The president, Citizens for Righteousness and Social Justice, (CJN), Mr. John Adekoya Adesanya, has called on members of the group to wake up to their civic responsibilities and seek justice for the poor and vulnerable in the society.
Adesanya made the call during a conference recently held in Lagos, organized to remind members of the group their oath of office, adding that the group’s plan of action must be executed to achieve the set out goals.
He said: “The CRJ is a social, charitable, faith-based organisation, promoting compassion and justice for the poor, morality, and good governance. It’s an association of like-minded, patriotic, and compassionate citizens of Nigeria, who subscribe to certain biblical basic convictions and set objectives and determine to break all odds in the way to attaining them. To proffer solutions to our social, economic, religious, moral and spiritual problems through participatory leadership, mentoring, and holistic education. To offer humanitarian services to victims of oppressions (whether social, political, economic or religious) and other social vices through support groups and thus encourage every Nigerian to be an effective citizen by being his brother’s keeper. To some extent, we achieved some. “On the issue of exploitation of artisans over yearly lockup-shops fee by some LCDAs and LGAs, we took up this matter with the Lagos State government under Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu to publish various fees according to their category and place such notices in the premises of each LGA.
“This was implemented under Mr. Raji Fashola. Because of manpower and funds, we could only operate within Oshodi-Isolo, Alimosho, Amuwo-Odofin, Apapa, Agege and Iba LGAs and LCDAs.
“On indiscriminate police arrests of innocent citizens, we have intervened in many cases up to court levels to secure the release of such innocent citizens.
“On monitoring of roads constructions in various parts of Lagos, CRJ has done a lot of petitions to the state government and the government yielded to some of petitions after meetings with the relevant offices in charge of such. We have involved the media, especially the SUN newspaper, especially during the battle to restore Ago-Palace Way when it was not motorable. On the extortion of residents by former NEPA, CRJ had intervened in most cases by reporting to higher authorities and getting results. CRJ has also taken up many cases of landlord and tenants and resolved them.
“CRJ has also drawn the attention of the Lagos State and local government to unauthorized locking up of street gates.There was great success.
“CRJ has also intervened in cases of land grabbers and petitioned the police and various “Kabiesis” Obas in those localities. CRJ achieved some successes in this regard.”
Adesanya stated that the awakening of citizens to the civic responsibility and to reclaim the sovereignty, must begin with everyone, noting that it was time the United Nations with other like-minded citizens and organisations to build a better Nigeria with the aim of becoming a voice to the voiceless and vulnerable in the society, getting justice for the oppressed and less privileged citizens, as well as transforming lives and impacting a positive change in communities.
“The national leadership of the group will readily support one LGA chapter each month to organize education, advocacy programmes and relevant issues in the community, identify and tackle, one at a time, issues of corruption and injustice affecting the poorest of the poor in the country, in collaboration with other like-minded organisations. We shalk visit some tertiary institutions in the state with a view to organising CJR-anti-cultism, anti-corruption group in each institution.”
The guest speaker for the conference, Mr. Tokunbo Makinde (SAN), disclosed the position of the constitution for people who undermine the civic rights of the poor. He said: “This conference cannot hold at a better time than this when it appears the citizenry is losing hope in the country. The loss of hope is a product of the perceived, real and imagined inequality and lopsidedness in every facet of our national life as citizens of the country.
“The intention of the group is to rouse the citizens to action to stand up and return to a proper course of action and assert the sovereignty which has been hijacked by the political class and made citizens suffer military dictatorship.
“In order to foster good governance and delivery of dividend of democracy, section 6 (6c) of the 1999 constitution as amended must be totally expunged from the constitution, it is an albatross to the enthronement of good governance and delivery of dividend of democracy to the citizens. A cursory look at the provisions of section 13-24 shows that this chapter of the constitution has provisions that can help in enthroning good governance in Nigeria.”