Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria has said the division amongst Nigerians is caused by the policies of the federal government.
The senior lawyer is of the opinion that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has since assuming power used lopsided appointments in dividing citizens but assured that a new political movement will arrest the ugly trend.
Mr Falana, a foremost human rights activist, in the company of like-minded stakeholders have been exploring the possibility of a progressive coalition on the platform of The Peoples Alternative Political Movement, which they say will turn the fortunes of the West African country.
“At the moment, Nigerians are divided because of the policies of the government,” Mr Falana said on Thursday when he featured on an ARISE News programme, The Morning Show.
“Let me tell you one that we have just taken up from our movement. The president sent nominees for the membership of the governing council of the human rights commission.
“Our movement studied this and discovered that it was full of lopsidedness, whereas in one region of seven states, out of four people nominated in that region, three came from one (Kebbi) state. Of the six geo-political zones nobody was nominated from the northeast zone which records the highest number of human rights violations because of the counter-insurgency operations going on there.”Falana has however written to the Senate requesting it to advise President Buhari to withdraw the appointees of the governing council of the commission, and ensure that the proposed appointments comply with the provisions of section 14 (3) of the Constitution and section 4 of Federal Character Commission (Establishment etc) Act.His petition came about three weeks after the president sent the names of the 16 nominees for the Senate’s approval, and while the nominees were screened last year they are yet to be confirmed.The petition was referred to the committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions and are to report back in two weeks.
“If we just throw up our hands in helplessness and you allow lopsided appointments to go on and be used to divide our people, we have a duty now to arrest such ugly development, and that is part of what our movement is doing,” Falana said.“Once confidence is built, we have also identified human rights lawyers in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja so that when people’s rights are violated, we simply ask our lawyers to go and intervene.“Our people will begin to have confidence in what we are doing that this is different from those who are colluding with the neo-colonial state to oppress them.”
By Abel Ejikeme