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HURIWA Names Nassir El Ruffai a threat to democracy……Urges Buhari To Mend The Gap Between Rich And Poor

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A PRO-DEMOCRACY NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has named the Kaduna State governor Malam Nassir ElRuffai as a major threat to peace and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria and has therefore called on him to fundamentally amend his leadership style to avoid precipitating civil unrest in Kaduna State. HURIWA believes that any social cum religious warfare that is ignited in Kaduna would spread like wild fire across Nigeria.

Corollary, President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked by HURIWA to quickly put workable measures in place to ameliorate the unprecedented poverty that has widened the gap between the few rich political elite and the millions of severely impoverished Nigerians.

The Rights group reminded the Federal Government of the economic objectives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as enshrined in Section 16(1) (b) which provides that 'the State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient, a dynamic and self reliant economy ".

HURIWA expressed consternation at the level of involvement of young Nigerians in social crimes and also asked government to act decisively to stem the wave of irregular migration by Nigerian youth through the dangerous Mediterranean Sea in search of the elusive greener pastures in the refugees saturated Western nations of Europe. "Government must implement economic policies that would energize the rapid expansion of the manufacturing industry to absorb the millions of young University graduates roaming the streets of urban areas all across Nigeria. We must act now before Nigeria implodes".

In a media statement to commemorate the Easter celebrations the Rights organisation through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, particularly expressed strong worries about the spate of anti-people and anti-religious policies being churned out by the administration of Mr Nassir ElRuffai the governor of Kaduna State which includes the alleged discriminatory demolition of the ancestral settlements of the Gbagis/Gwaris and houses of the very poorest of the poor.

HURIWA which lampooned Governor ElRuffai over his anti-labour policy as against the Constitutional provisions that guarantees freedom of Associations also particularly stated that the newly introduced policy of granting licences to religious preachers is absolutely unconstitutional and illegal since the 1999 Constitution has clearly stated in Section 10 that government must not make or implement policies that are exclusively targeted at some religious organisations or is the state authorised to treat one religion as a state religion. HURIWA said the proposed illegal religious preachers' licencing policy would negate the secular nature of Nigeria and is intended to attack not only the Christian religion but also outlaws the African Traditional Religions. This is absolutely unlawful, HURIWA SUBMITS.

HURIWA therefore called on the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress which produced Mr Nassir ElRuffai to call him to order so as to maintain the current atmosphere of peace and tranquillity in Kaduna State. The group has also called on the Kaduna State House of Assembly not to pass any anti-labour and anti-religious legislations.

The Rights group said thus: "We feel strongly obliged to name the Kaduna State governor as the single most notorious threat against the survival of Nigeria's Democracy going by the high rate at which his administration is known to have introduced or implemented policies that are grossly anti-people and anti-religious even when the Nigerian Constitution in Section 14 (2) (a) states clearly that 'Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all Powers and authority'.

The Rights group lambasted governor ElRuffai for specifically targeting the ancestral settlements of the Gbagis/Gwaris for state imposed illegal demolition order in a manner that clearly violates section 42 (1) of the constitution which provides that: "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 - be subjected either expressly by, or on the practical application of any law in force in Nigeria or any Executive or Administrative action of the Government to disabilities or restriction to which citizens of other communities, Ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion, political opinions are not made subject to".

HURIWA said that it is imperative that President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and the organised civil society community in Nigeria take immediate but transparent and effective measures to call governor Nassir ElRuffai to order because any social or religious crisis that originates in Kaduna State would have widespread implications because of the overwhelming presence of people of diverse Ethno-religious affiliations who cohabit peacefully in Kaduna State.