Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) has said the Bill seeking to regulate NGO’s in Nigeria is “nonsense” in a statement issued by its Director Mr. Frank Tietie today in Abuja, the Right Group took a swipe at the Government and Nigerian politicians and encouraged NGO/CSOs in Nigeria to work towards wrestling power from “wicked, inept and corrupt Nigerian politicians”
According to the group, there is a limit to which a government can take its people for granted. “The Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) is currently grappling with a lot of issues of poor living standards that have been foisted on the citizenry by bad governance carried out by wicked, inept and corrupt Nigerian politicians from 1960 to date.”
“It is becoming apparent that historically, the executive arm of government has perpetually failed the Nigerian people in the delivery of good governance. The National Assembly on the other hand has become the enemy of the people by its sheer irresponsibility in the face of executive impunity and crass disregard for the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for a peaceful, prosperous, egalitarian, democratic and stable society where freedom to be human is guaranteed and the people’s legitimate pursuit of happiness is attainable.”
Commending the Judiciary for delivering judgments that have protected constitutionally guaranteed human rights, CASER said; “Perhaps, only the Nigerian Judiciary has shown some semblance of responsibility to the people by delivering judgments that have protected constitutionally guaranteed human rights. “
Highlighting the activities of NGOs, CASER noted NGOs have greatly assuaged the sufferings, pains and hopelessness that have resulted from corruption and mis-governance by the public service at all levels. It noted that “Insidious politicians in the National Assembly, instead of being grateful to NGO practitioners, see members of the NGO/CSO community as competitors for influence and have consequently chosen to hamstring their operations by crafting a bill that is of no value whatsoever except as a tool of retrogression.”
CASER went ahead to state that people’s welfare and development is central to the work of NGOs in Nigeria while the National Assembly, by this NGO Regulatory bill with its covert intentions has shown that it is the enemy of the people.
Daring the National Assembly to proceed with the passage of the bill CASER stated; “CASER shall not make any appeal to members of the National Assembly not to pass the bill. It is useless and a waste of time as the character of the majority of the members of the National Assembly is well known and evident by the conjuration of such a sinister bill which seeks to defeat the guaranteed freedoms in the Nigerian constitution that allow citizens to freely associate and dispose with their property as they may choose.”
If the members of the National Assembly would continue to wallow in their shameless disregard for reason and a sense of responsibility and consequently, proceed to pass this infamous bill into law, then President Buhari would have to act responsibly by refusing assent. Where the president is ill-advised to give consent or his consent is overruled by the National Assembly, then we can be assured that the courts would tear the law into pieces, make nonsense of it and reprimand the National Assembly for passing a Stone Age law.”
CASER then called on leaders of NGOs, the likes of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Eze Onyekpere, Clement Nwankwo, Auwal Rafsanjani, Otive Igbuzor and a host of others to reduce their well-researched and high powered prescriptions to government and urgently consider so strongly to deploy their influence and social capital by beginning political movements that would emancipate the people from the throes of insensitive politicians who populate the National Assembly with ineptitude and obsolescence.
CASER urged a synergy of NGOs towards forming political parties with the aim of taking over leadership in Nigeria at all levels; “All NGOs in Nigeria must immediately convene to form a political party like the Labour Party with the sole aim of taking over political power at all levels of government in 2019. NGOs operate with very high standards of accountability and service delivery that are grossly lacking in governance in Nigeria.”
“NGO leaders and practitioners should not be dissuaded by the Nigerian political space that is dominated with the use of sharp practices, gun violence and juju as means of winning elections. But they must consider that the period before the general elections in 2019 is sufficient to change the political milieu if they are determined to accept the challenge of directly providing good governance in order to guarantee a country that offers hope and a future for order, stability, justice, prosperity and freedom.”
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