The Oasis Reporters
January 28, 2018
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room expresses grave concern about the current state of affairs in the country. Across Nigeria the levels of insecurity, kidnappings, killings and unrestrained crime pervades. Yet, the security agencies have exhibited unparalleled incapacity and incompetence to deal with the problem.
The Nigerian nation appears to be descending into chaos before our very eyes and the government’s inability to confront the challenges and provide security for our people is becoming very alarming and frightening.
Citizens are seriously losing faith in the ability of security agencies to protect their lives and secure their properties. Never before has the effectiveness and competence of our security agencies been questioned this much as we have today.
Besides the incapacity and incompetence of the security services, is the other major concern that the security services have failed to apply evenness, balance or fairness in the manner in which they carry out their work.
Other major concerns of Situation Room, is the growing and unabated levels of:
§ Violations of human rights of citizens by security and other agencies of government;
§ Violations of Rule of law and Due process by agencies of government;
§ Increasing levels of unemployment;
§ Poor performance of the economy; and
§ General poor performance and high incompetence among appointed public officials.
Preparations for 2019 General Elections:
Situation Room is determined to carry out nationwide comprehensive and effective observation of the forthcoming 2019 Nigeria General Elections.
We are however concerned about the delays in the passage of the amendments to the Constitutional and Legal framework for the conduct of the 2019 elections. Of particular concern are proposals coming from the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to alter the timetable for the 2019 elections already announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The proposal by the National Assembly to alter the Order of Elections already set by INEC is an unwarranted interference in the Constitutional powers of INEC to determine the conduct of elections and interferes with the powers of INEC to carry out its electoral duties without directives or control from any person or authority, using the instrumentality of legislation. This is unacceptable and is hereby condemned. Additionally, the National Assembly needs to backtrack from passing self-serving legislations that contradicts Constitutional guarantees of the independence of INEC.
In conclusion, Situation Room calls on President Buhari to live up to his responsibility of securing lives and property of Nigerians, revamp the national security apparatus, including reconstituting the leadership of the security agencies to reflect the diversity and national character of the country and ensuring that persons who head the security services have a clear understanding of modern security operations.
President Buhari also needs to begin to hold his appointed officials to account by punishing the incompetence and high failure levels prevalent among his appointed public officials.
The Situation Room is made up of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria and includes such groups as Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Proactive Gender Initiative (PGI) Enough is Enough Nigeria, WANGONET, Partners for Electoral Reform, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), WREP, Nigeria Women Trust Fund, JDPC and Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA). Others areDevelopment Dynamics, Stakeholders Democracy Network, Human Rights Monitor, Election Monitor, Reclaim Naija, Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, CITAD, Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), RECHDI, WREP, CISLAC and several other CSOs numbering more than seventy.