Signed 8 Points Agenda An Oppressive Disposition Of The Ruling Class To Subjugate Rivers Citizens- Civil Rights Council Condemns godfatherism
A PRESS STATEMENT BY CIVIL RIGHTS COUNCIL NIGERIA ON THE UNDEMOCRATIC AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL POLITICS OF godfatherism in RIVERS STATE
We have watched with keen and pathetic interest the political imbroglio that has desecrated the democratic norms and values of the Governor’s office and the legislative arm of government (Rivers State House of Assembly). It is pertinent to state that the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended section 176 (2) recognized the Chief Executive of the State. It is imperative to note that the functions of this office do not directly or indirectly recognize any form of interference by any godfather. Rather section 24 (a) states that every citizen should abide by the constitution to respect its ideals and its institutions, legitimate authorities, among others.
The constitution is explicit on the grounds of impeachment of a Governor who is democratically elected by the people. The Rivers State 10th Assembly has not objectively raised any rational misconduct committed by the Governor. Sim Fubara, it will amount to an affront against human rights, the rule of law, abuse of power and legislative rascality if there are no justifications for the impeachment of the said State Governor.
Civil Rights Council have over the past eight weeks observed that certain powerful individual(s) and political actors with vested interest in the state are hell-bent on ousting Governor Similaye Fubara for not keeping and maintaining the political structure (terms and conditions) that brought him to power. Let it be known to that political power in a democratic space emanates from the people and not by any dubious and unconstitutional means that is not in tandem with the doctrines of democracy. We see that their quest to impeach a sitting and elected Governor is personal, selfish and reprehensive.
No civilized clime will accept the violation of human rights, political injustice and flagrant abuse of political office. The recent arson in the State House of Assembly and police attack on the Chief Security Officer of State is inhuman and violates his rights to life, liberty and freedom of movement. The political turmoil as experienced here in Rivers State has been occasioned by the weak democratic processes of electing citizen representatives where political parties are formed and owned by the elite. The institutions responsible for conducting periodic elections are neck-deep in racketeering, bribery corruption, and complete abuse of the Electoral Act 2023 as amended. A situation where one single individual who claimed to have the war chest to bankroll an election for over 50 people state/federal representatives is in a political party is an aberration of the law. This singular act is the direct aftermath of the pathetic political tension currently experienced by the citizens of Rivers State.
The Civil Rights Council Nigerian wish to categorically state that the 8 points agenda emanating from the Presidential Villa meeting with the acclaim powerful individuals and political forces with vested interest is unknown to the extant laws and a complete aberration of the constitutional scope and responsibility of the federating units (Rivers State).
Let it be known that the intervention of President Tinubu is unconstitutional and not recognized by law. The nature and character of such kangaroo mediation under any circumstances do not reflect the wishes and aspirations of the citizens of Rivers State. Thus, such resolutions cannot stand. It is not in doubt and contestation that the judiciary is the only institution with the primary responsibility to mediate on disputes between institutions of government and between the state and the citizens. Hence, the 8 points agenda is an oppressive disposition of the ruling class to subjugate Rivers citizens. Let it be known that Governor Sim Fubara and Edison Ehie Speaker are recognized by law as elected representatives of the people. Thus, they are duty-bound to hold their constitutional responsibility as sworn thereto.
Civil Rights Council strongly advice that all parties to the maintain status quo as the court order is subsisting at the moment. Let it be known that no individuals or political forces either in the state or at the federal level have the legal and moral justification to interfere with the functions of the Governor still the court state otherwise. Therefore, the state and the citizens should not be cajoled or cowed to hold sway to any individuals with vested interest directly or indirectly under the guise of political structure.
To this end, godfatherism must not be the basis electing representatives into public offices. As a social movement tribune, we call upon the Nigerian citizens to radically rise and resist all forms of tyrannical regimes in the guise of democracy in Rivers State. Citizens should begin to demand for political and social justice from the ruling class. The continuous subjugation of the army of unemployed is a testament that we are already at war with our known enemies. Therefore, in solidarity, the Civil Rights Council Nigeria seeks that the political tension be defused via the human rights-based mechanism and through the institution of justice.
Arochukwu, Paul Ogbonna Esq. National Coordinator, Civil Rights Council, Nigeria
cc. Mr. President Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Distinguished Members of the National Assembly,
National Judicial Council of Nigeria,
Executive Governor of Rivers State,
The Deputy Governor,
Mr. Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly,
Hon. Chief Judge of Rivers State,
Nigerian Union of Journalists
Organized Labour Unions,
The Civil Society Organizations,
The Nigerian Citizens