- The Save Ijaw Nation Group (SING) has observed with great concern the developments in the polity in recent times. The slow descent into anarchy evidenced by the series acts of lawlessness and deplorable crises that tend to normalize disregard for civilized human conduct to the point where Nigerians just “move on” until the next episode in this shameful drama.
SING condemns the latest shameful episode in the tragicomic drama that our nationhood has become. a situation where EFCC will virtually shut down an entire state government for political reasons is unacceptable and downright condemnable. The freezing of state government accounts by an agency of government that is run from the taxes and revenues generated from such states is unbecoming of a government that mouths its quest for diversification of the nation’s economy. That Akwa Ibom, which is the largest single contributor to national income, will be subjected to such treatment is even more disconcerting.
That the EFCC chose to maintain a deafening silence on such a serious national emergency keeps in tune with the extremely low esteem that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari holds the Nigerian people. Rather than address Nigerians and rouse unity among our troubled peoples, who are afflicted on different fronts and at different levels daily, the government has placed itself above the office of the citizen that brought it about in the first place. In a country where foreign investments are badly needed, this act of the government is tantamount to further sabotaging the efforts of hard working Nigerian businesses who wouldn’t be able to attract much needed foreign investments into a country where laws aren’t respected. The optics of how this makes us look as a people has not been given any consideration whatsoever at a time when investments are badly needed to revive our economy, create jobs for our growing army of unemployed and provide extra streams of revenue for the government to provide basic services for the people.
For a government made up of lawyers more than any other profession, to resort to such flagrant disregard for the rule of law, leaves little room for hope in the long-term survival of Nigeria as one united country. We are disturbed that a government that has moved from opposing the calls for restructuring to half- hearted efforts driven by its party, has reduced governance to a tool of personal vendetta against federating units to undermine their limited powers. Government ought to serve the interest of the masses and the ever worsening dictatorial tendencies of the Buhari administration prove that he is more interested in flexing its muscles against real and perceived enemies than providing for the welfare of citizens that keep groaning under its failures.
The track record of the EFCC under the leadership of President Buhari shows why the independence of the Commission must be preserved by strengthening the need for senate confirmation for its chairman to prevent it from being converted into a tool whoever is President. We ask where was this same EFCC when the entire nation was almost held to ransom due to the inability of the NNPC to properly remit funds to the FAAC?
The government of the day must be reminded that it is a product of the constitution and that constitution guarantees all Nigerians the right to association as they may please. The government of the day, under the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari, must retrace its steps and correct course towards showing more respect for the rights of all Nigerians whose security and welfare they swore to defend in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to join their voices in condemning this gross disregard for the Nigerian people and the constitution that binds us together. This is not the time to heat the polity with unhealthy political trickery and clandestine moves, but is a time when all Nigerians must be united to confront our common enemies that are well known. We will resist any attempt to truncate our hard-earned democracy by Gestapo tactics and mass oppression.
SING is a Niger-Delta based advocacy group that promotes the interests of the region through advocacy for good governance and youth empowerment and participation in national development.
Deputy Director Communications and Publicity