Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
The Civil Liberties Organisation, (CLO), Nigeria’s largest and foremost Pan-Nigerian human rights organisation has said that appointments so far made by president Muhammadu Buhari takes semblance of sectionalism and negates the principle of fairness.
The CLO stated that after due study of the entire exercise, agrees with the school of thought which describes the appointments as sectional, unacceptable and an act that would promote division, encourage acrimony and condone denial of sense of belonging to certain sections of the Federation.
The pressure group noted that reactions also show that the appointments will open more wounds in the country rather than heal any and that it is also a gross affront, violation and denigration of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
According to Comrade, Igho Akeregha, President of the CLO, the appointments also negates the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights and a development which infringes on human rights and has grave consequences for peace, justice and respect for the rule of law and due process.
Akeregha while citing example said Section 14, (3) of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution states, inter alia, that “The composition of the government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or sectional groups in that government or any of its agencies.”
“We maintain that the appointments so far made by President Buhari which is the nucleus or what is popularly called Kitchen Cabinet clearly violates these Constitutional provisions and is, therefore, condemned” CLO maintained.
Akeregha insisted that the appointments also abused the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which Nigeria has domesticated and ought to uphold to lead by example and demonstrate her respect for Africa, her laws, institutions and human rights mechanisms, Nigeria being a major stakeholder and player in the Continent.
“The appointments have both ethnic, religious and gender implications and cannot stand no matter how they are placed. For instance, no one woman is among the 30 appointees.
“There is no single appointee from the South East zone and only few Christians while no believers of the other Faiths example African Traditional Religion has a place in the appointments.
CLO seriously frowns at the appointments and condemns them in very strong terms. We enjoin Mr. President to urgently review his appointments and ensure that the principle of federal character wisely put together by the makers of our laws to bind us together is respected and implemented.
We make bold to say that no leader has a right to abuse the laws of our land and subject our society to avoidable confusion.
Secondly, we view the abuse of the Constitution and due process as a huge infraction on human rights and a promotion of corruption because, for us, corruption does not only mean stealing public funds but includes violation of the law, impunity and abuse of the human rights” he noted.