A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria. (HURIWA) has described as discriminatory and unconstitutional, the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the immediate establishment of specialized technology- based and health Universities in five of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria with the exclusion of the Igbo speaking South East of Nigeria.
HURIWA wondered what the minister of state in the Federal Ministry of Education Mr. Emeka Nwajiuba was doing in the federal cabinet as the representative of Imo State in South-East when his boss and political leader would sideline his Igbo-speaking zone in the very strategic matter of creating specialized bechnologylbased and health universities.
The rights group has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to perish his Igbo phobia and work towards salvaging his nearly destroyed legacy as a nationalist by immediately approving one of those specialized technology- based and health universities in the South- East of Nigeria as a matter of urgency.
It also has the following admonition for President Muhammadu Buhari “Mr. President, stop hating on Igbo speaking ethnicity. We are a very fascinating people who love other people of our nation. Stop demolishing all the fabrics of our national cohesion and integration by openly and brazenly denying Igbo people their constitutionally guaranteed rights and positions and now you are denying us the fundamental human rights to scientific education by establishing universities in other zones but the South,-East. This hatred you are displaying against a section of Nigeria at such an advanced age is untenable and unsustainable and for sure you will go down as one of the most divisive and bigoted presidents that Nigeria has ever produced. But you have enough time within your remaining one and half years to make amends and become a nationalist.”
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HURIWA continued: ” For six years, we have watched as the current President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has continued to escalate her insidious hatred and maltreatment of the Igbo Speaking people of Nigeria through a cocktail of well coordinated apartheid style denial of the constitutional elementary federal character principles in appointments into top internal security and defence sectors as it affects the South-East of Nigeria.
“We have watched as the commander-in-chief has continued to embark on selective bombardments of the so- called enclaves of the Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the South-East of Nigeria and the organised genocide being systematically executed by the armed police and soldiers against the members of the Eastern Security Network originally set up by Igbo youths to check the proliferation of violent attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen and militia members of largely the Ethnicity of Fulani.
“But the same armed troops are not doing anything to crush the proliferation of Fulani armed kidnappers who are kinsmen of President Muhammadu Buhari, bandits and terrorists in the entire Northern region. But this systematic exclusion by President Muhammadu Buhari or the Igbo speaking region as a beneficiary of the newly created specialized universities is to put it mildly totally unconstitutional and tantamount to a very wicked deprivation of the fundamental rights of the citizens of Nigeria of Igbo extraction. We condemn this apartheid policy of Muhammadu Buhari who would rather fritter $2 billion building railways in Niger Republic rather than extend to the South East of Nigeria what is due to them given that the remaining five geopolitical zones were allocated these universities. ”
HURIWA has told President Muhammadu Buhari that the denial of these universities to the South-East violates Section15 (1)of the constitution which says:”The motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.(2)
Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.”
HURIWA stated that the discrimination against Igbo ethnicity and the allocation of the specialized universities violates section 42(1) of the Constitution thus: “A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-
(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or
(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.”
HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently approved the establishment of five new universities specialised in technology and health to close the huge gap in the doctor-patient ratio as well as in medical research and production of pharmaceutical products.
He also approved a take-off grant of N4 billion each for the universities of Technology and N5 billion each for the Universities of Health Science from the funding resources of TETFund to ensure early take-off of the institutions.
The Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja said the president approved two additional university of technology in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom states. Also, the establishment of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja and two specialized universities in Health, Nutrition and Medical Sciences to be located at Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State.
HURIWA quoted the Permanent Secretary as saying the specialized universities would lay a solid foundation for building national preparedness and resilience in anticipation of future challenges in the health sector while reducing medical tourism to countries like India, UAE, Egypt, Europe and the USA just as he noted that the presidents had promised to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six Satellite Universities of Technology, one in each geo-political zone of the country. Kus said the objective is to stimulate rapid technological transformation of the country. The institute shall be patterned after similar institutions in Singapore and Malaysia to serve essentially as a postgraduate centre devoted to research and innovation, drawing the best graduates from the six universities of technology, as well as other exceptional graduates from reputable universities within and outside Nigeria,” he said.
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‘Governor Abiodun Committed To Rule Of Law, Democracy’
The commitment of the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State to ensure the preservation of the rule of law, battle corruption and, protect the tenets of democracy in the country has again been reiterated.
According to a top functionary of the government, apart from prioritising the welfare of the people, the administration is working hard to deepen the people’s beliefs in the nations democratic process.
Kayode Akinmade, a Chief Consultant on Media to the governor, who spoke while answering questions on a television programme on Friday, said as a law-abiding leader, the governor has always taken recourse to the judiciary to seek redress for himself and his administration whenever the need arises, rather than engage in self-help.
Akinmade stressed that the decision of the governor to approach the court over the matter between him and the impeached chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, is a demonstration of his belief in the rule of law and his indisposition to ‘rule of force’.
Adedayo appeared before a Magistrate’s Court at Isabo, Abeokuta, on a petition filed by the state government against him over an earlier allegation of diversion of funds meant for Council Areas in the state. Governor Abiodun is insisting that the former Council boss must prove his allegations against his administration or face the wrath of the law for falsely inciting the people against the government.
Adedayo was arraigned on a two-count charge. According to Akinmade, it is wrong for people to rush to accuse the governor of persecuting Adedayo, who according to him, has “severally apologised to the governor in private while continuing with his ill-motivated misinformation in public.”
“The governor believes that taking Adedayo before the court will deepen our democracy and entrench the rule of law.
“Unlike some other people in Governor Abiodun’s shoes who would readily recourse to sending thugs after and unleashing other forms of violence on those who accused them rightly or wrongly, our governor decided to seek redress in court. I think he should be commended by all and sundry for this. What he is doing is giving Adedayo a chance to prove his allegations,” Akinmade said.
On the allegation by the impeached chairman that the governor is behind his removal, Akinmade said Adedayo was already facing removal from office before he raised the false alarms against the governor. “He has already been accused of several impeachable offences before he wrote the letter alleging that the governor diverted council funds. He had already reached out to the governor and other leaders of the party to help him stave off his removal. It was when he realized he may not survive the impeachment move that he connived with some other unscrupulous politicians in the party to malign the governor and discredit the APC in Ogun State,” Akinmade said.
The media chief added that claims by Adedayo that he got zero allocation since he became chairman of his local government were proved wrong by the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in the state when the House of Assembly looked into his petition. He recalled that other council chairmen in the state also debunked the allegation and even brought Adedayo with them to apologize to the governor for the wrong allegations.
“But in spite of all these, he didn’t stop his scripted plot to tarnish the image of the governor. Hence, Governor Abiodun approached the court for redress,” he added.
Speaking further, Akinmade recalled that the impeached council boss has been in office for more than two years before making his frivolous and unfounded allegations. “One then wonders why he is raising this alarm now. He claimed zero allocation, but he has been collecting his monthly N3 million security votes regularly. Local government staff in his LGA are not being owed, and primary school teachers there are paid as at when due. We all should be asking him to explain what he meant by zero allocation,” he said.
BREAKING: Kaduna Guber Tribunal Nullifies Election Of Governor Uba Sani
The governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Kaduna on Thursday declared the election of Uba Sani of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as inconclusive and thus nullified the exercise.
The tribunal made the declaration while delivering judgement via Zoom in a petition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Isah Ashiru, challenging the election of Sani in the March 2023, election.
The tribunal ordered that fresh election be conducted in seven wards in four LGAs of the state.
In Shakeup Of FCT Administration, Wike Sacks Agencies, Parastatals Heads
In a decisive shakeup of the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), its Minister Nyesom Wike, has sacked the heads of 21 parastatals, agencies, and government companies.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Press, Office of the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogunleye identified the affected heads of the agencies as follows:
1. Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Investment Company Ltd
2. CEO/Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Ltd
3. MD/CEO, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company
4. CEO/MD, Abuja Property Development Company
5. CEO/MD, Abuja Technology Village Free Trade Zone Company
6. CEO/MD, Abuja Film Village International
7. CEO/MD, Powernoth AICL Equipment Leasing Company Ltd
8. MD, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation
9. MD, Abuja Enterprise Agency
10. General Manager, FCT Water Board
11. Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency
12. Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board
13. DG, Hospital Management Board
14. Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board
15. Director, FCT Scholarship Board
16. Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board
17. Director, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board
18. Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center
19. Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme
20. Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department
21. Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council
The director of the press said that the affected appointees should hand over the affairs of their offices to the most senior officers in rank.
He added that appointments in the offices would be made in due course.
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