ABUJA, Nigeria – The Centre for Human Rights and Anti-corruption Crusade, CHURAC, has said that the recent parley by the Federal Government in collaboration with the Northern leaders is a threat to Nigeria’s corporate existence and unity.
This is contained in a statement signed by CHURAC’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Oyinkedi Fuofegha.
The group said,”The Northern leaders are not sincere to our corporate coexistence.”
According to the group, “For them to blame the End SARS protests on separatists means that the Northern region is the biggest problem of the country.
“They always tag every genuine struggle for the betterment of the country as a threat to breakup. What an impudence? It’s very wrong to call the recent protests a separatist movement.
“Even if some of the protesters called for Buhari’s resignation over his acute failure in leadership, we see nothing wrong in the protests. After all, the youths were very peaceful. That is a time tested practice known all over the world in democratic governance.
“Nigeria is practicing a constitutional democracy and so people are allowed by our constitution to peacefully express their minds. We are not surprised after all for Northern leaders to say #ENDSARS protests were to dismember the country. That has always being their trademark.
“When the Southern nationalists called for the independence of Nigeria, they ignorantly opposed it. Today, they are benefiting more in an independent Nigeria than the Southern part. Also, when National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and other pro-democratic movements canvassed for the return to civilian government, the same Northern leaders stood against it, declaring that the movements were sponsored by separatists movements.
“Again, the agitations for restructuring and resource control are seen as a threat to break up the country. They behave as if Nigeria is the North’s personal property. No region can claim exclusive ownership of the country. Nigeria is a federation of ethnic groups. Thus, every component unit should be given freedom to express its mind.
“If the youths said they’re no longer comfortable with the sorry state of the country, what is wrong with such call? If it was in an advanced clime, Buhari should have resigned to allow competent hand to pilot the affairs of the country. We are gradually heading to the cliff due to Buhari’s crass ineptitudes.
“On their resolve to regulate the social media, while we support the Government to take some decisive steps to cushion the effects of hate speech and fake news associated with the usage of the social media, we believed that the Cyber Crime Act has made adequate provisions to regulate the social media. We don’t necessarily need the proposed Hate Speech Laws before the National Assembly which are even inconsistent with the Constitution to regulate the social media. What the government needs to do is to strengthen the various institutions having regulatory functions to tackle the menace.
“The Government of Buhari should separate itself from ethnic/regional linings. For the IGP, the Ministers of the FCT and that of the Information, Culture and Tourism, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Deputy Speaker and other members of the National Assembly as well as the Senate President to attend such a regional meeting of Northern leaders posed a great danger to our democracy.
“Is the North preparing to go into war with the South that they have to incorporate the Government’s structures to prosecute the war? Even the committees they set up have representatives from the Federal Government.
“The Committee on Roles of Traditional Rulers has representatives of one person from the Federal Executive Council and two persons from the National Assembly. Also, the Committee on Youth and Civil Societies has a representative from the IGP.
“The North cannot claim to love Nigeria more than the South. If Southern leaders agitate for restructuring or the youths are protesting against police brutality, how are these movements becoming a threat to our unity?
“Are these the reasons why Buhari chose to compose a lopsided security arrangement in the country against the known conventional practices and the provisions of our constitution? May be the next meeting Northern leaders are to convene will have representatives from the military and other paramilitary organisations since the North is now synonymous with the Federal Government?
“We hope that some ethnic chauvinists in the central government and the fanatic northern leaders are not trying to undermine our unity in diversity?
“Buhari should call officials in his government to order before they plunge the country in an avoidable crisis. We have had so many threatening situations that are staring us in the face. Northern leaders should not add up to our injuries.”