FRESH CLOUD, seemed to be gathering, against President Buhari and his government, as the country, increasingly, got engulfed in waves of insecurity. At the weekend, Sunday, February 21; clarion call, in a joint statement, from 68 Civil Society Groups, urged the president to take needed actions to end insecurity in the country, abuse of power and sectionalism in national appointments. But how far, the CSOs could go, is any body’s guess.
In one voice, they also, insisted that President Buhari should balance competence with federal character principle in appointments, and demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matter, as sectional appointments appears to fuel sectional violence. They blamed nationwide insecurity on the president and his ruling party, All Progress Congress, APC, inept and lack of focus administration.
“As civil society organizations, 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 groups stated.
The statement, further said under the leadership of President Buhari, the government has failed to protect Nigerians as stipulated in Section 14 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution. As such, the president should be held solely responsible for the escalating state of insecurity in Nigeria, because the buck stops on his desk.
DEBATE on “amnesty” for terrorists and bandits, was not left out. The groups stated: “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 Federal Government must acquire the necessary equipment to deal with the menace of terrorism, banditry and abduction”.
They also touched on the Nigerian Police: “The Nigeria Police Council (NPC), established by Section 153 of the Constitution, is empowered to administer, organize and supervise the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). The NPC should be called to meet regularly to address the crisis of insecurity”. They faulted the current centralized security system in the country.
MEDIA and free speech, was given attention by the groups. They stated: “Buhari should take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state. Mobilize rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international co-operation to ramp up security assets”.
Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties, the groups “demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him, on grounds of gross misconduct as provided in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The groups, however, said they remained hopeful, as citizens of Nigeria; and urged Nigerians to keep hope alive.
The groups statement was signed, among others, by Center for Democracy and Development, CDD; Center for Democratic Research and Training, CRDDERT; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, CISLAC; Media Rights Agenda, MRA; Center for Information Technology and Development, CITAD; Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP.