Lagos, Thursday, April 04, 2013 The Nigerian Human Rights Community, (NHRC) has on Thursday adopted for a second term the governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi and his Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. The rights groups took the decision after an extensive national meeting held in Lagos and attended by over 100 representatives. The group described forthcoming elections in Osun and Ekiti States as “pearls for deep concern” to the human rights movement in Nigeria and abroad.
The group which comprises over 100 notable human rights groups drawn from across the country in the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting said the adoption of the two candidates has more to do with the on-going campaign of the Nigerian people to prevent a full circle of repression and underdevelopment in the hands of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
“The decision to adopt the two candidates reflects the mood of the local and international community who are deeply impressed by the grandeur the two states have conferred on Nigeria and the societies they administer. We commend them in the areas of human rights, fight against corruption, good governance, citizen mediation mechanisms, social security for the vulnerable, standard and computerized education, the promotion of indigenous culture, rebuilding of the almost extinct middle class and the creation of jobs and skilled entrepreneurship.
“This adoption is historic. It will deepen democracy and sustain the little gleam of hope in a country that is tottering in the hands of bad leadership and unprecedented corruption at the national level. The adoption has more to do with the people-driven social and economic policies of the two states than with the political parties that the governors belong. We have done a critical assessment and feel proud that these two people who are part of the human rights movement in Nigeria have proved that good governance is possible in Nigeria.”
The group said the pronouncement of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who has equated the forthcoming elections with war, remains one of the biggest threats to democracy.
“We regret that despite the growing unpopularity of the PDP, the fact that its policies are crippling Nigeria and have brought unprecedented pain, violence and armed conflict across the country, its leaders are hell bent on ruling the 36 states by force. We caution high rate officials to weigh the depth of their statements. The drums of war attributed to the PDP National Chairman remains a red danger signal against the democratic development of Nigeria.”
The group stated that it appears the two states of Ekiti and Osun are critical to the PDP not for want of improving on the lives of the people but for the share ego trip of ensuring the party seizes power in the two states for the sake of the privileges and patronage of the PDP leaders. The rights group stated that the two states were visited by its officials who were impressed by the geometric transformation of urban and rural communities in spite of available lean resources. The group condemned the attempt to destabilize the State of Osun using religion as a peg adding that in Ekiti State the ruling party is desperate to create social upheavals to pave the way for the ruling party.
“These two states during the reign of the PDP witnessed horrendous violations of human rights, outright stealing of public funds while the shield of the evil perpetrators by Federal institutions continue to draw disdain and disrespect for Nigerian leadership. It said nothing further demonstrates the desperation of the PDP than the decision of the party to scuttle the expressed will of the people by approaching Supreme Court even when the Court of Appeal is the court of terminal jurisdiction in cases relating to gubernatorial elections.
“The human rights community in Nigeria has the historic responsibility to promote human rights, the dignity of man and the greatest humanitarian values in the democratic process. These two governors who are products of the human rights movement in Nigeria have distinguished themselves. The two states continue to reinforced hope in the democratic process in spite of the threat posed by public distrust of governance across the country”, the statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Mr Kehinde Adegbuyi and Mrs Stella Nwoga the meeting stated.
The groups said that as the 2014 elections in teh two states draw near, the human rights community at home and abroad will be mobilised to ensure a free and fair election and to ascertain the triumph of the will of the people. “The ruling party must recognise the need for political diversity. The people at the centre must realise that it is in their own interest to allow the choise of the people to prevail” adding that the attempt to muzzle the people and isolate them from decision making is partly responsible for teh spapte of violence being witnessed across the country. the groups said it has embarked in international campaigns to draw teh attention of the international community to the orchestrated plans of teh ruling party to cause havoc and further plunge the country dwon from teh cliff.
MR KEHINDE ADEGBUYI
MRS STELLA NWOGU
For the Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC)
Last modified: April 4, 2013