Step down or be impeached, coalition tells Buhari

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Step down or be impeached, coalition tells Buhari



A coalition comprising 43 frontline civil society organisations and Femi Falana’s law firm have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be removed from office by the National Assembly if he cannot address the persistent insecurity in the country.
This is one of the five-point demand of the coalition in a statement on Sunday declaring that Mr Buhari has failed in his primary responsibility of ensuring the security and welfare of Nigerians.
“President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people,” their joint statement read in part.
The coalition demanded among others that the President “provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution.”
They also charged him to end impunity, abuse of power and “sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle.”
According to them, through the balancing, it will be demonstrated “that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence.”
They also tasked the President to take “responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.”
The groups also demanded that he mobilise “rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
“Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement added.
Some of the coalition members are: Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Media Rights Agenda (MRA), Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC), and African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).
They also include: BudgiT Foundation, State of the Union (SOTU), Action International Nigeria, Femi Falana Chamber, HEDA Resource Centre, Open Bar Initiative, Resource Centre, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Global Rights, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), Tax Justice and Governance Platform, Women In Nigeria, African Centre for Leadership, and Strategy & Development (Centre LSD).
READ STATEMENT IN FULL:NATIONAL SECURITY: BUHARI HAS SO FAR, FAILED.
Introduction
Nigeria is in dire straits. All over the country, Nigerian citizens, including children, are killed daily by terrorists and criminals as well as in extra-judicial killings by state actors with the government doing little or nothing about it. The government, through the Minister of Defence, has instead callously abdicated its responsibility and called Nigerian citizens ‘cowards’ and urged Nigerians to ‘defend themselves’.
Kidnapping for ransom has assumed an industrial and deadly scale never witnessed on the African continent. Our children are no longer safe in schools and Nigerian citizens and communities are now pauperised by terrorists who extort huge ransoms while murdering their hostages. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, what has now become the government’s standard state policy of using taxpayers’ money to pay terrorists thereby funding and encouraging terrorism and criminality.
President Buhari and his government have failed in their primary duty under Section 14 2(b) of the 1999 Constitution which is ensuring the security and welfare of the Nigerian people. Instead, under their watch, Nigeria is now a catalogue of bloodletting with:
● The unending war in the North East with our troops often bearing the brunt of this government’s security failures;

● Gross injustices by President Buhari’s government against the Nigerian people such that peaceful protesters are threatened and attacked by the government’s security agents while terrorists carrying out mass murder, rape, maiming and kidnapping of Nigerians including women and children are feted, molly coddled, granted ‘amnesty’ and paid by the government. This is tantamount to funding and supporting terrorists, encouraging murder and the decimation of the Nigeria’s gallant troops and amounts to treason against the Nigerian State and people;
● Terrorist herder attacks on unarmed farming communities and reprisal attacks in the face of government inaction and failure to bring the terrorist herdsmen and their funders to justice;

● Large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality;
● Industrial scale kidnappings all across the country;
● Extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms
● Terrorist herder attacks on unarmed farming communities and reprisal attacks in the face of government inaction and failure to bring the terrorist herdsmen and their funders to justice;
● Large scale terrorist attacks in the North West irresponsibly tagged by the government as ‘banditry’ in a bid to downplay their criminality;
● Industrial scale kidnappings all across the country;
● Extrajudicial killings by State Security agents in various forms
Our Demands
This government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to protect Nigerians as is their primary duty under Section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution and we hold President Buhari solely responsible as the buck stops at his desk. As Civil Society organisations, we call on the President to take immediate steps to :
1. Provide political and moral leadership for the security crisis and ensure governmental actions are humane in tandem with Section 17 (2) ( C ) of the Constitution;

2. End impunity for abuse of power and sectionalism through his appointments by balancing the need for competence with the federal character principle. In this way, he will demonstrate that every part of Nigeria matters as sectional appointments appear to fuel sectional violence;
3. Take responsibility and end the persecution of the media and free speech both of which are foundations of a democratic state.
4. Mobilize our rich Nigerian assets to address the insecurity situation across the country and seek international cooperation to ramp up security assets.
ALSO READ: Insecurity: Nigeria may be heading for disintegration – Abdulsalami Abubakar
5. Where the President fails to fulfill his constitutional duties as stated above, we demand he steps aside or the National Assembly initiates impeachment proceedings against him on grounds of gross misconduct as provided for in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Conclusion
We remain hopeful as citizens of Nigeria and call on all Nigerians to keep hope alive as we bond together and build a nation where true peace and justice reign.
Signed:
1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
2. Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT)
3. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
4. Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
5. Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
6. Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP)
7. Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
8. Partners on Electoral Reform
9. African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
10. National Procurement Watch Platform
11. Praxis Center
12. Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED)
13. Social Action
14. Community Action for Popular Participation
15. Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP)
16. Global Rights
17. Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE)
18. Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA)
19. Tax Justice and Governance Platform
20. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria
21. Women In Nigeria
22. African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD)
23. Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre(RULAAC)
24. Women Advocate Research And Documentation Centre
25. Community Life Project
26. Nigerian Feminist Forum
27. Alliances for Africa
28. Spaces for Change
29. Nigerian Women Trust Fund
30. Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa
31. BudgiT Foundation
32. State of the Union (SOTU)
33. Action International Nigeria
34. Femi Falana Chamber
35. HEDA Resource Centre
36. Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
37. Organization Community Civic Engagement(OCCEN)
38. Say NO Campaign—Nigeria
39. Women In Media
40. Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)
41. Sesor Empowerment Foundation
42. House of Justice
43. Molluma Medico-Legal Center
44. Open Bar Initiative

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