By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Belated appointment of the governing board of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is better late than never. We want to first of all express our utter disappointment and shock that it took the President a whole five years to make the appointment. It’s a big shame that Mr. President rode rough–shod on the letters and principles of the laws setting up that Commission by failing to do the needful on time to reconstitute the governing Council when the tenure of the last board lapsed.
There was no rational, cogent, verifiable and law based reason under the sun for Mr. President to have spent five whole years to reconstitute the governing council of the National Human Rights commission. The only reason, which is unjust, is that Mr. President has no regard/respect for the laws that is, that he is LAWLESS by not respecting an extant law put in place to create an independent ombudsmen to defend human rights of the citizens.
The members and leadership of the National assembly, the senate particularly and the leadership of the National Assembly are reckless and LAWLESS.
These men and women of the National Assembly of the 9th session, are cowards and shameless nitwits otherwise they would have asked Mr. President why the delay. However they just turned the National Assembly into a machinery of garbage in garbage out. They are mindlessly shameless and scandalous.
On the composition of the governing board, we are convinced that Mr. President has polluted and diluted the integrity of the Commission.
What is the essence of appointing a politician (former minister) as the Chairman of the Commission? This is an unmitigated sacrilege. It is a fact that some of the persons picked as members of the board are people of high reputation and integrity but most of the persons lack Human Rights background, zeal, passion, commitments and will learn on the job but time is not on our hands given the quantum of horrendous Human Rights violations under this government.
Since 70% of the governing Council of the Commission lack Human Rights background so how will they speak out against the infractions of the fundamental Human Rights of the Nigerians citizens by the government? We are in a quandary as far as protection and PROMOTION of human rights are concerned with this bunch of mostly O-YES men picked for the most critical job as governors of the National Human Rights commission.
HURIWA recalled that a former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Salamatu Suleiman, has been named chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mrs Suleiman served as a minister of women affairs and also minister of state for foreign affairs in the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
She also served as commissioner in charge of political affairs, peace and security at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission from 2012 to 2016.
The president also appointed 14 other members of the board of the NHRC.
This was made known in a letter he wrote to the Senate seeking its consideration and possible confirmation of the nominees.
In the letter which was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday, the president said the appointment is pursuant to Section 2(3) of the National Human Rigthts Commission Act as amended.
Other nominees include Beatrice Jedy-Agba, Umar Salisu, Dafe Adesida, Joseph Mmamel, and Ahmad Fingilla.
Others are Kemi Asiwaju-Okeyonda, Abubakar Muhammed, Femi Okeowo, Sunny Daniel and Agabaidu Jideani.
Also appointed are Nella Andem-Rabana, Azubuike Nwakwenta, Jamila Isah, CDD director, Hassan Idayat and former chairman Anthony Ojukwu as secretary. The Rights group said the members of the new board must work for the oppressed masses and not tale their new position as a political massaging platform.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
NATIONAL COORDINATOR; HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).