By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Civil Liberties Organisation, (CLO) South East chapter yesterday in a meeting reviewed the present situation in the country and said that Nigeria is fast collapsing under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The group has as part of its mandate the deepening of democracy, acting as a watchdog against the abuse of the democratic process and promoting the ideals of good governance in Nigeria.
At the end of its last quarter 2018 Zonal Management Committee ,(ZMC) meeting held in Enugu, the group in a communiqué, a copy of which was sent to Sundiata Post noted the following observations:
That since the country’s independence in 1960, at no time in the history of the country has Nigerians witnessed the greatest level of killings chiefly by state actors and insurgents than now.
Reminds that there is collapse of security structure across Nigeria and worsening insecurity that killings, banditry and insurgency have all become the defining characteristics of some parts of the country to the extent that mass burials and mass graves have all become a common thing here.
Worried that there is worsening issues of corruption despite the mantra of fighting corruption which has been the swan song of the Buhari administration. Alleging that defectors to the ruling party are made overnight saints while those in opposition parties are demonized with anti-graft agencies literarily turning blind eye to corrupt acts of the “untouchables “ in this government to the extent that various government parastatals and agencies wallow in various fiscal malfeasance but such cases are treated with levity and handled with kid gloves.
Noted the worsening economic situation in Nigeria as a result of which Nigeria has bagged several negative awards including but not limited to; “World Poverty Capital” and “low rankings in the Ease of Doing Business”.
“Alarmed that Unemployment rate is also worsening in Nigeria under this administration while many companies have closed shop with some multinationals relocating outside the country.
Stressed that Public infrastructure in the South East is at its worst state. Federal roads in the zone are such in deplorable conditions that travelling across different parts of the five south east states has become a daily nightmare.
Perturbed that ahead of 2019, there is a clear and present danger in Nigeria over the desperation of the ruling party to retain power at all costs without considering the wishes of the electorates. The group informed that the outcomes of the staggered elections of Ekiti and Osun are pointers that Nigeria may actually burst into flames next year going by the conduct of the electoral umpire, the INEC, security agencies and the incumbent administration at the federal level.
Notwithstanding ominous signs, the CLO urged Nigerians to exercise their power without reservation through the ballot paper and boxes during the elections. It charged Nigerians to rise up and defend their hard worn democracy and also resist any attempt to truncate the choices they have made through the ballot.
Tasked Prof Yakubu Mahmood-led INEC to remain unbiased and resist the temptation of becoming an extension of the ruling party and strive to rescue our democracy by ensuring that votes counts.
The CLO also called on the security agents to also do the same instead of acting any guided script or assisting any party to have any form of undue advantage over others during the polls.
The CLO which acknowledges the rights for Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) to push for self -determination and actualization of Biafran Republic, but condemned the call for the boycott of election in South east. It described the call as a total political miscalculation and ill- conceived project which poses serious adverse effects for the South East Zone. Reminding that the Zone is still suffering from the jaundiced and warped decision of the MASSOB members who disrupted the census exercise in some parts of the zone during the National Census of 2006. The group urged the zone to realize that the 2019 election is a defining moment for the South East to really have a bargaining power in the political configuration in Nigeria; a time to really get involved in the government at the centre as active players instead of playing second fiddle.
Stressed that it is provoking to see Federal Government declare IPOB as a terrorist group and visiting their members with maximum force when such group doesn’t bear arms or have ever taken up armed struggle against the government, but surprising, that the Fulani herdsmen militants who have caused untold havoc in the country leaving in their track – tears, sorrows and blood from incessant killings and mass murders have not been designated as a terror group in Nigeria.
Berates Buhari’s administration for being selective in obeying the rule of law and respect for the rights of the citizens which has in turn, endangered democracy and giving rise to autocracy.
Emphasize that Nigerian citizens have their right to engage in peaceful processions and assembly but condemned in totality the shooting and killing of unarmed protesters under any guise.
Tasked Nigerians to be eternally vigilant but to drop any iota of apathy and get involved in salvaging the country from its nadir state
The meeting which was presided by the Zonal Chairman, Comrade Aloysius Attah, had other chairmen and secretaries of the South East branches of the CLO in attendance.