Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has flayed Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele for “equating promoters of #ENDSARS with terrorists”, claiming that he “is tormented and terrorised by truth.”
The rights group accused him of “deviating from his core duties and statutory obligations.”
HURIWA insisted: “We have followed the unfortunate trajectory of attacks and well-orchestrated affronts against constitutionalism by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and his extreme availability to be used to witch hunt civil rights campaigners.
“The latest antics of the CBN to freeze accounts of some Nigerian citizens, based on an ex-parte motion before a court, are sad, shocking, unfortunate, unpatriotic and despicable.”
It also urged the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, Garba Shehu, to refresh himself on constitutionalism and democracy, “so he understands that peaceful protests by citizens against misconduct of members of the policing institution of Nigeria are lawful and constitutional.”
Citing Section 14 (2) (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), HURIWA noted: “The participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution.”
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA claimed that the presidential aide was “bereft of deep knowledge of the workings of constitutional democracy which was why he told a television station that citizens who participated in the peaceful marches against police’s excessive deployment of force and deployment of extrajudicial killings of civilians as policing techniques would, in his warped imagination, face the consequences of their action.”
It added: “For the avoidance of doubts, Shehu needs to be told that democracy without peaceful protests is dead, just as the constitution in Chapter 4 permits the citizens to demonstrate constructively against oppressive styles of governance because ultimately the ownership of the sovereignty of Nigeria belongs to the people from where office holders derive the legitimacy to exercise lawful authority in line with the Section 14(2) (a).