Posted by News Express | 22 February 2021 | 584 times
By JOHN NWOKOCHA, Abuja
The coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria has called on the National Assembly to initiates the impeachment proceedings against President Muhammadu Buhari giving as their reason for making the demand “growing concerns of insecurity in the country”.
The coalition made demand on Sunday at an emergency Civil Society Joint Action Press Briefing on the State of the Nation organised by rights bodies namely; Global Rights, Center for Democracy and Development CDD, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre C ISLAC and a coalition of other Civil Society Organization in Nigeria.
In a statement read by the Adesire Oke of CISLAC and Abiodun Bayeiwu of Global Right they said that where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties, he should step aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The coalition explains that the demand is crucial in the face of growing insecurity concerns “as Nigerian citizens, including children are killed daily by terrorist and criminals as well as extra-judicial killing by the state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it”.
According to it, “The government, through the Minister of Defence, has instead callously abdicated its responsibility and called Nigerian citizens ‘coward’ and urged Nigerians to ‘defend themselves’.
“Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent.
“Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperised by terrorists who extort huge ransom while murdering their hostages.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms what has now become the government's standard state policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.
“President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people. Instead, under their watch, Nigeria is now a catalogue of bloodletting with the unending war In the North East with troops often bearing the brunt of this government’s security failures;
“Gross injustices by President Buhari’s government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by the government's security agents while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians including women and children are feted. Wholly coddled, granted ‘amnesty' and paid by the government.
“This is tantamount to funding and supporting terrorists, encouraging murder and the decimation of the Nigeria’s gallant troops and amounts to treason against the Nigerian State and people.
“Terrorist herder attacks on unarmed farming communities and reprisal attacks in the face of government inaction and failure to bring the terrorist herdsmen and their funders to justice;
Large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality Industrial scale kidnappings all across the country;
“Extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms of lnter-ethnic violence and menace of political cult gangs and ethnic militia.”
The Coalition continued: “Furthermore, Section 14 of the Constitution has imposed a duty on the State i.e. FG, States & LGs. All Governments should invest in the security of life and property of every citizen. And since, armed robbery, kidnapping and murder or culpable homicide are state offences, All arrested suspected should be prosecuted by State Attorney Generals.
“Nigeria is completely under policed. As a matter of urgency, more security personnel should be employed, trained and motivated to defend the society.
“When an American citizen was recently kidnapped in Niger State no ransom was paid. Yet, a team of US troops invaded the country, killed two of the kidnappers and freed the abducted American.”
The coalition further stressed that this government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to protect Nigerians as is their primary duty under Section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution and President Buhari solely responsible as the buck stops at his desk.
“As Civil Society organisations, we call on the President to take immediate steps to provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) (C) of the Constitution.
“The Nigeria Police Council established by section 153 of the Constitution is constituted by the President, IGP, Chair of Police Service Commission and the 36 state governors.
“The NPC is empowered by the Constitution to administer organise and supervise the Nigeria Police Force. The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity.
“End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence.
“Amnesty for terrorists and abductors should stop. Huge ransom paid to criminal gangs is used to purchase arms and ammunition to attack communities.
“As security is technology driven the Government must acquire the necessary equipment to deal with the menace of terrorism, banditry and abduction.
“Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free Speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
“Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets,” the coalition said.
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