Rights group declares Governor El-Rufai ‘a major threat to democracy’ •Urges Buhari, APC and lawmakers to call him to order

Posted by News Express | 28 March 2016 | 2,435 times

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has named the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, as a major threat to peace and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. It has therefore called on him “to fundamentally amend his leadership style to avoid precipitating civil unrest in Kaduna State.” HURIWA in a statement issued Sunday in Abuja said it believes that any social cum religious warfare that is ignited in Kaduna would spread like wild fire across Nigeria.

The statement signed by HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, particularly expressed strong worries about “the spate of anti-people and anti-religious policies being churned out by the administration of Mr Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, which includes the alleged discriminatory demolition of the ancestral settlements of the Gbagis/Gwaris and houses of the very poorest of the poor.”

HURIWA equally lampooned Governor El-Rufai over “his anti-labour policy as against the constitutional provisions that guarantee freedom of association.” It stated that the newly introduced policy of granting licences to religious preachers is absolutely unconstitutional and illegal since the 1999 Constitution has clearly stated in Section 10 that government must not make or implement policies that are exclusively targeted at some religious organisations or is the state authorised to treat one religion as a state religion. HURIWA said that “the proposed illegal religious preachers’ licencing policy would negate the secular nature of Nigeria and is intended to attack not only the Christian religion but also outlaws the African Traditional Religions. This is absolutely unlawful.”

HURIWA therefore called on the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, which produced El-Rufai, to call him to order so as to maintain the current atmosphere of peace and tranquility in Kaduna State. The group has also called on the Kaduna State House of Assembly not to pass any anti-labour and anti-religious legislations.

The rights group said thus: “We feel strongly obliged to name the Kaduna State Governor as the single most notorious threat against the survival of Nigeria’s democracy going by the high rate at which his administration is known to have introduced or implemented policies that are grossly anti-people and anti-religious even when the Nigerian Constitution in Section 14 (2) (a) states clearly that ‘Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all Powers and authority.”

HURIWA lambasted Governor El-Rufai “for targeting the ancestral settlements of the Gbagis/Gwaris for state-imposed illegal demolition order in a manner that clearly violates section 42 (1) of the constitution which provides that: ‘A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community,  ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion SHALL NOT, by reason only that he is such a person – be subjected either expressly by, or on the practical application of any law in force in Nigeria or any Executive or Administrative action of the Government to disabilities or restriction to which citizens of other communities,  Ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion, political opinions are not made subject to.’ ”

HURIWA said that it is imperative that President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and the organised civil society community in Nigeria take immediate but transparent and effective measures to call Governor El-Rufai to order because any social or religious crisis that originates in Kaduna State would have widespread implications because of the overwhelming presence of people of diverse Ethno-religious affiliations who cohabit peacefully in Kaduna State.

•Photo shows Governor El-Rufai.

Source: News Express

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