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Sunday, June 16, 2024

JUNE 12TH: Nigeria is in kleptocracy, not democracy: HURIWA alleges

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Pro-democracy and non-governmental body: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has observed that there was no need celebrating a democracy day as is being done in Nigeria just as it emphasized that what is practiced by politicians now is not democracy but Kleptocracy or Thievocracy.

In a statement on the June 12th Democracy Day celebration by the President Tinubu’s government, HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko further blasted the government for showing extreme hatred and callousness towards the poor just as the group said the failure for months to appoint an incorruptible statesman or woman as Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Minister is a clear demonstration of government’s aversion or extreme dislike for the less privileged.

“This is a government that a minister supposedly charged with the mandate of alleviating (not ending) poverty was suspended for alleged infractions and the president failed against wise counsel to dismiss her and re-appoint a competent, pro-poor and patriotic person to oversee the ministry and yet Nigeria is home to the largest population of poor households estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics at 133 million households as being multidimensionally poor as at 2018.”

HURIWA recalled that Betta Edu, a medical doctor by profession, held various significant positions before becoming the Nigerian Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development. She earned her medical degree from the University of Calabar and later pursued advanced studies in public health.

The Rights group said Dr. Betta Edu was removed from her ministerial position due to allegations of administrative inefficiencies and potential mismanagement of funds within the ministry. The criticisms centered around the handling of disaster relief efforts, social intervention programs, and the allocation of resources intended for humanitarian aid. These issues, compounded by public outcry and scrutiny from oversight bodies, led to her dismissal.

Following her removal from office, the case has attracted widespread attention. Ongoing investigations aim to clarify the extent of any mismanagement and to hold accountable those responsible for any irregularities. Dr. Betta Edu has publicly denied any wrongdoing and expressed her commitment to cooperating with the investigative processes.

HURIWA accuses the government of hypocrisy by marking June 12th when in actual fact the ideals of June 12th speak to the need to protect and defend the poor. Nigeria is right now practicing Kleptocracy. “Letbit be known that HURIWA is a strong proponent of June 12th as Democracy Day. But we are saying that the present day politics in Nigeria is anything but a democracy because what we see are a bunch of political opportunists in public offices basically for self aggrandisement whereas democracy is the government of the people, for the people and by the people.

HURIWA said the public policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are antithetical to the ideals of June 12th as exemplified by the late Abiola just as it argued thus: “The murdered Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola who won the June 12th Presidential poll in 1993 but was denied and later jailed and killed in detention, was a well known pro-democracy advocate and a Statesman whose ideals and ideology are centred along the line of lifting the greatest numbers of the citizens out of their miserable economic climate into their better selves.

Abiola’s ideals promoted gainful employment and productivity which was why he was one of the largest individual employer of labour of his time. He had the aspiration to transform Nigeria into the Japan of Africa in the area of industrialisation and fundamental infrastructural revolution. But his dreams were cut short by the military despots who arrested him when he ought to have been sworn in as the winner of the freest and most credible presidential poll. The current president was amongst the foot soldiers that fought for the actualisation of June 12th but his policies are not in tandem with the blueprints of the then Chief MKO Abiola of the June 12 th fame. The policies of this administration has crippled the economy of the middle class.

Indeed the middle class have been wiped off and now we have two classes of people in Nigeria namely the extremely rich elites who are connected to the powers that be and are not more than 2% of the population of Africa and World’s largest black nation of Nigeria. Then we have the extremely impoverished who are in the majority and by government’s estimation, there are are about 133 million multidimensionally poor households in Nigeria.

Tinubu increased the pump price of fuel and cut off the businesses of millions of poor Nigerians. Tinubu’s currency devaluation has rendered Naira as the most worthless currency globally and manufacturers are closing shops and foreign direct investors who set up firms inside Nigeria are closing and moving their production lines to other parts of the World such as Ghana and South Africa and due to poor economic policies implementation, Nigeria is now poorer than Ghana even when Nigeria is the 7th largest crude oil net exporter in the World.

Tinubu’s government can’t put a hand in the handle to curb the widespread insecurity and the instability tearing down Nigeria and corruption has returned in greater dimensions. These are all antithetical to the ideals of June 12th.

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