By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has reacted to the hasty approval of a whopping N170 billion loan request by Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State by the State House of Assembly, calling on all Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the honorable residents of Enugu State, and opposition political leaders, including Senators and House of Representatives members, to remain vigilant and committed to ensuring that the funds are used for the development and improvement of Enugu State, and not to enrich a select few.
HURIWA made the call on Wednesday in a statement signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko made available to Sundiata Post in Abuja.
The statement reads in full:
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has vehemently denounced the recent approval of a massive N170 billion loan request by Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, stating that the suspiciously swift passage of this request through the state House of Assembly has raised serious concerns, depicting a clear violation of the rights of Enugu State’s citizens to transparent governance and fiscal responsibility.
In a statement released today, HURIWA expressed deep alarm over the Enugu State House of Assembly’s unanimous endorsement of Governor Mbah’s substantial loan request. “This request encompasses a staggering N100 billion in bank guarantees, N10 billion in term loans, N10 billion in overdraft facilities, and N50 billion in credit facilities. These colossal figures demand rigorous scrutiny, and the absence of transparency surrounding this decision is deeply unsettling.
“It is apparent that the people of Enugu State have been left in the dark concerning the specifics of this loan and how it will serve the state’s betterment. The dearth of transparency surrounding this decision raises critical questions about who truly stands to benefit from these funds”.
Consequently, HURIWA called upon all Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the honorable residents of Enugu State, and opposition political leaders, including Senators and House of Representatives members, to unite and establish a coalition dedicated to safeguarding the proper utilization of this substantial sum.
The rights group also stressed that it is imperative that the citizens of Enugu State are informed about how their hard-earned money will be employed and what safeguards are in place to prevent corruption and misappropriation of these funds.
Furthermore, HURIWA expressed deep concern regarding the hurried nature of the approval process within the state Assembly, stressing that it is imperative that significant financial decisions undergo thorough scrutiny, debate, and public discourse to guarantee they are in the best interest of the people.
“The approval process within the state Assembly was astonishingly rushed, devoid of the requisite due diligence and public discourse essential for decisions of such financial magnitude. This hastiness has left the people of Enugu State in the dark regarding the loan specifics and its intended benefits for the state. This lack of transparency and accountability undermines the principles of good governance.
“Responsible governance should prioritize the citizens’ welfare. Leaders must ensure that public funds are employed for the people’s benefit and that decisions of this magnitude are characterized by utmost transparency and accountability.
“Governor Peter Mbah and the Enugu State House of Assembly must be held accountable for their actions and decisions. The people of Enugu State deserve leaders who prioritize their welfare and are committed to responsibly managing public funds”.
HURIWA’s statement concluded by urging all concerned parties to remain vigilant and committed to ensuring that the funds secured through this loan are used for the development and improvement of Enugu State, and not to enrich a select few. “Transparency, accountability, and the protection of the rights of citizens must be paramount in all government actions”.
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)
October 11th, 2023.