Posted by News Express | 14 September 2015 | 2,477 times
A socio-cultural group, Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), comprising the Igbo nation in Nigeria and the Diaspora, has expressed its dismay over the lopsided appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari, with over 80 per cent of such strategic offices going to the North, while completely excluding the South-East; the routine mass murder and hounding of civilians in the geo-political zone exercising their fundamental right to peaceful protests, and killing of unarmed traders at Aba and Onitsha by federal security operatives. “This represents a flagrant violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic which the President swore to protect, as well as the Federal Character principle which also underlines the need for ethno-regional balancing in all agencies of government.”
The group, which stated this in a media statement endorsed by its President, Maazi Tochukwu , Ezeoke, and Publicity Secretary, Mr Chike Ezeanya, flayed the continued presence of Boko Haram prisoners in the Ekwulobia Prison in Anambra State, and the rumoured stoppage of work on the second Niger Bridge, adding: Whereas there are specific constitutional requirements for ethno-regional balancing in the Nigerian Constitution, we submit that even without a constitutional requirement, inclusion is a moral, natural and political necessity in a homogenous nation, which leaders must of necessity undertake in the interest of unity, justice, equality, fairness, and for purposes of nation-building and internal harmony.”
It noted that since the most fundamental benchmark for good governance is anchored on social, political and economic inclusion, President Buhari’s administration cannot ideally aspire to any milestones in good governance as it frequently advertises, when the critical requirement for inclusion remains in breach.
The group cautioned that given Nigeria’s chequered past and current ethno-religious conflicts and widening cleavages, all forms of exclusion gravely endangers the country’s corporate existence; as it can lead to justifiable and legitimate increase in agitations for self-rule and or independence by marginalised sections of the country. “We, therefore, call on President Buhari to reverse all such lopsided appointments. Future appointments should recognise not only the constitutional requirement for inclusion, but also the moral, natural and political need to do so for the important purpose of nation-building.”
IEI equally decried the silence of human rights organisations, the US State Department and the international community that have indicted the Nigerian army and security services for gross human rights abuses in North-East, whereas such violations continue to occur with impunity as the killings by the Nigerian army in Onitsha, Aba and arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters across several states in the South-East demonstrate.
While calling on the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to investigate and punish all those involved in the killings to show the government’s commitment to equal protection of human rights, and to release forthwith all those arrested for engaging in peaceful protests, it warned: “Not only does the extra-judicial killings and arrests of peaceful protesters run the risk of radicalising the members of such non-violent groups, thereby opening another front of conflict, it remains a wanton violation of fundamental rights to murder and or arrest those exercising their civic rights to peaceful protests.”
•Photo shows Igbo Ekunie President, Tochukwu Ezeoke.
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