By Victoria Ojeme, Gabriel Ewepu and Ezra Ukanwa – Abuja
Over 30 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Tuesday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to investigate and sack all ministers and political appointees refusing to resign after purchasing the forms to contest elections.
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Auwal Musa, who spoke on behalf of other CSOs, in Abuja, bemoaned the activities of some political spearheads in Nigeria which he claimed have been a terrible stain on the image of Nigeria.
Musa, however, advised Buhari to take the little time he has to salvage the country’s battered image.
He called on other elective and appointive public offices to dedicate the remaining period in office to repair the sordid state of the nation by genuinely working for Nigerians.
He said: “This government still has a chance to salvage its battered image.
The government needs to apologize to Nigerians for deceiving them. This administration sold an empty moral capital to the people! Today, it has shown itself morally bereft.
“Second, there is the need to immediately sack and commence an investigation of all ministers and political appointees that have bought forms to contest elections without resignation which is in contradiction of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
“Similarly, to hear a Minister of the country recently captured boasting about making donations of 200 luxury cars to politicians and promising if need be to share jets is simply incredible!
The likes of such political appointees have been a terrible stain on the image of this administration from the outset. If Nigerians were ever in doubt about the character of the administration, such utterances are constant reminder that the administration was not different those it succeeded and condemned.
“Furthermore, those holding elective and appointive public offices must dedicate the remaining period in office to repair the terrible image and morals of this administration by genuinely working for Nigerians; fixing the many challenges facing the economy, and making democracy work for the people, other than the less than 1% ruling class that has cornered 90% of the country’s resources.
“We hope this is not a tall order. But the ball is in the court of the President, Governors and others in positions of authority. Whatever they decide to do, Nigerians will not forget their legacy soon.”
Meanwhile, the CSOs pointed out that critical issues relating the security of Nigerians are allegedly poor over the past seven years, accusing the leaders of traveling abroad for fun-fairs while the educational system is comatose.
“We have watched with disbelief the misrule of the past seven years. Nigerian communities have become killing fields, while the leaders most of the time are holidaying in foreign countries.
“University education and health care system has been systematically crippled by the nonchalance of ministers and administrators.
“Meanwhile, university students that dared to speak out have been declared state enemies that must be crushed.
“In addition, vocal civil society groups and advocates are gagged for speaking out. For those not too young, our recent experiences over the last seven years are sad reminders of the dark days of the back-to-back military dictatorships that reigned terror on Nigerians, clawed back on fundamental rights, and used fear to gag free speech and curtail fundamental freedoms of the people”, he said.
The CSOs include: Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD; Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD); Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC); Partners on Electoral Reform; African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL); National Procurement Watch Platform; Praxis Center; Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED).
Others are: Social Action; Community Action for Popular Participation; Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP); Global Rights; Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE); Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA); Tax Justice and Governance Platform; Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria; Women In Nigeria; African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD); among others.