*Says membership violates Federal Character principle
*Decry absence of state govt nominees
By Hassan Zaggi
Civil Rights Advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has rejected appointments made by Mr President Muhammadu Buhari while constituting the board of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Board of Trustees, for violating federal character principle.
In a statement by Comrade Emma Onwubiko, National Coordinator and Miss. Zainab Yusuf, National Director of Media, HURIWA asked President Buhari to disband the body and follow the path of constitutionality.
They also observed that it was wrong for the federal government to constitute such a board without representatives of state governments, who are critical stakeholders in the business of providing security in the country.
In acknowledging that appropriate and stable funding of the Police is vital to the security and wellbeing of Nigerians the character of such a body must not raise suspicion from any part of the generating units in the country.
According to HURIWA, “we are astonished and shocked beyond comprehension, that in constituting this Trust Fund, there is no attempt to involve the states of the federation”.
Insisting that since state government have significantly shouldered the tasks of substantially funding and equipping the respective branches of the national policing institution, state governments should be represented in such a board, more so as state governors are members of the Police Council.
The group added that it is insensitive and lopsided that Barr. Suleiman Abba, from Jigawa State (North West) as Chairman, and Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, from Sokoto State (same North West) as the Executive Secretary.
“To make matters worse, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, is also from Sokoto State, North West,” the statement stated.
They added that although “these are highly qualified individuals, but the present administration has been severally accused of breaching the federal character principle enshrined in the Constitution(Section 14(3) ).
“Except we have fifth columnists who don’t wish Mr President well, these kind of discriminatory appointments should be filtered by his aides and brought to his attention before publication. We believe his Staff have not served him well in this instance”.
HURIWA said they are by the statement, serving a notice to mobilise the Civil Rights Community to institute a suit at the competent Court of law if after 78 hours of this publication of our statement the President fails to do the needful.