Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and human rights bodies in Nigeria, have disagreed over the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
A coalition of 135 CSOs and CBOs under the aegis of Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC), in Lagos, said the human rights community can no longer stay aloof as elections draw close.
The coalition among which are Liberty Movement, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER) among others said they were adopting Buhari and Osinbajo because of their integrity.
Adeleye Taiwo, Coordinator NHRC said: “As the elections draw nearer, Nigerians are expected to pick from the array of presidential aspirants that aggregate their interests. The Nigerian Human Rights Community cannot fold its hands in the midst of a deluge of adoptions…it is on this basis that the NHRC, a coalition of 135 CSOs and CBOs in Nigeria supports the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the coming election.
“We consider one major factor, the personal credibility of the two leading contenders. It will be worse for a man with no iota of credibility at home and abroad to sit as the number one citizen of the country. We believe with the credibility of Buhari and Osinbajo, their errors of recent or past can be corrected in the most honest manner.”
He added that though the Buhari administration was moving slowly, that “the country is not moving backward.”
But Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Ibuchukwu Ezike, disassociated CLO from the said adoption, describing it as “absolute lie, the strangest event of the 21st century.”
Ezike, who also is the National Secretary said there was no way the CLO would be party to the adoption of Buhari, whom he said “has divided Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines more than any government in Nigeria and that has brought hardship, hunger, hopelessness, and impunity on the people.”
He said: “I do not think that if CLO would support a politician or political party in 2019, it should be one that has abused human rights more than any government in Nigeria, that has divided Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines more than any government in Nigeria and that has brought hardship, hunger, hopelessness, and impunity on the people.”
Ezike insisted that the CLO is not a partisan organisation, adding that “neither the biennial national convention, its highest decision- making organ of the CLO nor the board is aware of the adoption of Buhari/Osinbajo ticket.
He said the APC administration has no respect for the rule of law and that it has brought nothing but hardship on the citizenry.
He questioned the criteria on which the adoption was made.
“Should we support him for ceaseless abuse of the rule of law and due process or for nationwide killings that have affected almost every home in Nigeria or hunger that has killed millions of our people or for keeping our children out of school system through induced ASUU and ASUP industrial actions, or what for good reason?
“CLO wants this government to be kicked out and has severally written to the international community on the insensitivity of the APC government to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians and how it has heated the polity, causing disaffections among our people. How can we afterward, support such a killer government or an emperor in a democratic robe?” Ezike questioned.