SERAP Calls On FG To Investigate Amnesty International Office Attack

Alleged Corruption: SERAP Writes Buhari Over SGF's CaseThe Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has called on both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to urgently instruct appropriate authorities to promptly and thoroughly investigate the attack on the Amnesty International office in Nigeria, and ensure the safety and security of its staff.

It would be recalled that a group of protesters on Monday, barricaded the Abuja office of Amnesty International and asked the international organisation to quit Nigeria within 24 hours.

In a statement signed on Tuesday, by SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, the organization called on Buhari and Osinbajo to “Act swiftly to end the attack, intimidation, harassment and threats against Amnesty International Office in Nigeria and its staff.

“Any failure to hold to account those who may be responsible will invariably increase the vulnerability of civil society in the country, and strengthen the perception that attacks against the Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) and the human rights workers can happen with impunity.”

“If the Buhari government does not take all necessary measures to immediately end the mob attack on Amnesty International or any other civil society group for that matter, SERAP will be compelled to take appropriate legal action nationally and internationally including approaching the United Nation (UN) Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders for remedy.

“SERAP will continue to work to challenge any attempt to restrict, silence or eliminate the voices of credible civil society in the country.

“We urge the presidency to speak out strongly against intimidation and harassment of Amnesty International office in Nigeria and its staff.

“Investigating the attacks against naming and shaming the sponsors and bringing them to justice will send a powerful message of protection and support to civil society groups who stand up to speak truth to power.

“Any attack on Amnesty International office in Nigeria or harassment and intimidation of its staff members is an assault on the entire human rights community in the country.

“This government has an obligation to support and protect civil society groups and human rights defenders against violence and sponsored attacks.

“Nigeria is a democratic society and the government can’t just sit back and watch reprisals, threats and increasing hostility to Amnesty International in particular and the NGO community in general.

“Under the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and International Human Rights Law, everyone whose rights are violated are entitled to a right to an effective remedy.

“Exposing human rights violations and seeking redress for them is largely dependent on the degree of security enjoyed by civil society groups and human rights defenders.

“Protecting NGOs against sponsored attacks and ending impunity for such attacks is therefore a critical element in the promotion and protection of human rights in this country.

“While some may not like to hear these things Amnesty International has said, this in no way justifies this kind of mob attack on its office and staff members.

“The authorities should show its commitment in protecting the right to freedom of expression and guarantee conditions for civil society to flourish.”

Osinbajo Meets With Labour Unions

We Hear You, Loud And Clear, Osinbajo Tells ProtestersThe Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that job creation, economic empowerment and fight against corruption will remain the focus of President Buhari’s administration.

The Vice President stated this while speaking with a selected group of labour leaders, who stormed his conference room following the demonstration by the union at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Having experienced road block by security personnel at the three arms zone, the labour leaders selected some members of their leadership to head to the seat of government at the presidential villa, to register their protest.

The leaders of the Labour Union expressed concern on the issues of governance and systemic corruption facing the nation.

The VP said, “This administration is committed towards empowering Nigerians irrespective of their status.

“A successful fight against corruption will not be feasible without the support of Nigerians”.

Osinbajo Launches Armed Forces Remembrance Fund

Osinbajo Tasks Nigerians On Water Sanitation And HygieneThe Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Buhari administration will do all it can to support the Nigerian military, and ensure terrorism and hate is stamped out of the Nigerian territory.

The Vice President made this known at the launch of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem Appeal Fund at the Presidential Villa.

Where he donated 10 million Naira on behalf of the Federal Government and urged all Nigerians to donate to the fund for the upkeep, of the families of the fallen heroes.

The event was designed to honour members of the Armed Forces, especially those who have passed on in the service of their fatherland.

The Vice President who presided over the event promised that the administration will do all they can to appreciate them for ensuring that terrorism and hate do not prevail in our land.

The Minister of Defence says this occasion is unique coming at a time when Nigeria is winning the war against Boko Haram.

He urged all to adorn the emblem as a show of appreciation of what the fallen heroes have done.

FG Dismisses Proposed Sale Of Assets As ‘Mere Speculation’

lai-mohammed on CorruptionThe Federal Government has described as mere speculation, talks of a proposed sale of national assets for the purposes of getting Nigeria out of recession, saying government is ‎yet to take a decision on the matter.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was only discussed and endorsed as a Medium Term Expenditure Framework and remains a suggestion but not a solution decided upon by government to rebound the economy.

Contrary to reports that government has already listed conditions that must be met before the sale of certain national assets, top among them the insertion of a buy-back clause in the assets sales agreements, the Information Minister says government is yet to reveal elaborate plans to take the country out of recession.

The National Economic Council headed by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo had last Thursday proposed and endorsed plans to sell some national assets, in line with government’s target to raise between ten to fifteen billion dollars to revamp the economy, following the drop in the nation’s monthly foreign earnings to about three hundred million dollars.

The proposed sale was swiftly rejected by the Senate in a thorough debate at its plenary, just as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) threatened to embark on mass protest against the proposed sale.‎‎

The Federal Executive Council meeting also approved three memos; the National Water Policy, the National Irrigation Policy and a draft National Water Resources Bill all aimed at tackling the numerous water challenges in the country.

The Water Resources Minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu, is positive that the three bills and policy will help Nigeria bridge the gap in the sector and enhance Nigeria’s current agricultural production agenda and the National Irrigation Policy Roadmap 2030.

Vice President Says Some Past Policies Disempowered Nigerians

Yemi Osinbajo speaking at the PlatformVice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said some of the past policies and planning, including budgeting of the government, did not reflect the needs and the conditions of the majority of the people in Nigeria who have become disempowered in the process.

At a meeting with members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, on Wednesday, at the State House, Abuja, the Vice President said the important thing now was how policies could address the need of the people.

“This is the main challenge,” he said.

Professor Osinbajo observed that some past planning, policy formulation and budgets were not accountable to the people, stressing that in the past there have been “policies that do not seem to have solutions that truly reflect the understanding of the question of poverty in Nigeria”.

He challenged the notion that a country could be described as rich when about two-third of its people are extremely poor.

While expressing concern about extreme poverty in Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo restated that records had shown that Nigeria had 110 million poor people, representing two-third of the Nigerian population, who he said had become disempowered based on the kind of policy formulation that had been going on in the past.

Professor Osinbajo further stated that one of the challenges of policy formulation was how to speak to the people and how to address their plight.

“The people are concerned about how do I get a meal, how do I get healthcare and how to send children to school. When you look at the budgets it does not often address the needs of the people,” he stressed.

The Vice President then urged members of the alumni association to discuss how policy formulation ought to have root in the conditions of the people.