Posted by News Express | 10 January 2015 | 3,187 times
The general elections scheduled to hold next month in Nigeria will be turbulent, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has predicted.
The frontline rights group made the prediction in a statement issued yesterday in Onitsha, South-East Nigeria, entitled ‘Why Human Rights Will Remain Endangered In Africa & Nigeria In 2015’.
It said that “human rights will still face big challenges in Africa and Nigeria in 2015. This is chiefly due to prevalence of dictatorship and tyranny in Africa and expected turbulent general elections holding in Nigeria in February (2015).”
According to the statement signed by Intersociety Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi and Head, Campaign & Publicity Department, Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., “As Nigeria faces its crucial general elections in February, human rights of Nigerians are at the crossroads. Uncertainties have rented the air. Both the federally ruling and opposition political parties have nothing concrete to offer Nigerians if re-elected or elected. They are busy promoting politics of primordialism, violence, religiosity and mercantilism. They have no empirical answers to insurgency, economic and other social downturns afflicting Nigeria and Nigerians in recent times. While the federally ruling PDP can be described as ‘the worse government in power’; the federally opposition APC can best be described as ‘the worst government in waiting’. This is because they have nothing meaningful to offer to the long suffering people of Nigeria. As a result, Nigerians are left to choose in the February polls between ‘the worse government in power’ and ‘the worst government in waiting’.”
Intersociety warned that “except all inclusive and transparent elections particularly the Presidential poll, devoid of ethno-religious extremism and socio-economic primordialism are conducted; otherwise lives and liberties of millions of ordinary Nigerians will be at intense risk during and after the polls.”
It added that “the country also faces resurgence of oil-insurgency in the Niger Delta South and radical Islamist insurgency in the far north except the authorities and those in the opposition play electioneering politics within the confines of international best practices.”
Intersociety submitted that in Nigeria, “human rights are grossly endangered and fueled by mis-governance and chronic socio-religious hatred and divisions, which have elevated culture of self-help and vindictiveness to unquenchable proportions.”
According to the group, “Civilian regime change is also pursued using violence, radical religiosity, inflammatory campaign slogans, nepotism and favoritism. There is also a code-created cabal of 17,500 public office occupiers in Nigeria diverting and pocketing 80% of the country’s commonwealth through statutory overheads and allowances; to the extent that mere legislative offices of the heads of the country’s National Assembly are allocated N250M ($1.5M) and N200M ($1.2M) respectively, every quarter of the year in the name of overheads costs. President, Vice President and each of the State Governors also shockingly pocket as much as N100B ($6B) and N10B ($60M) respectively as annual overheads. These they call ‘security votes’.
“Till date, the 12,788 chairmen, deputy chairmen and councilors of the country’s 774 constitutionally recognised Local Government Areas are annually serviced with a whopping sum of N592B, out of which a criminal sum of N550B is spent on their so called ‘allowances’, whereas only N42B is spent on their annual salaries. To legalise this blatant public robbery, a federal law called ‘Salaries & Allowances for Nigerian Top Public Office Holders Act of the Federation 2002’, amended in 2008 was created. Annual Appropriation Acts (for Federal Government) and Appropriation Laws (for States) are also used to siphon the scarce public funds of Nigeria. These have cumulatively cost Nigerians ‘dividends of democracy’ particularly provision and delivery of social services and fixing of key public infrastructures. These have led to the ‘survival of the fittest’ and institutionalisation of tribal primordialism and militancy as well corruption, nepotism and favoritism in the polity.”
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