Naaba, Utomi, Other Eminent Leaders of Conscience charge Nigerians to brace up for Nationwide Mass Action over Political Corruption, Insecurity, Hunger ravaging the Country

Naaba, Utomi, Other Eminent Leaders of Conscience charge Nigerians to brace up for Nationwide Mass Action over Political Corruption, Insecurity, Hunger ravaging the Country

…..Set up Elders Advisory Council, Flag off Zonal Structures, inaugurate Strategic Committees, initiate Grassroot Circle of Conscience ahead of formal launch of movement in January 2021

……To meet Media Chiefs, Labour and Civil Society Leaders this month

The newly initiated group of eminent Leaders of Conscience in Nigeria under the auspices of National Consultative Front, NCFront has charged Nigerians to urgently team up with its emerging political movement and put an end to official corruption and flagrant abuse of public trust constantly playing out in Nigeria’s power centres, if the country is to survive the present rapacious political rip off and rape of its economy by the present rampaging ruling class

This clarion call was made in a national address jointly issued on behalf of the Steering Leadership of the NCFront at the weekend by Former Speaker of Nigeria, Rt Hon Ghali Umar Naaba and a two time Presidential Candidate, Prof Pat Utomi, while felicitating with Nigerians and Islamic faithfuls worldwide on the occasions of the 2020 Eid Kabir celebration

The statement reads in part: All Nigerians of Conscience are again being passionately enjoined, during this occasion commemorating the Eid Kabir, which symbolises faith and sacrifice to mankind, to stand up and join hands with the unwavering resolve of the National Consultative Front, NCFront to make the required sacrifices towards cleansing and sanitizing Nigeria’s centres of power and in smashing and flushing our prevailing corruptive political system being sustained by a tiny clique of power mongers and political merchants marauding as the country’s Leaders.

In view of the various unimaginable melodrama and macabre dance of corruption and chaos within the top echelon of the Nigerian political leadership and government, which has been exposing the cause of high level insecurity and hunger in the country today, it has also become imperative for us as victims of the increasing mis governance and official impunity to halt the festering rot and political corona virus in the country’s power centre.

Consequently, all of us as citizens of conscience should have no choice but to urgently rise in unison to utilize our collective power as a vast majority of united citizens capable of chasing out that clique of ruinous political cartel ravaging our common wealth enabled by their self serving capture of our Government and State, now being ruthlessly deployed to milking us to stupor, while riding rough shod on us as a people. It is for this reason that the ongoing nationwide consultations and mobilisation of the NCFront are being strategically deployed towards engendering a credible alternative political leadership and government for the Nigerian people through an all inclusive nationwide mass resistance and action

This is because a situation, where the President of Nigeria is caged and his office is being run by some unelected clique of proxies and power traders, operating without pretence to any form of mandate from the Nigerian people, is unfathomable and unacceptable and must be massively resisted and neutralized before we, as a country are all thrown into a major disaster and turmoil

However, in strengthening our budding national consultations and mobilisation towards a historic nationwide political resistance programme, the NCFront shall be flagging off its Zonal Political Structures in the six geo political zones of the country and also set up its Strategic operational Committees, namely; Mobilisation Committee, Publicity Committee, Diaspora Committee, Finance/Fundraising Committee, Women Affairs Committee, Youth Affairs Committee, Media Team and Secretariat Working Committee. Policy & Strategy Committee, Ethics and Conduct Committee, Orientation & Education Bureau, Conflict Resolutions Committee. Meanwhile, a list of Coordinating Facilitators for each Zonal Structure and Strategic Committee shall be announced on Thursday at a world press conference to be addressed virtually from strategic centres of the country by the Conveners and Promoters of the NCFront

The setting up of the NCFront political structures in the six geo political zones of the country and the inauguration of the Front’s Strategic Operational Committees are also expected to prepare ground for the success of the novel mobilisation template tagged: NCFront Circle of 12 Concerned Citizens adopted recently by the NCFront Steering Leadership as Circle of Concern, CC for creating a groundswell of active members at the grassroots and to drive popular ownership of the NCFront in various localities and communities of Nigeria and among Nigerians in diaspora

Some of the notable leaders of the emerging political movement, who already have the mandate to facilitate zonal structures for the Front in their various geo political zones and also expected to lead NCFront delegations to brief Media Chiefs, Labour Leaders and Civil Society Champions this month are; Rt Hon Ghali Umar Naaba, Prof Pat Utomi, Prof Chidi Odinkalu,, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, Comrade Isa Aremu, Dr Chris Ekiyor, Comrade Shehu Sanni, Sen Grace Bent, Mallam Dr Tanko Yunusa, Arch Ezekiel Nya Etok, Rt Hon Inuwa Garba, Prof Mrs Remi Sonaiya, HC Peter Ameh, Mr Segun Osinowo, Comrade Kassim Balarabe Musa, Lady Funke Awolowo, Mallam Abdulmamud Aminu, ACG Ali Abubakar Wakili, Mr Jude Feranmi, Hajia Kadijat Abdullahi, Comrade Alistair Soyode, Mrs Habiba Balogun, Mallam Nasser Kura, Lady Bunmi Lawson, Dr Mrs Jophia Gupar as well as national icons in the Elders Advisory Council of the NCFront to be named after due consultation

SIGNED:
Mallam Dr Yunusa Tanko
0803 314 4131
Head Publicity NCFront
National Headquarters
0818 845 1511
Utako District, Abuja

SERAP asks court to order Buhari to publish details of govt loans since 2015

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to order President Muhammadu Buhari to “publish details of loans that have been obtained by the government since May 29, 2015, including the interest rate, the total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by this government, as well as details of the projects on which the loans have been spent.”

Joined as Respondents in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2020 are Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Ms Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; and Ms Patience Oniha Director-General of the Debt Management Office.

SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians the names of countries and bodies that have given the loans, specific repayment conditions, and whether any public officers solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans, and if there is plan to audit the spending of the loans, to resolve any allegations of mismanagement and corruption.”

SERAP is also asking the court to: “direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians if he would instruct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since May 2015.”

SERAP is arguing that: “Opacity in the spending of loans would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens. Transparency would ensure that the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust that these loans would be used to benefit Nigerians, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.”

According to SERAP, “This suit is permitted under the Freedom of Information Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

SERAP is also arguing that: “While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape or form.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dated 30 May, 2020 to President Buhari, expressing “concerns that while governments since 1999 have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered, leaving the citizens with the burden of having to repay these loans.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “the massive and growing national debts have continued to have negative impacts on socio-economic development and on Nigerians’ access to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.”

“SERAP is praying the court to hold that the interest of the public in publishing the information sought is far greater than any other interest President Buhari may be trying to preserve.”

“Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by the government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, and reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.”

“SERAP is seeking an order to direct and compel President Buhari to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.”

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law.”

“The Nigeria Government has signed on to the Open Government Partnership [OGP], and the country is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.”

It would be recalled that Buhari recently sought the National Assembly’s approval for a fresh loan of $5.513bn, reportedly to fund the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects, and support some states. The National Assembly also recently approved a N850 billion loan. Another loan of $22.79bn, had previously been approved by the National Assembly.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

2/08/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202