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HURIWA Tasks Buhari On Appointment Of Women; Physically Challenged

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organisation – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed worry that since 1999 all successive federal administrations have consistently left out the physically challenged in the composition of the Executive Council of the federation.

Whilst canvassing immediate redress of this perennial constitutional violation perpetuated by virtually all successive Federal Administrations in the country, the Rights group tasked the incoming Mohammadu Buhari-led Presidency to ensure that a member of the Nigerian physically challenged community is appointed into the Federal Cabinet.

Conversely, the Rights group also tasked the President-elect to maintain the tempo of greater involvement of women in strategic cabinet level positions as institutionalised by the current government or to possibly surpass the antecedent already set by the out-going president Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government by appointing more quality and corrupt free women into the Federal cabinet to achieve gender parity and proper gender mainstreaming into the governance of Nigeria at the highest levels.

HURIWA believes that the continuous non-inclusion of the physically challenged Nigerian citizens in the hierarchy of civil governance at the federal level amounted to the perpetuation of the gross violation of section 14(3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) and insisted that this persistent right violation must be torpedoed now.

Citing that specific constitutional provision, HURIWA in a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf reminded the President-elect and the incoming national ruling party – All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Supreme law states as follows; “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty....”

HURIWA submits that the physically challenged community is a strategic group that has suffered political alienation even when they form part of the larger federal demographic character of modern day Nigeria and indeed parade significant percentage of academically and morally sound citizens with requisite competences to join the national effort to achieve speedy transformational change of the Nigerian comatose econony.

The Rights group which canvassed strongly the involvement of quality women in the running of strategic cabinet level positions under the incoming Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency said that as far back as year 2011 the World Bank statistically projected that women of Nigeria constitute nearly 49.36 percent of the entire populations.

HURIWA also stated that since the estimated population of the physically challenged Nigerians are over 20 million conservatively, it would be a gross human right breach for this critical section of the Nigerian populace to be sidelined in the composition of the federal cabinet of quality Nigerian decision and policy making body.

“From our extensive findings, we are aware that Nigeria is blessed with top quality intellectually vibrant women who can competently and professionally pilot the affairs of vital federal ministries and agencies as the abundance of empirical evidence has shown. We therefore urge our newly elected President to write his name in gold as one of the respected liberators of Nigerian women and the physically challenged by equitably allotting high caliber cabinet level appointments to these groups of very important Nigerians”, HURIWA affirmed.

Relatedly HURIWA has condemned as outrageous and unsound, criticism of the hand-shake of the newly wedded bride of the Edo State governor Mrs. Lara Oshiomhole by the president -elect-Mohammadu Buhari. “The irrational attacks by religious fundamentalists against the president elect’s simple handshake shows that these zealots have no iota of respect for our secular status and constitutionalism.” HURIWA therefore urged the President elect to continue to respect the diverse composition of the Nigerian State and to respect the secular and/or multireligious constitutional outlook of Nigeria.