South-East CLO thumps up for Buhari?

The  Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, South East Zone held its last quarter 2018 Zonal Management Committee ,ZMC meeting yesterday in Enugu, Enugu State. In attendance during the meeting were Chairmen and Secretaries of the five South East State Branches of The CLO while the Zonal Chairman presided the meeting.

State of the Nation

The Civil Liberties Organisation as part of its
mandate in deepening democracy, acting as a watchdog against the abuse of the
democratic process and promoting the ideals of good governance in Nigeria is
saddened to make the following observations as the way things are presently in

The Organisation expressed great worry over the
worsening security situation in the country. 
After a critical appraisal of the situation on ground in Nigeria
presently, we dare say that Under the Buhari administration, Nigeria is fast
collapsing.  Since the country’s
independence in 1960, at no time in the history of the country has Nigerians
witnessed the greatest level of killings chiefly by state actors and insurgents
than now.

There is collapse of security structure across Nigeria
and worsening insecurity that killings, banditry and insurgency have all become
the defining characteristics of some parts of the country to the extent that mass
burials and mass graves have all become a common thing here.

The Hobbesian state of nature where life is “brutish,
nasty and short”  cannot even describe
the slide the country has taken in mowing down its helpless citizens with
accompanying climate of impunity whereby the perpetrators of such killings and
large scale violence are left untouched.

Under this administration, there is worsening issues
of corruption despite the mantra of fighting corruption which has been the swan
song of the Buhari administration.  Those
who defect to the ruling party are made overnight saints while those in
opposition parties are demonized. The anti graft agencies literarily turn blind
eye to corrupt acts of the “untouchables “ in this government to the extent
that various government parastatals and agencies wallow in various fiscal
malfeasance but such cases are treated with levity and handled with kid gloves.

There is worsening economic situation in Nigeria
presently.  The foreign exchange rate
which we were promised $1to N1 keep wobbling and fumbling. Under this
administration, Nigeria has bagged several awards in the negative which
includes “World Poverty Capital”, low rankings in the Ease of Doing Bussiness
among others.

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Unemployment rate is also worsening in Nigeria under
this administration while many companies have closed shop with some
multinationals relocating outside the country. 

Public infrastructure in the South East is at its
worst state. Federal roads in the zone are such in deplorable conditions that
travelling across different parts of the five south east states has become a
daily nightmare. Heavy duty vehicles and Lorries who convey goods across suffer
incalculable losses as vehicles fall at any slightest bend while owners of such
goods also count their losses at all times.

Some CLO Zonal Management Committee leaders at Enugu meeting

2019 election

Prelude to the 2019 general elections, there is a
clear and present danger in Nigeria over the desperation of the ruling party to
retain power at all costs without considering the wishes of the electorates.

The outcome of the staggered elections of Ekiti and
Osun is a pointer that Nigeria may actually burst into flames next year going
by the conduct of the electoral umpire, the INEC , security agencies and the
incumbent administration at the federal level.

Nigerians are crying that this was not the change they
yearned for and they have been told in practical terms going by the happenings
so far in the polity that their wishes cannot prevail.

But the ominous signs notwithstanding, we urge
Nigerians to exercise their power without reservation through the ballot paper
and boxes during the elections. Nigerians must rise up and defend their hard
worn democracy and also resist any attempt to truncate the choices they have
made through the ballot.

INEC and its officials starting from the National
Chairman down to the least electoral officer in the various polling booths and
wards must remain the unbiased umpire they are supposed to be. They should
resist the temptation of becoming an extension of the ruling party and strive
to rescue our democracy by ensuring that votes counts.

The security agents must also do the same instead of
acting any guided script or assisting any party to have any form of undue
advantage over others during the polls.

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We say no to any form of election boycott in the South

While the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB have their
rights to push for self determination and actualization of a Biafran Republic,
the CLO views their recent stepping up the tempo and calls for election boycott
in the South East during the 2019 general elections as a total political
miscalculation and ill conceived project which poses serious adverse effects
for the South East Zone.

The South East Zone is still suffering from the
jaundiced and warped decision of the MASSOB members who disrupted the census
exercise in some parts of the zone during the National Census of 2006.

To truncate the democratic rights of the south east
people who are still part of Nigeria and had suffered serious marginalization
owing to so many factors will be an over –kill and political suicide.

We urge the IPOB leadership to drop this election
boycott stuff and also desist from dissuading or employing any tactics of any
sort that will frighten or coerce anybody from the zone from exercising his
franchise during the 2019 elections.

People of the zone should as a matter of fact realize
that the 2019 election is a defining moment for the South East. It is a time to
really have a bargaining power in the political configuration in Nigeria, a
time to really get involved in the government at the centre as active players
instead of playing second fiddle.   They
should therefore discountenance the boycott option and participate fully in the
electoral process by obtaining their permanent voter cards, voting enmasse during
the entire elections and defending their votes too.

Declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group and continued
incarceration of their leaders.

Nothing could be more provoking and inciting than
certain actions of the federal government and the Buhari administration whom by
certain conducts have failed to realize that the present administration under a
democratic dispensation is different from the Buhari military junta of 1983.

Waking up one day to declare the Indigenous People of
Biafra, IPOB as a terrorist group and visiting their members with maximum  force when such group doesn’t bear arms or
have ever taken up armed struggle against the government is like killing a fly
with a sledge hammer.

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Surprisingly, the Fulani herdsmen militants who have
caused untold havoc in the country leaving in their track – tears, sorrows and
blood from incessant killings and mass murders have not been designated as a
terror group in Nigeria. This is injustice raised to power two.

Till today, no compensation has been paid to the
families of victims nor any form of punishment meted on the perpetrators of
such violence and killing of defenseless IPOB members who were merely
exercising their rights.

Abuse of the fundamental rights of Nigerians

Democracy gives an unfettered access to the citizens
to enjoy their fundamental rights as enshrined in the constitutions as well as
international treaties and conventions domesticated and ratified in the

Unfortunately, when an administration chose to be
selective in obeying the rule of law and respect for the rights of the
citizens, democracy is endangered giving rise to autocracy and any other
bastardised form of governance.

Nigerian citizens have their right to engage in
peaceful processions and assembly and we condemn in totality the shooting and
killing of unarmed protesters under any guise. No reason given can also justify
such killings and the administration that engages in such should be aware that
the day of reckoning is coming.

In all,  we urge
Nigerians to be eternally vigilant, drop any iota of apathy and get involved
in  salvaging  the country from its nadir state with the
hope of rising again.

Signed for the CLO South East Zone

Comrade Aloysius Attah

Zonal Chairman


Comrade Zulu Ofoelue

Chair, Enugu State Branch

Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme

Chair, Anambra State Branch

Comrade Chidi Mbah

Sec, Anambra State Branch

Comrade Paschal Oziri

Chair, Imo State Branch

Comrade Vitus Ohaeri

Member, Imo State Branch

Comrade Ralph Eze

Chair, Ebonyi State Branch

Comrade Augustine Iwuoha

Comrade Pedro Azuogu

Chair, Abia State Branch