The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has urged the President, Muhammadu Buhari to sack all his political appointees who will be contesting in the 2019 general elections. The group disclosed that this will be more suited to their positions and stand are not compromised, competent and more committed technocrats without political ambition can take up their positions.
The group singled out the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission, NBC,
Alhaji Ishaq Modibbo Kawu his Voice of Nigeria, VON, counterpart, Osita Okechukwu, as well as the minister of Communications, Alhaji Adebayo Shittu, calling them card-carrying members of President Buhari’s political family who “enjoy the unfair and illegal advantage over their opponents/rivals even in the same political party by enjoying official privileges and deploying public fund at their disposal to service their selfish political agenda to the detriment of such strategic national institutions”.
It insisted that the aforementioned persons “must be made to quit their positions to face their individual campaigns or be fired so that competent and much more committed technocrats without political ambitions are appointed to discharge the statutory duties for which these positions and institutions were established”.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was disheartening and disappointing that President Muhammadu Buhari has allowed his appointees with open ambitions to run for elective offices to continue to shortchange the Nigerian people and undermine public trust.
It wondered why President or the Secretary to the government of the Federation have not taken concrete and verifiable steps to enforce compliance to the enabling laws governing those institutions and order these political office holders to quit in public interest so as to chase after their individual but altogether legitimate ambitions to win elective positions in their states of origin as already indicated by them.
HURIWA reminded Buhari “of the extent NBC code in which article 2.2.3 affirmed that accuracy, objectivity; fairness, and integrity as salient elements that should guide the broadcasting industry in Nigeria even as the Rights group wondered how a man with self-centred ambition to run for politically elective office of governor and has already reportedly bought and submitted the N22 million worth of expression of intention and nomination form of the All Progressives Congress would be allowed to hold on to such a high office as chief national regulator of the broadcasting industry in Nigeria whilst pursuing his individual goal of contesting for the office of governor which requires a lot of media activities which would automatically confer an unfair and comprehensively illegal advantages to him over and above his other co-contestants within and outside of his political platform.”
“If we look at it from the perspective of the essentially critical element of integrity required of broadcasting houses, allowing Alhaji Kawu to stay on as Director General of National Broadcasting Commission which wields the powers of a regulator of the broadcasting sector whereas he will definitely enjoy the advantage of impactful media presence as he carries on going about the execution of the assignments demanded of his office just as he could abuse such media privileges by highlighting his political aims covertly or overtly, an advantage that his other rivals don’t have.
“On the side of the Director General of the VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu, he has consistently used his official time and resources and has concerned himself with the political project of the re-election of his principal in 2019 poll, neglecting his primarily statutory duties as substantive head of a publicly funded Voice of Nigeria radio network. He has however lately delved fully into the political campaign for a senatorial slot for himself whilst parading about as the Director General of Voice of Nigeria.
“The minister of Communications has for almost a year focused exclusively on campaigning for the re-election of his principal even before the Independent National Electoral Commission blew the whistle permitting political campaigns. This minister of Communications has bought and submitted the form to run for the office of governor of Oyo State even as he stays on in a national office which he no longer pays 100 percent attention which his job prescriptions stated when he took an oath of office. This unpardonable political immorality must never be allowed to fester because it will adversely affect our culture of political sanity and adherence to the principle of rule of law.”
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