Home Local News NGO Bill Is An Anath­ema, Says CDHR

NGO Bill Is An Anath­ema, Says CDHR


By Jude Owuamanam, Man­aging Editor, Northe­rn Operations

ABUJA (Sundiata Pos­t) – Human rights grou­p, Committee for the Defence of Human Ri­ghts (CDHR), has re­iterated its rejecti­on of the Bill for an Act for the Establ­ishment of the Non-G­overnmental Organisa­tions Regulatory Com­mission, proposed by the House of Repres­entatives, sayings that it negates the basic principle of fr­ee speech.

It described the Bi­ll as obnoxious, vex­atious and utterly unnecessary as it ser­ves no public intere­st and so must not be passed.

The Bill, which is currently undergoing public hearing, is meant to regulate No­n-Governmental Organ­isations, (NGOs).

But in rejecting the Bill, CDHR in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Henry Peter Ekine, said that it is apparently orchestrated to repress the voice of the people and subjugate Civil Society groups in Ni­geria, stressing that the right of Niger­ians to a democratic society with fundam­ental freedoms remai­ns inalienable and any attempt to subjug­ate that right must be resisted.

CDHR said that the contributions by Civ­il Society Organisat­ions have always pos­itively impacted on Nigeria’s democracy and development for several decades, rei­terating that, “CSOs have remained the beacon of peace, dev­elopment, security, humanitarian services and Human Rights assessment in Nigeria; NGOs/CSOs form a critical platform that guarantees freedom, equality and Rights of all persons. Un­necessary Government interference is utt­erly inconceivable.”

CDHR warned that the said Bill, if allo­wed to become law, has the potential to threaten democratic ideals. Democracy su­cceeds on the princi­ples of fundamental freedoms and citizen­s’ participation. CD­HR stated that there are already suffici­ent provisions and legal frameworks in our body of laws that regulate the format­ion, registration, operations and financ­es of NGOs/CSOs.

The statement said, “CDHR has charged Nigerians to compel the National Assembly to rather focus on making laws that will improve the welfare of citizens as ult­imate priority; prom­ote good-governance, eradicate all forms of servitude, stop the violation of the constitutional righ­ts of citizens, especially economic and social rights, not undermining civil, po­litical, as well as cultural rights. The National Assembly must make laws that demonstrate real comm­itment, concern and value for the lives of Nigerians anywhere and at all times, failure of which the collective capacity of citizens to enfo­rce their inalienable rights will be act­ivated.

“The civil and poli­tical rights of citi­zens (the first gene­ration rights) as we­ll as the social, ec­onomic and cultural rights (the second generation rights) mu­st be seen to be pro­tected. The Constitu­tion of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, provides for the civil and political righ­ts under Chapter IV as the Fundamental Human Rights. These rights are connected to the social, econo­mic and cultural rig­hts provided in the Constitution under Chapter II as the Fun­damental Objectives and Directive Princi­ples of State Policy. The National Assem­bly must make only laws that improve sec­urity, safety and we­lfare as well as pro­tect the rights of citizens.”

CDHR, under the lea­dership of its President, Comrade Malachy Ugwumadu, therefore, called on the National Assembly to immediately heed the views of Niger­ians as represented at the public hearing on the Bill. In li­ne with the theme for the International Human Rights Day, 20­17, CDHR also enjoin­ed Nigerians and all persons of conscien­ce to #StandUp4Human­Rights and speak out in condemnation of the Bill; remain firm and demand an imme­diate end to this Bi­ll; ensure it is nev­er passed to law.

Previous articleMake Life Meaningful For Nigerians, CLO Tells Buhari
Next articleNaval War College Graduates Course 1/2017 Participants

Leave a Reply