Falana, Worrey, Igbokwe Task Tinubu on Rule of Law

Falana, Worrey, Igbokwe, and Others Task Tinubu on the Rule of Law (News Central TV)

Human rights activists, including Femi Falana SAN, Arthur Worrey, Joe Igbokwe, the former Lagos State Solicitor General, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s special adviser on water resources and drainage, and others, have called on the incoming Bola Tinubu administration to uphold the rule of law and exercise financial restraint in creating the much-anticipated new Nigeria.

The Pan African Historical Theatre Festival, PANAFEST Colloquium, 2023 speakers discussed “Entrenching Democracy in Nigeria: Bola Tinubu’s Government: The Prospects and Rewards” on Thursday in Ikeja, Lagos.

The main speaker, Falana, said: “Nigerians should pressure our authorities to uphold our rights. On paper, Nigeria boasts one of the best human rights systems. We have very thorough human rights laws that are more up-to-date than those in the United States and the United Kingdom, but how willing are we to implement them?

“Our job is already done, what we should do as citizens is demand our rights. Just like Fela Anikulapo Kuti, in one of his albums. singing, Human rights are my property; you can’t dash me my property. Once you believe in your rights, you will find a way to fight for them.

“The difference between the military and democracy is that the president who knows his onions and is committed to democracy and the rule of law will question the arrest of any citizen. Why have you done that? What has the man done because he has expressed his opinion? Please, can you release him? That’s what will make a difference.

“In our own case, we have the fundamental rights that are entrenched in a whole chapter in the Constitution, chapter 4. We have always had a human rights chapter in the Bill of Rights since 1960, it was in Chapter 3 until 1979. What are the rights, to dignity, life, freedom of association, liberty, and religion, among others? Are these rights enforced and respected in Nigeria?

“Why are they not respected? Because we are generally ignorant of our rights. We fear demanding our rights. Human rights are the way to go under this incoming government. The economic challenges must be addressed if Asiwaju is to succeed,” Falana stated.

“For me, the essential is the management of the fiscal, treasury,” said Worrey, a former solicitor general under Governor Tinubu, “since he is an accountant and auditor by training and practise.” He needs to be more picky about money and the kinds of financial deals we make.

“The Nigeria crisis is a crisis of mismanagement of the financial assets of the public trust. Tinubu will have a much closer look at figures and how to resolve the inconsistencies than any other president before now.

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Falana, Worrey, Igbokwe, and Others Task Tinubu on the Rule of Law (News Central TV)

“Secondly, he will run a more humane government, with more interactions with his people than we have experienced under this outgoing administration.” The outgoing government is very reticent, it was always aides speaking on behalf of the president. This always irritates me because we did not elect aides, but Tinubu has always been a man of engagement.

“He won the presidency because of years of engaging all manner of people. We have to deal with criminality and terrorism, and it boils down to the question of how much we are really spending on them. I think we can do better. We need a president who will be more demanding of accountability in the way national revenues are spent.

“Tinubu is the first truly democratic government we will have that fought for the post of president without being given it on a platter.

“The people should play their role. We are more of an observer nation. With my experience with Tinubu, he supported all the reforms to do with criminal justice in Lagos. It is a fact, without the support of the Chief Executive, who is the approving authority, you can do nothing.

“If Tinubu gets there and appoints a strong character as Attorney-General, between the two of them they can achieve a lot and make progress,” Worrey added.

In his contribution, Igbokwe stated, “We have faith in Asiwaju Tinubu to change Nigeria’s fortune. There is no shadow of a doubt that Asiwaju, who understands the importance of humanity, will restore the dignity of man and Nigerians in administration.

“He did it in Lagos before, and he’ll do it again even better. He needs our help if he is to succeed.

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