the sessions that happened whilst schools were on lockdown.
Till now, the Minister is yet to respond to our challenge for a public debate while her supporters resorted to physical and media threats.
Secondly, the statement by the International Office for Migration that that social media has influenced many more migrations than insecurity is unimaginative as Insecurity is at the root cause of Migration.
Nigerians being a federation of persons from diverse backgrounds live in the North and South and so it is illogical to blame social media for Migration when it is clear that half of Nigeria has become ungovernable due to terrorism and attacks by Boko Haram terrorists and armed Fulani herdsmen coupled with the general breakdown of Law and order in the North West and North Central.
We hereby demand that the government must be proactive in dealing with security issues and threats, through modern methods of intelligence gathering, and sharing among security personnel, training, logistics, motivation, and deploying advanced technology including functional drones in managing security challenges.
The real solution to migration lies in government accelerating the pace of economic development through creating an economy with relevant social, economic and physical infrastructure to support business and industrial growth. INSECURITY IS AT THE ROOT OF MIGRATION.
*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko:
Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA).
September 8th 2020.
HURIWA Wants Killers Of Protesters; Civilians Prosecuted Or They Will Be Prosecuted Soon In ICC
A Statement By the Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on The Many Atrocities of The Security Forces Against Civilian Peaceful Protesters From 2015 Till Date and The Denting of Nigeria’s International Image Cum The Imperative of Most of The Commanders of The Security Forces Who Gave the Illegal Orders for Protesters to Be shot Dead To Be Dragged Before Either The International Criminal Court (ICC) or International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Protest is a form of political participation. Election, which is the most common form, is very ritualistic and periodized, and citizens often have no choice than to follow its rituals and periodization before they can achieve any political or social changes.
With protest however, an opportunity is made available for citizens of a country to demonstrate their need for political change, or ventilate their angers on certain political issues that they do not agree with. Quite often they do this through means ranging from rallies, strikes, street marches, sit-ins and so on.
Demonstration is the most used means of protest all over the world today. All forms of protesting, or means, if we like, can, in a sense, be forms of demonstration since they need to be exhibited to press demands and make claims.
In a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempts to curtail such rights are null and void and of no consequence.
Contrary to this, Nigeria has since 2015 seen significant atrocities by the security forces against civilian peaceful protesters. The documented reports by global wide and local NGOs on these incidents and killings have dented Nigeria’s international image. Rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association have continued to be violated with impunity and possess grave implications on the essence of democracy and rule of law.
Since the disruption of public meetings and rallies is an infringement of the fundamental right of Nigerians to freedom of association, assembly and expression it is pertinent to draw the attention of the authorities to the state of the law on public meetings.
According to the respective enabling Acts, the Nigeria Police Force is the primary law enforcement agency along with other federal organizations. The Department of State Services is responsible for internal security and nominally reports to the president through the National Security Adviser.
The Nigerian Armed Forces, which report to the Ministry of Defense, are responsible for external security but also have some domestic security responsibilities. The current central government has not really maintained effective control over the security services.
It cannot been gainsaid nor overemphasized that the clampdown on peaceful protests, arbitrary arrests and detention of activists, and media repression signify a renewed intolerance of free speech and dissent by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari since 2015.
Since August 2015, there has been a series of protests, marches and gatherings by members and supporters of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) who have been seeking the creation of a Biafran state. Tensions increased further following the arrest of IPOB leader; Nnamdi Kanu on 14 October 2015, who was eventually, released two years later on 28 April 2017 from prison on bail.
According to the investigation published by Amnesty International on November 24, 2016, in 2015 and 2016, the Nigerian security forces, led by the military, embarked on a chilling campaign of extrajudicial executions and violence resulting in the deaths of at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in the south east of the country.
The Amnesty International had blamed the Nigerian government’s decision to send in the military to respond to pro-Biafra events for the excessive bloodshed. “This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 deaths and we fear the actual total might be far higher”, said Makmid Kamara; Amnesty International Nigeria’s Interim Director
By far, the largest number of pro-Biafra activists were killed on Biafra Remembrance Day on 30 May 2016 when an estimated 1,000 IPOB members and supporters gathered for a rally in Onitsha, Anambra State. The night before the rally, the security forces raided homes and a church where IPOB members were sleeping.
Reportedly, on Remembrance Day itself, the security forces shot people in several locations. Amnesty International has not been able to verify the exact number of extrajudicial executions, but estimates that at least 60 people were killed and 70 injured in these two days. The real number is likely to be higher.
On 5 August, 2019 several protesters including journalists were arrested and detained across Nigeria by security officials for participating in the #RevolutionNow protest. This year, while marking the one year anniversary of the protest on August 5th, a similar incident occurred between the protesters and the Nigerian Police.
On 9 July, 2019, at least two Islamic Movement of Nigeria protesters were killed and more than 60 arrested, when their peaceful protest calling for the release of their leader; Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife; Zeenah Ibrahim turned violent after security officials fired live ammunition at the protestors at the National Assembly Complex.
On 22 July 2019, 11 protestors, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a reporter for Channels Television were killed when police opened fire on IMN protesters during their procession in Abuja. Scores were injured and many arrested when officials from the Nigeria Police violently disrupted the protest, which was largely peaceful.
On 12 November, officials of State Security Service beat up one journalist and fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse activists during a protest to demand for the release of prisoners of conscience; Olawale Bakare and Omoyele Sowore. The Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria; Yemi Adamolekun was also attacked during the protest.
In 2019 alone, security forces arbitrarily arrested at least 200 and killed at least 10 members and supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at different times.
Last month, precisely on the 23rd of August, 2020, at least two Officers and up to 21 civilians were reportedly killed in a clash between Nigerian Security Forces and members of IPOB in the city of Enugu on August.
Our Position And Demands:
The provision in section 40 of the Constitution is clear, direct and unambiguous. It is formulated and designed to confer on every person the right to assemble freely and associate with other persons.
With the combined effect of sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution as well as Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the right to assemble freely cannot be violated without violating the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association.
Violation can only be done by the procedure permitted by law, under section 45 of the Constitution, in which case there must be a state of emergency properly declared before these rights can be violated.
The Public Order Act so far as it affects the right of citizens to assemble freely and associate with others, the sum of which is the right to hold rallies or processions or demonstration is an aberration to a democratic society. The Court of Appeal had already annulled this so called public order Act with regards to any kind of request for police permit for protests.
Therefore, it is clear that the Nigerian government has serially failed to uphold its constitutional mandate of protection of human rights in the country. The right to life of Nigerian citizens has been violated with alarming frequency and without any justification or accountability. State parties are also obligated to act and prevent loss of life, investigate and punish wrongful actions resulting in deaths.
Thus, the inescapability of most of the commanders of the security forces who gave the illegal orders for protesters to be shot dead to be dragged before either International Criminal Court (ICC) or International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the near future is imperative. This is because there is no status of limitations in crimes against humanity if the central or bi-national governments are actively involved in these crimes.
For instance, the Burmese government is now before the ICJ for the killings of Moslem minorities and the Lebanese Islamic Militia also dragged to ICJ over the assassination of ex-Prime Minister; Mr Hariri.
These analogies alongside the sentencing of Charles Taylor, the prosecution of war criminals from Rwanda by the World’s bodies like ICC should teach Current Government in Nigeria a lesson that these various killings of civilians by security forces are being meticulously researched and documented for use at such international judicial fora like ICC and ICJ even as those in government now who are guilty of these crimes against humanity will not escape it.
In our previous similar statement dated 27th August, 2020, we had warned the federal and state governments to desist forthwith from using security forces illegally to crudely quell peaceful protesters because DEMONSTRATIONS are allowed and indeed peaceful protest is the soul of democracy.
Hence, we are by this statement further demanding that these violations must be halted or the violators charged to court for crimes against humanity locally or inevitably they will be dragged to the International Criminal court in The Hague, NETHERLANDS and the ICJ for prosecution in due time since this administration tolerates impunity.
Relatedly, we encourage Nigerians faced with the inevitability of more hardship due to fuel and electricity price hike to mobilize themselves and protest these evil policies unless we, the citizens want an end to freedoms and democracy.
Demonstrations against oppressive policies of government is the surest assurance to the sustenance of democracy because accepting hard pills of evil public policies that violates public good, hook line and sinker without a whimper is to hit death nail on democracy. Nigerians must arise and defend democracy now or forever remain silent.
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
MISS. ZAINAB YUSUF:
Director; National Media Affairs.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
September 6th 2020.
Governor Hope Uzodimma Is Committed To Human Capital Development – Hon. Noble A. Atulegwu
The Imo State Commissioner for Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition, Hon. Noble A. Atulegwu; a participant and representative of Imo State in the recently held South Eastern Nigeria Virtual Conference on Human Capital Development, has stated that the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma is committed to human capital development.
Hon. Atulegwu who participated in the Virtual Conference sponsored by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), UN and other donor agencies, described Governor Hope Uzodimma as a leader who is passionate about being an instrument for people to develop their potentials and use those developed potentials to fulfill their purpose of existence.
On the need for the de novo Virtual Conference, the Hon. Commissioner said man is an intelligent creature and can find means to adapt and overcome his challenges such as the pandemic outbreak of coronavirus in the world that has affected economic activities tremendously.
To him and every other participant, the ideal of promoting and encouraging human capital development in this period of economic meltdown orchestrated by the ravaging virus cannot be ruled out. It is timely and of utmost importance.
Shedding light on Governor Hope Uzodimma’s laudable moves to create young entrepreneurs in Imo State, beneficiaries of the “Imo Youths Empowerment Workshop”, after their trainings, documentations and certification, they have been directed properly and the process to capacitate them to become self-reliant has remained an interesting one.
Media Aide, to Hon. Commissioner
For Entrepreneurship and Skills Acquisition.
August 30, 2020.
SECURITY FORCES KILLINGS OF CITIZENS: HURIWA Asks United Nations To Dismiss Amina Mohammed And Tijjani Muhammad Bande; …. *Deplores Lack Of Action By United Nations Mechanisms To Halt Widespread Killings Of Civilians By Security Forces In Nigeria
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) On The Implications Of Involvement Of Publicly Funded Armed Security Forces To Constantly Employ The Use Of Force To Stop Nigerians From Exercising Their Fundamental Human Rights In Contrast With The Essence Of Democracy, The Rule Of Law And The International Best Practices Given The Large Number Of International Treaties, Conventions That Nigeria Signed on to:
The Declaration adopted on 24 September 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly at the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels reaffirmed that “human rights, the rule of law and democracy are interlinked and mutually reinforcing and that they belong to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations”.
Indeed, government responsiveness to the interests and needs of the greatest number of citizens is strictly associated with the capacity of democratic institutions and processes to bolster the dimensions of rights, equality and accountability.
As was noted by Agnes Callamard; a United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions at the end of her visit to Nigeria in September 2019, the absence of accountability and functionality in Nigeria is contributing to human rights violations and crisis in the Country.
Nigeria; a federal republic composed of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory has seen several attacks by Boko Haram and Armed Fulani Herdsmen that have continued to result in hundreds of deaths, occasioned by Security Forces’ failure to protect civilians.
The Nigeria Police Force is the primary law enforcement agency along with other federal organizations. The Department of State Services is responsible for internal security and nominally reports to the president through the National Security Adviser. The Nigerian Armed Forces, which report to the Ministry of Defense, are responsible for external security but also have some domestic security responsibilities. The current central government has not really maintained effective control over the security services.
As a result, significant human rights issues including unlawful and arbitrary killings, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary detention, by both government and non-state actors; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, unlawful infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, criminal libel, violence against and unjustified arrests of journalists, substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association have continued to perpetuate with impunity and possess grave implications on the essence of democracy and rule of law.
Although progress are being made in advocating for accountability for human rights violations and abuses committed by security forces, Boko Haram and the Armed Fulani Herdsmen involved in the herders attacks against farmers, no one has been brought to justice, especially for the killing of the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) protesters in different states.
The involvement of publicly funded armed security forces to constantly employ the use of force to stop Nigerians from exercising their fundamental human rights as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has attracted many international commentaries and on the front burner of both national and international discourse.
Apart from the incessant violent killings occasioned by the Boko Haram Terrorist group and the armed Fulani marauders, scores of clamp downs of freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of expression by the Security Forces abound, which threaten the essence of democracy and rule of law.
First, on the freedom of assembly, in 2019 as reported by Amnesty International, Nigerian Security forces banned lawful assembly in some states, including Lagos and Rivers, and in some cases, they violently disrupted peaceful protests, such as the IMN protests in Abuja.
The Unity Fountain, which serves as the rallying point for most protests in the capital city was heavily guarded by the police throughout the year, to monitor and/or prevent scores of protesters from gathering.
Recall that on 17 July, 2019, the Nigerian Police had made an announcement restricting all protests in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to the Unity Fountain, and in October, the Federal Capital Territory Administration closed the Unity Fountain for three months for rehabilitation and construction of a fence. In July, the Police Command in Plateau state placed a total ban on any form of public procession in the state.
On 5 August 2019, several protesters including journalists were arrested and detained across Nigeria by security officials for participating in the #RevolutionNow protest. This year, while marking the one year anniversary of the protest on August 5th, a similar incident occurred between the protesters and the Nigerian Police.
On 12 November, officials of State Security Service beat up one journalist and fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse activists during a protest to demand for the release of prisoners of conscience; Olawale Bakare and Omoyele Sowore. The Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria; Yemi Adamolekun was also attacked during the protest.
Secondly, the Nigerian Security Forces have been found wanting in brazenly violating and clamping down freedom of association. At least two IMN protesters were killed and more than 60 arrested on 9 July 2019, when their peaceful protest calling for the release of their leader; Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife; Zeenah Ibrahim turned violent after security officials fired live ammunition at the protestors at the National Assembly Complex.
More worrisome is that most of those arrested have continued to be held incommunicado in detention facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna and Niger States while armed Fulani killers continue to walk freely and Boko Haram Terrorists are given amnesty and re-integrated back into the society.
On 22 July 2019, 11 protestors, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a reporter for Channels Television were killed when police opened fire on IMN protesters during their procession in Abuja. Scores were injured and many arrested when officials from the Nigeria Police violently disrupted the protest, which was largely peaceful.
Relatedly, since August 2015, there has been a series of protests, marches and gatherings by members and supporters of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) who have been seeking the creation of a Biafran state.
According to Amnesty International the largest number of pro-Biafra activists were killed on Biafra Remembrance Day on 30 May 2016 when an estimated 1,000 IPOB members and supporters gathered for a rally in Onitsha, Anambra State. The night before the rally, the security forces had raided homes and a church where IPOB members were sleeping.
Reportedly, on Remembrance Day itself, the security forces shot people in several locations. Amnesty International has not been able to verify the exact number of extrajudicial executions, but estimates that at least 60 people were killed and 70 injured in these two days. The real number is likely to be higher.
In 2019 alone, security forces arbitrarily arrested at least 200 and killed at least 10 members and supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at different times.
Most recently is the clash between Nigerian Security Forces and members of IPOB in the city of Enugu on August 23, 2020, wherein at least two officers and up to 21 civilians were reportedly killed, While the final number of casualties and wounded has not yet been confirmed.
Thirdly, the right to freedom of expression remained increasingly restricted as Journalists, bloggers and media activists who ask federal and state authorities probing questions are variously charged with cybercrime and terrorism under the Cybercrime Act of 2015 and Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act of 2013. Amnesty International documented 19 cases of assault, arbitrary arrests, and detention of journalists.
How come the security forces that are paid from public coffers are the same that the Federal Government has continuously deployed to employ full lethal force against civilians who are totally unarmed?
Our Position And Demands:
It is clear that the Nigerian government has serially failed to uphold its constitutional mandate of protection of human rights in the country. The right to life of Nigerian citizens has been violated with alarming frequency and without any justification or accountability. State parties are also obligated to act and prevent loss of life, investigate and punish wrongful actions resulting in deaths.
We are by this statement demanding from the United Nations Secretary-General an explanation for Nigerians why the UN has not implemented any measures to caution President Muhammadu Buhari against the use of armed security forces against civilians whether they are demonstrating or just holding peaceful meetings.
Equally, we ask the UN to tell Nigerians why despite the presence of two Nigerians in the bureaucracy of the UN, yet Nigeria is being overlooked by the UN whilst it slides into state sponsored anarchy and the civilian populations are turned into items of decimation and extralegal execution by armed security forces that ought to defend and protect them.
Is it that the two Nigerians; Amina Mohammed who served Buhari as Environment Minister and was later made UN Deputy Secretary-General by the UN Secretary-General, and the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA); Tijjani Muhammad-Bande are not briefing the UN about the true state of affairs in Nigeria?
Or probably because they are both Fulani, same as President Muhammadu Buhari and same as majority of the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen and terrorists unleashing violence on Nigerians? More so, whether these two UN officials recommended by President Muhammadu Buhari are simply protecting the Buhari-led administration from international scrutiny.
Observably, since they are not even bringing up the issues affecting Nigerian citizens, what is the moral obligation behind them still working for the UN? Hence we call for their dismissal forthwith unless they are simply working for themselves and not on behalf of the people of Nigeria and Africa at large.
This is because, if they are working for the interests of Nigerians and Africa, why the silence from them since five years now whilst thousands of Nigerians are mindlessly murdered by security forces and armed Fulani herdsmen and terrorists?
Furthermore we wish to remind the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) that these infractions of using publicly funded armed Security Forces to constantly employ the use of force to stop Nigerians from exercising their fundamental human rights as citizens of the federal republic of Nigeria is an aberration on the essence of democracy, the rule of law and the international best practices, given the large number of international treaties, conventions that Nigeria signed on to including The African Charter, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, just to mention but a few.
These violations must be halted or the violators charged to court for crimes against humanity locally or inevitably they will be dragged to the International Criminal court in The Hague NETHERLANDS and the ICJ for prosecute in due time since this administration tolerates impunity.
*Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
For: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
27th August 2020.
Presidency’s Medical Tourism Is A Monumental Shame on This Government -: Says HURIWA
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) Condemning How President Muhammadu Buhari Has Been Unable To Stop The Members Of His Inner Caucus From Embarking On Medical Tourism And The Lack Of Political Will Needed To Set Up A Panel To Investigate The Allegations Of Issues Of Corruption At The State House Clinic Cum The Monumental Shame On The Failure of The Current Government To Invest Massively In Reviving The Moribund Health Sector Despite The Brunt Of The Covid-19 Pandemic
Medical tourism, a term used to describe trips abroad for medical treatment is a phenomenon that has plagued Nigeria for years. This phenomenon has been exacerbated over the years by the neglect of the nation’s health sector by successive governments.
Medical tourism is fast becoming a culture among many Nigerians due to the deplorable state of the health care system in Nigeria. Ibraheem Adeoti Katibi; a professor and Dean College of Health Science, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State revealed that every month, almost 5,000 people are said to leave the country for various forms of treatment abroad when such treatment should have been carried out in Nigeria.
Among this figure, prominent Nigerians, especially those in government or close to the Presidency make up the bulk of medical tourists from Nigeria yearly. According to analysts, this development has seen about 1billion dollars being lost to medical tourism yearly in Nigeria, which could have been invested in the development of the country’s health care system and the country as a whole.
The annual budgetary allocation of the State House Clinic, which was established to provide health care for only the President, the Vice President, their families and other employees of the Presidency is a lot more than what is allocated to each of the 16 major teaching hospitals across the country, which take care of heath needs of millions of Nigerians, train medical doctors and other health professionals for the nation.
Since the inception of Buhari’s administration, a total of N13.59 billion has reportedly been budgeted for the State House Clinic. An inquiry of federal government’s budgets showed that these funds were appropriated from 2015 to 2020.
A breakdown of the total budgetary provisions within this period showed that N3.94 billion, N3.87 billion and N3.20 billion were budgeted in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. While in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the budgetary provisions dropped to N1.03 billion, N823.44 million and N723 million respectively.
Despite these huge allocations it receives, the Clinic has left more to be desired as those the facility is meant to serve are still spending millions of taxpayers’ money to seek treatment in other private facilities within and outside the country on health matters that could be well managed here in the country, yet no panel of investigation has been set up to investigate the scandals and allegations of corruptions oozing out from there even as a bulk of the allegation had come from members of the first family.
In 2017, the wife of the President; Aisha Buhari had attacked the management of the State House Clinic over poor equipment and non-availability of drugs. This attack by the Wife of the President had followed the earlier criticism by her daughter; Zara Buhari, who took to one of her social media accounts to criticise the Permanent Secretary of the State House; Jalal Arabi, for his inability to provide even Paracetamol tablets to the clinic despite a budget of N3 billion for the provision of drugs to the hospital.
Although in October 2017, the House of Representatives said it would investigate the “deplorable condition” of the State House Clinic but till date the outcome of that inquiry remains unknown.
Again, President Buhari in the build up to his election in 2015, had on his campaign trail, itemized the abolition of medical tourism as one of his key objectives in government.
Although his administration officials vowed to put an end to the practice, Buhari has been Nigeria’s most prominent medical tourist. He has visited the United Kingdom for at least five medical trips since becoming president, including an extended stay of more than five months in 2017.
According to the calculations made in one of the editions of Saturday Punch Newspaper, in the first three years of his first tenure from May 2015 to May 2019, President Buhari was outside the country for a combined 404 days (one year and 39 days) in 33 countries.
In 2016, President Buhari spent a total of 17 days in a London hospital treating an undisclosed ailment. Shortly after that, in 2017, he reportedly spent a total of 152 days in London on medical vacation during when he became inaccessible, except for a few politicians. He equally made frequent trips to the UK on “private visits” believed to be for medical reasons. On May 8, 2018, he again embarked on a six-day medical vacation to London.
More worrisome is that the medical treatments of the President are still official secret as Nigerians are not told how much of their cash has been deployed for the medical treatments of the President for months.
Apart from the Nigerian President, his son; Yusuf, in December 2017 was flown to Germany after suffering injuries from a bike accident in Abuja. These trips were embarked upon despite a huge sum of above N10bn allocation to the State House Clinic from 2015 to 2018.
In a recent development, the Wife of the President; Aisha Buhari, and a Nephew and close confidant of the President defied the lockdown and the shutdown of airports to gallivant all over UK and Dubai for the so called medical tourism.
These flagrant disregard for the established legal frameworks put in place to safeguard the nation from the consequences and the devastation created by the Covid-19 Pandemic, has diminished the essence of the principle of the Rule of law because if laws put in place for the common good are breached with reckless abandon by members of the privileged political class and family members of the President, it therefore means that impunity has assumed the official mantra of the central government.
Mamman Daura on August 19 was said to have been flown in a private jet to the United Kingdom after exhibiting respiratory difficulties with symptoms similar to corona virus. Though the Presidency has claimed that he was not seriously sick, but how come he was allowed to fly out even when there are restrictions on flights?
In addition, if he is spending his money how is it that the Presidency is being quoted by newspapers to be saying Mamman Daura is not ill and the phone conversations are being shown to Nigerians through the instrumentality of the publicly funded media office of the President?
That of the first lady is more shocking because she was said to have neck pains and that was the reason for deploying a presidential jet to jet off to Dubai for weeks at public costs. HURIWA is pleased and indeed happy that God was on our side to have stopped an unforeseeable air disaster from ever happening following the reported incidents with the homebound Presidential jet in connection with the weather, but to convey the idea that the First Lady had to fly out to treat neck pain is to tell the World that the Nigerian health sector has totally collapsed. This is sad and unfortunate.
Our Position And Way Forward:
This penchant of government officials and those close to the corridor of power jetting abroad to receive medical care for undisclosed ailments even as the rest of the population relies on an underfunded and overworked public healthcare system has been the bane of our health sector and the economy has been worse hit for it.
The problems associated with poor healthcare system also indict the governors of the 36 states because in those states, there are virtually no functional health centres to care for the residents. However, the pathetic situation afflicting the State House Clinic is even more disturbing.
The expenditures of the released budgetary funds for the State House Clinic over the years must be investigated in addition to a comprehensive audit of the spending on the State House Clinic and the health sector in the country.
It is unjustifiable that the State House Clinic would be guzzling billions of taxpayers’ money and those the facility is meant to serve would still be spending millions to seek treatment in other private facilities within and outside the country.
If the N13bn budgetary allocations over the years have been actually used for the State House Clinic, the situation would have been different and same applied to the general health sector in the country
Therefore, the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari in setting up a panel to investigate the scandals that is happening at the State House Clinic is a deviation from the cardinal trails of a government who rode to power on the mantra of integrity. This is because clearly there are issues of corruption as alleged by Aisha Buhari, which is the simple explanation for the frequent medical tourism by the first family and their cronies.
Whether the Presidential Officials are persons of integrity is a big question, but how would one classify the integrity of a government that has been in place for five years but till date the President and other government officials embark on several trips abroad; many of them enveloped to look like official travels when in fact they are for medical reasons?
We demand to know what the $3.4bn World Bank loan on covid-19 has been used for. We condemn the fact that till date the Covid-19 pandemic, which allegedly claimed the life of the powerful former Chief of Staff to the President; Abba Kyari and other top political office holders is not strong enough to assist in confronting not only the State House Corruption, but also compelling the government to invest massively in reviving the moribund health sector.
We are strongly disappointed that General Sani Abacha who is abused as a thief could build several Federal Medical Centres and his wife built the National Hospital in Abuja but yet this government has been in power for five years and has built no single tertiary Medical Centre of repute in any part of Nigeria but the officials frequent foreign jurisdictions for medical treatments. This is a monumental shame on this government.
This is perhaps the time to declare a state of emergency to transform the nation’s health facilities to bring them up to speed with the 21st century. As such, the time for the government to champion the complete overhaul of the health sector by instituting and implementing the necessary reforms to transform the sector.
Also, the government must put the right leadership in display and create the enabling environment for the private sector investments to happen in the near moribund health sector. This incessant health tourism by the Presidency’s people must stop because it is seriously undermining the local economy by draining off the much needed capital to support the manufacturing and employment creation institutions in Nigeria.
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
*Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
24th August 2020.
Withdraw The Illegal NBC Code On Hate Speech Or Face Legal Action; – HURIWA Warns Information Minister
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) Condemning The Illegal National Broadcasting Commission’s New Code On Hate Speech, The Imposition Of Fine On Nigeria Info 99.3FM And Giving A Final Warning To The Minister Of Information And Culture; Lai Mohammed To Withdraw The Illegal Regulation Within 76 Hours
There appears to be little or no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari is not an admirer of free speech. Recall that in his 18 months as Military Head of State in the mid-80s, human rights in the country was gagged, with press freedom curtailed for pleasure.
Even as an elected president, the record of his administration where media and human rights are concerned has been totally unclean. Though his image makers have tried to sell him as a leader who is now persuaded that basic democratic freedoms matter, but they have been unsuccessful
As Military Head of State between 1983 to 1985, General Mohammed Buhari (as he then was) had promulgated the Decree No. 4, which did not take kindly to press criticisms and saw two Nigerian journalists jailed.
The Decree 4, drafted on March 29, 1984, was suppressive, with its Section 1, sub-sections (i), (ii) and (iii) providing that: “Any person who publishes in any form, whether written or otherwise, any message, rumour, report or statement, being a message, rumour, statement or report which is false in any material particular or which brings or is calculated to bring the Federal Military Government or the Government of a state or public officer to ridicule or disrepute, shall be guilty of an offence under this Decree.
Let’s say that was a military regime in power, and cannot be valid under a democratic government, which the present administration purports to be, but the provisions of the Decree No. 4 is similar to the provisions of Hate Speech Bill proposed by law makers early this year and the NBC Code on hate speech supervised by Minister of Information and Culture; Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The content of the Hate Speech and Anti-Social Media bill sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate; Aliyu Abdullahi and which found its way into the 6th Amendment to National Broadcasting Code unveiled by Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information on August 4, 2020 in Lagos to keep critics quiet was not totally different from the provision of Decree 4.
Unlike the Decree 4, this time, the Code stipulates that those who fall foul of the provision of the broadcast code on hate speech shall pay a fine of N5m, which was raised from N500, 000 as a means of compeling media houses to scrutinise adverts and reports before publishing them.
Since the unveiling of the NBC Code on Hate Speech on August 4th 2020 by the Minister of Information and Culture; Culture, Lai Mohammed, perceived to be a backdoor attempt to clamp down on free speech and opposition, lots of controversies have been stirring in the industry.
First, there are threatening moves suggesting that the Minister of Culture and Information; Lai Mohammed has hijacked the duties of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, hence the hasty review of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
The NBC, which was set up by law has an Act that guides its operations. The Honourable Minister therefore cannot usurp the powers of the board as clearly stated in the act. Any such action by the Honourable Minister is illegal.
Everybody envisages the NBC to be an autonomous body that has no place in politics. However when you listen to the news, the Minister has been the one speaking; is he the Director-General of the NBC?
Secondly, according to Professor of Broadcast Management and Media Law; Tonnie Iredia, who served as a consultant to the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria when the code was being revised, said broadcasters were not carried along during the process as was the norm.
Elucidating further, Mr. Iredia had noted that the problem is that for the first time in the history of broadcasting in this country, the code was not done the way it used to be done. He was quoted to have stated that this time around, the NBC just rolled out a number of things that it felt should be in the code and did not hold consultations with the stakeholders like the previous managers of the system did where you first of all hold consultation, everybody will look at it, there will be a document, you will bring it out at the tail end, there will still be another kind of peer review and all kinds of things.
According to media reports still, following the 2019 national elections, some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had communicated to the Honourable Minsiter of Information and Culture the need to strengthen the operations of the NBC to avert such future occurrence the divisive broadcast engaged in by some broadcast media before, during and after the elections.
Instead of studying and following the law, relevant rules and regulations, and direct the appropriate authorities as stipulated by the law to act on, the Minister erroneously embarked on the review alone. First and foremost, the minister or the NBC have no power of law making. The power to make law falls within the remit of the National Assembly and the State Houses of assembly in line with section 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Also, there is no known offence in Nigeria called HATE SPEECH. So on which law is the Minister of Information; Alhaji Lai Mohammed relying on to manufacture this offence that is unknown to our legal jurisprudence?
More worrisome is the fact that early yesterday (Thursday) Morning, this illegal NBC Code was used to slam a fine of 5million Naira against Nigeria Info 99.3FM; a private broadcast radio station in Lagos by the NBC alleging that it provided its platform to be used to promote unverifiable and inciting views that can incite crime and public disorder.
NBC had cited the alleged unprofessional conduct of media house in the handling of the programme, “Morning Cross Fire”, aired on Monday between 8.30am and 9.00am which featured a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Obadiah Mailafia.
Our Position and Demands:
There is no disputing the fact that hate speech represents an existential risk to journalism and effective reporting and by so doing obstructs the functionality of a free society, but that the Minister of Information and Culture who is a Politician and a member of the ruling Party would hide under the guise of preventing hate speech as a means of controlling free speech is absolutely unacceptable.
One of the functions of the mass media, globally recognized is to inform the society on all varieties of issues from all the side of the divide, not even excluding that of National Security.
In many sane democracies all over the world, criminals on even wanted lists of law enforcement agencies have reached out to the media to express their opinions about the crimes that they had perpetrated and the media space was not denied to them.
As a matter of fact, it seems somewhat contradictory that a country like ours, which grappling with national security battles, would choose to restrict media access to critical information. It is not known if any society had won the war against terrorism by placing a restriction to access to information, in the way the NBC under Lai Mohammed had done.
Again, the imposition of fine against the Nigeria Info 99.3FM, even without any evidence that the alleged statement had degraded any person or groups of persons, amounting to hate speech gives the impression that it was the radio station that put the words in the mouth of the guest.
Assuming without conceding the fact that a case of hate speech has been established, it is totally out of place in a democratic setting that NBC and Lai Mohammed would be the accuser, prosecutor, judge and jury in its own case against the station even as there is absolutely no offence in Nigeria known as hate speech.
More so, with the NBC board’s position, the Code on hate speech had not come into force; therefore, the N5 million fine is illegal. This is because the imposition of the N5 million fine was anchored on a purported amendment of the code and since the NBC lacks the legal competence to impose a fine on any broadcasting station without a finding of guilt by a properly constituted criminal court, the NBC should crush the illegal fine.
Whether or not what Dr. Mailafia said on the radio station was a false claim, it is outside of the objectives of a responsible regulatory framework to sanction a radio station for a comment an individual made, even as the personality in question; Dr. Obadiah, had been quizzed and released by law enforcement agents.
We wonder why those who ride on the back of mudslinging are now trying to witch-hunt political opponents using such toxic regulations to shut out plural voices. The investigation being conducted into Dr. Obadiah’s interview by the State Security Service has not been concluded. So, why was the NBC, induced by Lai Mohammed in a hurry to violate the fundamental right of the broadcasting station to a fair hearing?
Section 33 (4) of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that anyone charged with a criminal offence shall be tried before a competent court or tribunal. Only a competent court of law is empowered to try, convict and impose a fine on a criminal suspect after a trial has been conducted before a competent court.
The NBC Code on Hate Speech is a regulation that has no force of law so we condemn it and are by this statement giving a final warning to the Minister of Information and Culture; Alhaji Lai Mohammed to withdraw the illegal regulation within 76 hours or we file a suit to challenge the legality of such an affront against freedom of the media and expression in a competent Court of law. We have already briefed our lawyer.
By the way, what the bill sponsored by Senator Aliyu Abdullahi and the Hate Speech provision in the NBC Code attempt to address have already been taken care of in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and other laws. Section 39(1) of the Constitution guarantees Freedom of Expression as fundamental right, which is universally recognised and protected.
However, we recognize that the right to freedom of expression is not absolute as there are restrictions to the rights, one of which is found in the law of defamation, sedition and libel. So, if the Constitution had taken care of this restriction to free expression, why are the National Assembly and NBC, supervised by Lai Mohammed, still interested in enacting another Code?
Conclusively, we urge the President; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to caution his Minister of Information and Culture; Alhaji Lai Mohammed to refrain from threatening Nigerians with punishment under a controversial and illegal platform that is inconsistent and incompatible with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
*Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs:
HURIWA Asks Malami To Prosecute Armed Fulani Killers: … *Criticizes President Buhari For Backing Someone He Calls A “Suspect” For Office Of Governor In Edo
A Statement By The Pro-Democracy And Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) On The Series Of Infractions And Unethical Conducts Of Government Officials Which Invariably Truncates The Enforcement Of The Law Such As The Refusal Of The Attorney General Of The Federation To Prosecute Armed Fulani Herdsmen Arrested And Paraded By The Police And Military High Commands Since 2015; Condemning President’s Endorsement of Ize Iyamu Whom He Clearly Calls A Suspect in a Corruption Case To Run For Election To The Office Of Governor Which Is Expected To Give Him Immunity Cover For The Duration Of His Tenure If He Eventually Wins, And The Politicization Of The War On Economic Crime.
The heightening nature of insecurity and violence in Nigeria is no longer news to Nigerians and even the international community. The nation witnesses, almost on daily basis, perpetration of such crimes as the killing of mainly civilians by bandits, terrorists and other criminal gangs in the Southern and Northern region, a situation many have described as senseless and brazen killings.
There is no action without a reaction and no stimuli without a response. Wanton killings by bandits have reached an upsurge where people feel they need to communicate their plight before actions can be taken to salvage it. This suggests the gloomy crisis of confidence in communities ravaged by insecurity.
No doubt, little drops make mighty oceans. In line with the failure of the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation in particular to prosecute armed Fulani Herdsmen who are known to be behind these wanton killings, even after been arrested and paraded by the Nigerian Police with credible evidence of possession of unauthorized arms since 2015, violent conflicts that are pregnant with many consequences are left to aggravate across the Nigerian space.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria is fully aware of these issues and wishes to share concerns for the consideration of serious minds desirous of providing solutions to the myriad of problems confronting Nigeria in the interest of the coming generations.
President Muhammadu Buhari has spent over one year in his second and final constitutional tenure as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. During the swearing-in of both tenures he held on to both the Holy Book of his faith and the Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria as 1999, which serves as the supreme Law of Nigeria, and swore under a binding oath to do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear, or favour, affection or ill-will; yet the government under him has failed to bring justice to thousands of victims of the numerous cases of killings carried out all around Nigeria by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen. President Muhammadu Buhari is Fulani.
It is common knowledge that beginning from 1998 when their attacks were first recorded in Jos, Plateau State, Armed Fulani Herdsmen under the guise of cattle herders, have held Nigeria hostage, particularly the North Central and southern parts of Nigeria, killing innocent citizens at will, maiming others, kidnapping some for ransom, destroying farm crops and constituting a terror to farmers and rural communities.
HURIWA has noted with concern that within the past five years, this state of human rights violation has assumed striking proportions. Latitude, disorder and lack of respect for the sanctity of human life have become so widespread that much parts of Nigeria could be said to be currently in a state of civil war as hundreds of armed mass killers are getting away with their dastardly acts of genocides waged against communities all across the country.
Disappointingly, the current administration has treated with levity the cases of coordinated killings arranged and choreographed by armed Fulani herdsmen with the clear failure of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Abubakar Malami to prosecute and punish those arrested with sophisticated weapons and paraded by the Nigerian Police.
More worrisome is that whenever these suspected mass killers are arrested and are clearly shown to be from the same ethnic-religious affiliations with the President which is Fulani, these numerous terrorists arrested with sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and paraded to the media by the Inspector General of Police ends up as media showmanship as the exact whereabouts of these paraded armed Fulani herdsmen are not disclosed to anyone and the spate of killings have continued in an unending vicious circle of violent and blood cuddling attacks.
Again, in an interview with Daily Sun newspaper published on November 2, 2019, the National President of Miyetti Allah; the socio-cultural organization covering Fulani herdsmen, Kautal Hore had warned that any Governor that wants to enjoy peace in his State must establish RUGA settlements for herdsmen.
That was a security threat and neither the Chief Law Officer; the AGF nor the Chief Law Enforcement Officer; The Inspector General of Police has effected any arrest, investigation and prosecution since then even as this Miyetti Allah has repeatedly offered explanations claiming responsibility whenever these attacks happen.
Our Concerns and Demands:
Vanguard newspaper of May 24, 2019, quoted former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka and the National Christian Elders’ Forum as asserting that “Boko Haram and herdsmen’s activities have become a tool to Fulanise and Islamise West Africa.
Joining on the list of voices, the outspoken Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, as published in the Daily Sun newspaper of January 9, 2019, page 10, accused the Federal Government of being sympathetic to Islamist insurgency.
In a statement credited to him, the bishop alleged that the Federal Government was using different methods to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance in Nigeria. According to him, the Government is using the pedals of power to secure the supremacy of Islam which then gives more weight to the idea that it can be achieved by violence.
It is no gainsaying the fact that the present widespread state of armed criminality is a direct injury on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as mended), which challenges her territorial integrity, national unity and nationhood. Section 1 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides that:
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”
Therefore, the Attorney General of the Federation has failed in his constitutional obligations according to Section 174 (1) of the constitution, which bestows on him the power to take over and continue criminal proceedings started out by any authority or person to bring the culprits to book even after being arrested and paraded.
The failure on the part of the AGF to prosecute the arrested Armed Fulani Murderous further demonstrates the deliberate ploy by the current administration not to label these armed marauders and Fulani herdsmen, responsible for the wave of killings as terrorists so the full weight of the law would not be unleashed on them by applying the anti-terror laws of Nigeria to prosecute them in the competent courts of law.
It also expresses a high suspicions that these suspects are paraded as smokescreen for their eventual releases to return to the familiar killing fields, which is the fundamental factor fuelling armed Fulani herdsmen attacks all over Nigeria
It is pathetic that whereas the federal government identifies the unarmed Indigenous People of Biafra and the Islamic Movement group as terrorists, it has rather chosen to treat armed Fulani herdsmen and the murderous attackers as mere armed bandits.
In addition, the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari describing the killings of Christians and farmers in Southern Kaduna by armed Fulani herdsmen as a ‘revenge attacks’ underscores the lack of political will on the part of the Federal Government to crack down on all the terrorists carrying out mass killings of Nigerians even after being arrested and paraded.
For the umpteenth time, the Attorney-General should persuade the Federal Government to declare illegal the security threat of these armed Fulani Herdsmen by proscribing them as terrorists, and as a matter of urgency, arrest the wanton killings and destructions perpetrated by these fulani herders.
We are by this statement also calling on the Attorney General of the Federation; Abubakar Malami and the Attorney-Generals of Benue, Enugu, Bayelsa, Rivers, Plateau, Kaduna state and the flash-points of North West bandits to prosecute arrested suspected killers immediately.
Relatedly, the President Buhari’s endorsement of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2020 Edo Gubernatorial Elections; Ize Iyamu is a clog in the wheel of a government, which claims to be fighting corruption to turn around to endorse someone the Presidency clearly calls a suspect in a corruption case for allegedly looting 700 million Naira to run for election to the Office of Governor, which is expected to give him immunity cover for the duration of his tenure if he eventually wins.
For us as a prominent civil rights advocacy group, this is a huge set back to the principle of rule of law, because it is a direct undermining of the Rule of Law by the same Executive arm of the central government that charged Ize Iyamu to court for alleged fraud.
Likewise, we condemn the politicization of the war on economic crime; so as to eschew the complexities in detecting and prosecuting this social damage. In view of the forgoing, we restate our call for a comprehensive reform of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission so as to reposition it for effective anti-graft war.
Equally we urge the youths to become more active in politics. This is because, with their creative and labour powers, a Nation makes giant strides. The role of the youths in nation building is not to be going all over those in political offices for the crumbs that fail from the master’s table and then become willing tools for the disterbilzation of Nigeria, but to be catalyst in the political, social and economic development the Nation. TIME TO ACT IS NOW!!!
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
MISS ZAINAB YUSUF
DIRECTOR, NATIONAL MEDIA AFFAIRS
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY: CEPASDAfrica Recognizes The Contributions of Young People Around The World
The Centre for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development (CEPASDAfrica) as a youth organization recognises the contributions of millions young people Around the World to celebrate the International Youth Day. CEPASDAfrica works to harness the latent potential of largest demographic block in the world in the area of Peace Building, Violent Extremism Prevention, GBV, leadership and SDGs
We are building resilient and impact-driven youth with the mindset of creating a better & peaceful society. It is time to reflect on various contributions young people have made around the world and the challenge they are facing in making the world a better place.
Young people have the tenacity, zeal, passion & creativity to make the world a better place. Therefore we urge our local, national and global leaders to have the political will which allows young people to be in the decision making table & create enable environment for youth to thrive with creativity and innovations.
The Theme for 2020 is Youth Engagement For Global Action. This theme reminds us that the Engagement of young people in the system can never be overemphasized, knowing the contributions young people can bring to the decision making table.
As part of our activity to mark international youth day, we are convening Global Youth Engagement Summit with special feature titled Youth Engagement Challenge. The challenge enables young people around the world to make a two minutes video explaining how Youth Engagement for Global Action can help create a better society.
We strongly believe that young people have what it takes to make the world a better place therefore their innovative idea is indebted.
Our organization began Global Youth Movement Against Gender Based Violence (GBV) to take global action in their various communities in raising their voices and report issues of SGBV and GBV to the nearest authority in the community, As of today the movement have over 350 youth Ambassador in over 20 countries around the world raising their voices against GBV
Executive director/Int’l President
HURIWA TO FINANCE MINISTER: Tell Nigerians Why You Can’t Stop Frivolous Borrowings; …..*Demands Transparent Information on Revenues Generated Since 5 Years Now
A Statement By the Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) juxtaposing The Revenues Claimed to Have Been Generated Officially By The Federal Inland Revenue Services And The Budgets of The Federation on Infrastructure of Roads, Water, Education and Health Vis-à-vis The Rationale for The Continuous Borrowings By The Federal Government.
Government Revenues, which refer to all receipts the government gets, including taxes, custom duties, revenue from state-owned enterprises, capital revenues and foreign aid are part of government budget balance calculation.
Since 2016, Nigeria has continued to provide expansionist budgets, with its budget having risen from the N4tn mark in early 2010s to above 6tn since 2016. While there have been significant improvements in the Company Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Customs and other revenue lines, the Federal Government of Nigeria has resorted to large unfunded deficit through large borrowings, which has raised its debt on a continuous trajectory.
A statement from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) revealed that in the first quarter 2020, the agency recorded N1.12 trillion revenue up from N1.04 trillion recorded in the first quarter of 2019 as a show of commitment towards achieving its 8.5 trillion Naira revenue target for the year, in spite of turbulence in the global economic system, especially the sharp fall in the price of Nigeria’s major export and top earner crude oil.
A breakdown of collections for period under review shows that Capital Gains Tax soared 568 percent from N96, 408,740.90 in the first quarter of 2019 to N643, 935,849.06 in the first quarter of 2020.
According to figures obtained, the Service recorded a 522 percent increase in collection from the NITDEF to bag N690, 532,855.85 in Q1 2020, compared to N111, 037,797.16 in Q1 2019. Also in the period under review, Gas Income Tax increased by 286 percent in Q12020, which amounted to N11, 491,627,575.89 compared to N2, 977,345,332.31 raked in in Q1 2020.
Similarly, Company Income Tax (CIT) collected in Q1 2020 soared135 percent to N95,733,194,644.91 from the corresponding figure of N40,696,980,658.52 recorded in Q1 2019, while Stamp Duty collection in the period at N4,602,037,497.81 up from N3,386,648,663.85 in Q1 2019.
In the area of Education Tax, FIRS recorded an 81 percent increase in Education Tax, N13, 102,045,604.74 in Q12020 compared to N7, 229,644,397.68 in Q12019. Both NCS and Non-Import VAT also increased by 11percent in Q12020 N63,296,684,819.79 and N261,245,617,218.98 respectively from the Q1 2019 figures of N57,008,866,617.53 and N236,030,481,054.83 respectively.
In 2019, the FIRS achieved total tax revenue collection of N5.263 trillion against a target of N8.802 trillion which translated to about 60 per cent target achievement for the year.
The performance was slightly lower than the 2018 collection of N5.32 trillion by N57 billion. Oil tax collection for the year was N2.111 trillion which was 49 per cent achievement of its annual target of N4.301 trillion and accounted for 40 per cent contribution to the total collection.
On the other hand, non-oil tax collection for the year was N3.152 trillion which was 70 per cent achievements of the annual target of N4.501 trillion and accounted for 60 per cent contribution to the total collection.
The Senate not too long ago passed the revised 2020 budget of N10, 805,544,664,642 that was sent by President Muhammadu Buhari, premised on the increase in VAT rate from 5% to 7.5%. Between 2013 and 2018, when the VAT rate was pegged at 5%, VAT revenues only financed an average of 3% to 5% of recurrent expenditure. Therefore, it is expected that the increase in VAT will cover a small fraction of the proposed recurrent expenditure in 2020.
With the revelations brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic; neither the original budget nor the revised one paid attention to the gaping need for improved healthcare system in Nigeria. For instance, the projection for healthcare in the original budget was N441b, a meagre 4.2% of the budget. This is in contrast with the situation in South Africa and Rwanda, where they have complied with the World Health Organisation recommendation that countries should not spend less than 15% of their annual budget on healthcare.
Nigeria, which is expected to lead the way in Africa, is shamelessly in breach. On education, the expenditure allocations budgeted N686b or 6.5% of the total figure in the original budget. This is far below the UNESCO recommendation of between 15% and 20% of budget allocation for education in developing countries. It is disheartening that the percentage allocation to education in Nigeria has instead continued to drop on a yearly basis. Starting from 2015 when it was 12.3%, it dropped to 9.2% in 2016, 7.3% in 2017, and 6.5% this year.
More so, The Federal Ministry of Power Works and Housing capital expenditure allocation, which stood at N444.646 billion leaves growing concerns about the government’s commitment to improve the state of roads across the country which is necessary to drive the much needed economic growth. The failure of the government to fund road projects and maintain the dilapidated ones have hindered the economic prosperity needed to transform the country and has shown a significant effect on the under performance of the transport sector.
Secondly, is the issue of the persisting debt overhang. Our total debt as at the end of December 2019 stood at N27.74 trillion. This includes N21.7trillion owed by the Federal government and N5.6 trillion owed by state governments. In order to fund the revised budget, we need not less than $15b, in additional loans. The big questions are: can we afford to service additional loan if we already set aside close to N3trillion to service the present outstanding balance? Who would lend us that money and at what price, both in financial and political terms? If we believe we are going to meet the shortfall by printing money, has anybody bothered to consider the inflationary implications?
Thirdly, is the structure of the budget and therefore our government. No matter what we do, we seem to be stuck with 70% of our budget going into recurrent expenditure. In the revised budget, 73.5% of total expenditure will go into salaries and debt servicing, while only 26.5% will go into capital expenditure. What does that mean for both physical and social infrastructure development?
What can we do to reduce the cost of governance at both the executive and legislative arms of government? Again, if for any reason we are unable to fund the budget completely like has been the case in the last few years, it is Capital Expenditure that bears the brunt. The implication is that there are chances that the meager allocation to infrastructure may not be implemented in full.
Of the total proposed 2020 budget, non-debt recurrent expenses accounts for 47.6% (N4.9 trillion), while capital outlay represents 20.7% (N2.1 trillion). The cost of governance remains a cause for concern, as recurrent expenditure continues to grow annually. By 2020, cumulative FG personnel costs, pensions and gratuities (from 2011 to 2020) will be over N20 trillion.
As at 2018, the federal government’s workforce was reported to be about 400,000 in total, signifying that about 0.2% of the country’s population consumed about one-third (33%) of the national budget. This figure is expected to expand further in coming years, especially given the low staff turnover in the federal civil service and the new minimum wage.
OUR POSITION AND DEMANDS:
A study conducted by experts on Nigeria’s infrastructure requirement revealed that for the country to bridge the wide infrastructure gap, approximately N11.25 trillion ($31 billion) has to be invested annually over a period of 10 years.
Key sectors such as industry, trade and investment, education, healthcare, labour and employment, power, works and housing, and transportation are catalysts for growth.
With the budgetary allocation of political officials and some low impact sectors almost four times that of key sectors, is Nigeria growth inclined? Are the budgetary allocations reflective of the description of the 2020 budget by the President? Time will tell.
Again, Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it would finance the N5.36 trillion budget deficits through domestic, foreign loans and proceeds from privatisations. It is not good to keep on borrowing on a yearly basis to finance deficit budget when a lot of very valuable national assets are lying fallow and moribund. Proceeds from outright privatisation or concession of the moribund assets should serve as the best alternative in funding yearly budget deficits since the assets are more or less becoming national liabilities.
There are about 600 state-owned enterprises in the country which gulp not less than $3 billion on a yearly basis with little or no returns into the public purpose.
Furthermore, it is important to ensure that we do not waste the awareness and opportunities created by this pandemic crisis. We advocate here that Nigeria must declare a medical emergency immediately. We must invest heavily in healthcare, for the sake of everybody, whether rich or poor.
We are also of the firm belief that we should use the opportunity provided by this crisis to renegotiate our debts. In fact, we should be asking our creditors for outright cancellation and debt forgiveness. We are already in a debt crisis and from every indication; we cannot meet our debt obligations and still provide basic resources for our people. We cannot afford to devote close to 60% of our revenue to service debt. There is no better time than now to declare that we cannot pay.
Closely related to that is that the time has come for us to reduce the size and change the structure of government to reflect our current realities. We should discourage anything that puts money in a few hands as that will further weaken the economy. This may sound harsh, but we cannot afford to live in what is clearly a fool’s paradise.
Most importantly, we demand that the Federal Ministers in charge of Finance should explain the rationale for the continuous borrowings and where these Revenues officially generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Services in the last five years went to and what they were used for? Nigerians need to know.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long Live the good people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director, National Media Affairs.
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
10th August 2020.
GIVE US A DATE FOR PUBLIC DEBATE ON SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME; HURIWA Tells Humanitarian Affairs Minister
A Statement By The Pro-Democracy And Leading Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) On The alleged Widespread Corruption, Which Has Characterised The Implementation Of The So-called SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME And The School Feeding PROGRAMME And Restating Its Demands For The Minister Of Humanitarian Affairs To Take Up The Challenge For A PUBLIC DEBATE On The Administration Of School Feeding Programme Especially The Sessions That Happened Whilst Schools Were On Lockdown. HURIWA said it has read a lot of attacks against the group after it issued the first statement expressing doubts over the credibility of the process of the implementation of the School Feeding PROGRAMME but vowed that as a mass movement it is not deterred as it wants the minister to be a Democrat and appear in an independent forum to take questions from the masses:
Nigeria has for a decade been embroiled in a huge humanitarian emergency occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency, the fallout of which called for the biggest crisis management operations since the civil war over fifty years ago. Thousands of people have been killed and properties worth millions of U.S. dollars have been destroyed.
In his inaugural speech for his second term in office in May, 2019, President Buhari stated that the principal thrust of his new Administration is to consolidate on the achievements of the previous four years, correct the lapses inevitable in all human endeavours and tackle the new challenges the country is faced with and chart a bold plan for transforming Nigeria. Little wonder, then, that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development was established in August, 2019 by an Executive pronouncement by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) at the inauguration of Ministers for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To some observers, creating the ministry was a master stroke which portrayed the government as a humanitarian one and signaled Buhari’s readiness to deliver empathy or, if you will, give the impression of running a ‘government with a human face.’ Beyond such interpretation, however, lies the significance of rising to the enormous task of having a proper and coordinated response to the humanitarian crises and providing relief and meaning to the life of victims.
Given the current global crisis as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, and the recent report that in Nigeria, five in 10 children under-five are malnourished (stunted, wasted or overweight); while three in 10 children aged six to 23 months live on poor diets; the SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME of the Federal Government under the coordination of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has left more to be desired of it. This fact was admitted when the minister reportedly met a joint meeting organised by the National Assembly in which both the Senate President Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila expressed disappointment that the implementation of the SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME has not met the targeted objectives and the minister accepted that she inherited some of the challenges bordering on questions of transparency and accountability.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria is worried that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, charged with the mandate to develop humanitarian policies and provide effective coordination of National and International humanitarian interventions; ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and response; and manage the formulation and implementation of fair focused social inclusion and protection programs in Nigeria has become the single most notorious cesspool of corruption and lack of transparency and accountability in over 60 Years of the nation’s Independence.
Instead of positioning itself in the light of the prevailing humanitarian situation in the country through its vision, mission and core values to promote human dignity and integration of basic humane benevolence and compassion in the treatment of Nigerians, the Ministry has rather repositioned itself as a cash guzzling machine and a financial disaster.
Nothing best illustrates the fact that all is not well with the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPSs) of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government than the recent condemnation of the Modified Home Grown School Feeding Programme, as well as last April’s row between managers of the programme and the leadership of the National Assembly over the initiative.
The Programme under the Ministry reportedly claimed to have blown away billions of public funds to feed school Children during the three Months of Covid-19 lockdown when clearly the school Children were all at homes in different parts of the Country.
More worrisome is that this appalling and muddy feeding programme happened despite a groundswell of well-informed opposition to the disastrous idea only because the executioners had allegedly designed the primitive ways of allegedly siphoning public funds under the guise of feeding ghost school children. To prove us wrong, the Ministry should provide facts and figures for all to see and judge.
We are aware of how the minister contradicted herself when she claimed that the food would be shared door-to door and in the same breath, averred that vouchers would be allocated at specific collection times to avoid overcrowding. Was she misquoted or what?
Such contradiction only betrayed an unwholesome tendency, as HURIWA wonders how there would be overcrowding on door-to-door distribution of food to children who are claimed to have been individually designated in various locations, even as the failed to provide details of how she intended to reach the 9.7 million school children, who were in their homes in different locations due to the closure of schools, even as officials continue to muddle up required documentations in a bid to cover their tracks
HURIWA is also aware that critical stakeholders in the education sector, including the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Concerned Parents and Educators (CPE), had also raised queries over this fraudulent scheme which went the way of the N500 billion Social Investment Programme of the Buhari administration which the First Lady; Aisha Buhari, had earlier exposed as a huge scam.
Again, the claim making waves in the social and online media credited to the Minister; Sadiya Umar Farouq as saying that the Ministry delivered palliatives to each and every Nigerian is despicable and one of the worst lies in recent times. Although the minister had tried to clarify that media quotes and distance herself from such a sweeping assertion, Nigerians are worried that the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management must be tasked to provide the templates for the expenditures it made in that direction and tell Nigerians where these so called beneficiaries are.
OUR OVER TEN THOUSAND MEMBERS SPREAD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY HAVE TOLD US THAT THEY HAVEN’T EVER MET ANY OF THESE SO CALLED SCHOOL CHILDREN FED DURING THE FOUR MONTHS OF LOCKDOWN OCCASIONED BY THE HEALTH EMERGENCY OF COVID-19.
Our Position and Demands:
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has nothing against any transparent effort to provide succor to Nigerians, particularly our children, at this critical time, but we reject the on-going fraud in which school children, who were in their respective homes, bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic are being used as representations to divert public funds to a few corrupt individuals in the Buhari administration. Even Mr President recently expressed consternation that person’s he appointed into higher offices have disappointed him.
We have seen scientific indications that have emerged revealing that Nigeria might have higher increase in under-five mortality at this critical health emergency time of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, owing to what they termed as gross disruptions in health services and rise in preventable childhood killer diseases like malnutrition.
These scientists stated that already, high number of children are suffering the consequences of poor diets and a food system that is failing them, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
If this is the situation, where then is the justification of the claim that the current Federal Ministry of Humanitarian and Disaster management spends huge amount of money on the school feeding programme, currently put at N679m [$1,739,881.82] daily, because clearly from all available indices and practical proofs, many under-five children in the country are still malnourished, with COVID-19 pandemic compounding the problem.
Noticeably, the school feeding programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, even when all schools where closed due to COVID-19 pandemic, is a huge scam and a scheme by some officials in the government to siphon a targeted N13.5 billion public funds, choreographed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The use of innocent school children as cover to allegedly steal and hide away not less than N679 million daily to private purses is a colossal racketeering taken too far. It is sacrilegious, wicked and completely unpardonable. Who are these pupils fed? We demand that government publishes information on the beneficiaries because the funds belong not to government but to the PEOPLE OF NIGERIA. ARE THESE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACKS DEMANDED TOO MUCH FOR THE MINISTRY OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS SO MUCH SO THAT WE ARE BEING CALLED NAMES AND PLOTS ARE BEING HATCHED TO MALIGN US?
Equally, the Minister in charge of this disastrous Ministry of Government must be made to render proper accounts of how her Ministry reportedly claimed to have puffed away billions of public funds to feed SCHOOL Children during the three Months of Covid-19 lockdown when clearly the school Children were all at homes in different parts of the Country.
More so, the need for Nigerians to ask the Minister to provide clarification on the claim making waves in the social and online media credited to her as stating that her ministry delivered palliatives to each and every Nigerian with facts and figures showing how the exercise was carried out and the households that benefited is imperative.
Failure to clarify this bogus claim that is attributed to her, which to all intents and purposes is not just false, but totally and substantially dubious, deceptive, criminally and deeply annoying, we assure her that Nigerians will never forget.
It is totally absurd and completely unprovable that Nigeria spends N679m daily to feed school Children. This political and morally tainted bogus claim is one of the most insensitive lies to have been told by any politician because this is clearly false since experts have told us with abundant scientifically empirical evidence that 50% under-five children are malnourished in all parts of Nigeria and especially in majority of the North East of Nigeria.
Hence, we are by this Media Statement demanding that the Minister picks a date for the challenge we have thrown at her for a PUBLIC DEBATE with us to be covered by the media and watched by millions of Nigerians.
This is because Public Debate emerges as a significant tool in the process of making people more active participants in the democratic process by involving them in the decision-making process. This proposed public debate with the Minister will address the people’s opinions, interests, expectations and clarifications on the alleged cesspool of corruptions in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and then the ministry can state the official lines of what it has spent. We have nothing against the minister and contrary to what the attack dogs have stated in the various publications, we have nobody funding this PURE HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY.
We need not remind the President; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) and the National Assembly that good governance is enhanced when openness, transparency and accountability become the Mantra of Government.
Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the National Assembly should realise that history will be unkind to them for failing to stop widespread corruptions that have characterised the implementation of the so called SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME and the School Feeding PROGRAMME which is at the moment, the best known CESSPOOL OF CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE.
*COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
Miss. Zainab Yusuf:
Director of National Media Affairs
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
9TH AUGUST 2020.
HURIWA Backs AGF on Reforms Of EFCC
A Statement By The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group; Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) Condemning The Series of Attacks and Allegations Against the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Abubakar Malami Orchestrated by Elements that are well known to be Associated and/or are Working for alleged Affiliates of the Suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Ibrahim Magu.
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) is a prominent civil rights advocacy group. It is a team of professionals who have come together to advance the single agenda of building a formidable and economically strong united Nigeria.
We need not overstate our strong track record within the Civil Society Community in Nigeria which spans nearly two decades of an unblemished record of patriotism.
It has come to our notice that the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice; Abubakar Malami (SAN), who is the Chief Law Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been the subject of a vicious and sustained attacks in recent times.
The campaigns, which intensified since the AGF urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Ibrahim Magu for alleged infractions is being executed by elements close to POWERFUL FORCES backing Ibrahim Magu and these groups hide under compromised Civil Society Organisations and induced media platforms to launch personal attacks against the Chief Law Officer of the Federation.
To achieve their nefarious objectives, they have twisted several allegations which range from mismanagement of funds, abuse of office to obstruction of criminal investigations just to distract and even disable the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and make a mess of the whole anti- corruption fight especially that involving Ibrahim Magu.
Why Abubakar Malami Deserves Our Support
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has been championing the duties specified in the office as his functions and powers. His contribution in the area of carrying out the assigned roles of his office is indelible. Nigerians are not unaware of particularly the following:
1. AGF’s contribution in taking over the Sowore case that eventually saw to the release of hitherto detained Sowore and Dasuki.
2. Decongestion of Nigerian Correctional Centres and release of almost 7,000 inmates
3. AGF’s legal acumen in handling suspected Boko Haram members
4. Implementation of Criminal Justice Act
5. Implementation of National Correctional Service Reform
6. Speedy litigation of election matters.
7. Enhancement of Access to Justice
8. AGF’S efforts in making Socio-economic Rights justiciable.
9. Handling of Apo Six Killing
10. Contribution in the signing of Executive Orders especially No 10 on Independence of State Legislature and Judiciary
11. Coming out with Post COVID-19 Justice Sector plan, among others.
We, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria humbly state that we are not holding brief for the AGF; far from that. Our records are clear in issuing constructive criticisms to all office holders since the platform was set up about 14 years ago. But we are very concerned about the ongoing campaigns against the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Abubakar Malami for the following reasons:
First, the efforts to distract and even disable the Chief Law Officer of the Federation at a time we are embarking on measures to strengthen our laws and institutions is not in the best interest of the nation. This is because the mandate as given to the Office of the Attorney-General in Section 174 (1) is critical to the fight against corruption, which is the cardinal focus of the current administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
We are not unmindful of the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS PERMITTED BY THE CONSTITUTION INCLUDING RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. SO WE ARE NOT OPPOSED TO GROUPS EXPRESSING THEIR OPINION RIGHTLY BUT WE ARE ONLY WORRIED ABOUT THE MOTIVE.
Secondly, we all are aware that Ibrahim Magu; a Nigerian Police Officer who served as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from 9 November 2015, until his suspension on 7 July 2020 is embattled with about 21 corruption allegations brought against him by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice; Abubakar Malami.
Thirdly and related to the above, we have credible intelligence that the people behind these attacks and compromised civil society groups are being sponsored by persons sympathetic to Ibrahim Magu just to mess up the whole investigation on the EFCC, which involves Ibrahim Magu and to scuttle the whole essence of trying to reorganize the anti-graft Agency.
HURIWA FULLY ENDORSES THE COMPREHENSIVE OVERHAIL OF THE EFCC TO BRING IT IN LINE TO BEST GLOBAL PRACTICES AND TO COMPEL THE INSTITUTION TO BE LAW AND RIGHTS BASED DEVOID OF ARBITRARINESS AND TYRANNY OF A POWERFUL CHAIRMAN.
Fourthly, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) issue they are basing their allegation of obstruction of corruption cases on, the AGF did not direct the stoppage of the investigation, but only directed for a well-coordinated investigation to be carried out by the Nigerian Police, which is the body legally recognized and empowered under section 214 (1) and Section 29 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) and the Police Act, respectively.
The AGF’s letter dated February 4, 2020 as published by the online media is a clear and unambiguous directive that the other several agencies conducting parallel investigation on NIRSAL in respect of the same subject matter to stay action and allow the Nigeria Police Force to continue and conclude the investigations it had started in order to avoid multiplicity, confusion and wastage of scarce resources.
The above is not an offence and so it is totally incredible to us how these sponsored elements who are on a mission of personal vendetta for their pay-masters are bringing forth tainted, unwarranted and ethically challenged allegations against the AGF at a time the anti-corruption structures and system is being investigated and the Country is trying to reorganize what is left of the credibility of the EFCC.
The sponsors of this vicious campaign must not be allowed to achieve their evil plans of destabilizing measures to strengthen our laws and institutions, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. If we sit back and fold our arms whilst this vicious campaign against the AGF is allowed to aggravate, then we will be shooting ourselves in the foot and destroying whatever is left of the credibility of our institutions.
Recall that we had earlier stated our UNAMBIGUOUS AND ABSOLUTE SUPPORT FOR THE PRAGMATIC REFORMS OF THE EFCC SO A ROBUST, MUCH MORE COMPETENT AND A PROFESSIONALLY RESPECTED EXPERT CAN BE APPOINTED TO HEAD THE EFCC. THIS DESIRE IS THE FUNDAMENTAL REASON FOR OUR POSITION BEING CANVASSED.
Obviously, the intentions of the sponsors of these vicious campaigns of personal vendetta are not unselfish, not nationalistic and not patriotic, but ’a cash and carry’ kind of campaign, which in essence defeats its genuineness. This is because they are elements that are well known to be associated with POWERFUL FORCES BACKING Ibrahim Magu and have been working for him in the Civil Society Community. Mind you, we did not say that Ibrahim Magu is sponsoring these groups but hard core intelligence at our disposal points to persons who will benefit should the STATUS QUO BE MAINTAINED WITHIN THE EFCC.
These compromised civil society groups and their sponsors are just chasing shadows and trying to destabilize the ongoing probe and investigations involving a friend of their funders. If the President decides to take any independent action, so be it; but the essence of their vicious campaigns against Malami is pointless and defeated.
We urge the President; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari not be deceived by these vicious attacks on his Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice because those bringing up these allegations are working hard to scuttle the ongoing reformation in the EFCC.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).
7TH AUGUST 2020.