A major pro-democracy and civil rights body, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onoghen, to ensure that the subsisting intra-party leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is decided rapidly.
The rights group in a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, submitted that the delay in adjudicating the leadership crises in courts has contributed to weakening democracy in Nigeria.
Bemoaning what it calls rapid collapse of multiparty democracy in Nigeria, the group attributed this ‘retrogression’ to the dearth of constructive opposition politics brought about by the sponsored internal infighting for leadership control in the nation’s only hitherto viable opposition platform.
It therefore pleaded with the Supreme Court to decide the matter rapidly by not allowing lawyers to use technicalities to delay adjudication which will inevitably be fatalistic to the nation’s democracy and good governance.
HURIWA said it has it on good authority that certain elements within the executive arm of government controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are bankrolling a faction of the PDP leadership so as to completely whittle down constructive opposition politics and create room for the emergence of a one party state in Nigeria before long.
The group therefore stated that it’s the direct intervention of the hierarchy of the Supreme Court under the control of the totally non-partisan CJN that can bring about restoration of proper democracy with the qualitative resolution of the internal squabbles within PDP.
“We are worried by the ignominious roles played by the lower courts in prolonging the leadership crises within the nation’s only opposition party. This prolonged litigation has made it possible for most elected office holders under the banner of PDP to cross over to the ruling APC and this phenomenon can only be checked if the Supreme Court can make haste and bring the matter to a finality by deciding one way or the other on the authentic national chairman of the party who enjoys the backing of majority of the genuine members of the PDP.
“We pray the Supreme Court not to allow the drama occasioned by the leadership tussle in the PDP which played out at the Supreme Court at the last hearing whereby two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) announced appearances for the embattled political party to bring undue waste of time. This subterfuge must not stand in the way of rapidly making a decisive pronouncement on the real Chairman of the PDP one way or the other,” the group stated.
32 African Countries Move against Dumping of Nuclear, Toxic Waste at Sea
In a concerted effort to ensure that African oceans are not overexploited and used a dumping ground for dangerous materials, participating countries at the just concluded conference of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) have agreed on the need for population, assets and critical infrastructure protection from maritime pollution by preventing of dumping of toxic and nuclear wastes.
This was contained in the communique of the association released at the weekend at the end of the conference which was held in Abuja.
The body of all administrators of maritime regulatory bodies came up with the position as one of the major ways to safeguard the future of maritime wealth on the continent alongside other pertinent positions.
Members of the association consequently agreed to devote concerted efforts and planning to pursue the enhancement of wealth creation and regional and international trade performance through maritime-centric capacity and capability building while ensuring the minimisation of environmental damage and expedited recovery from catastrophic events.
These, they observed, should be taken into cognizance as well as prevention of hostile and criminal acts at sea, by coordination and harmonisation of the prosecution of offenders and improvement of Integrated Coastal Zone/Area Management in Africa if the continent is to grow maritime trade.
The conference which had in attendance representatives from Mauritania, South Sudan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Comoros, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Benin, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, Guinea, Libya and Nigeria as well as other non-African countries and International Associations such as Jamaica, Netherlands, Malaysia, IMO, Abuja MOU, PMAWCA, SOAN, NPA, NSC, NITT, NIWA, ASA, WIMA, FAO, witnessed the election of the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, as the Chairman of the association.
Peterside, who took over from Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, the acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA), who has been the acting chairman of the association since 2013, stated that task of leading the African maritime administrators is enormous but there is the need to collaborate with one another to ensure that the African oceans and seas are not over exploited to the detriment of the continent.
Part of the resolutions made at the conference enjoined all African countries to participate in the day set aside by the African Union as the African Day of Oceans and Seas.
“The African Union Commission has set aside July 25 of every year as Africa’s Day of the Seas and Oceans. Maritime administrations are encouraged to institutionalise this day to raise awareness among stakeholders of the strategic importance of maritime governance for sustainable development; highlight the important role Africa needs to play at international maritime forum; raise awareness on Africa’s ‘Blue Economy’ and enhance the focus on maritime safety, security, maritime environment protection and human element”, the communique read.
Noting that capacity building had been a major challenge in the African Maritime sector, member nations agreed to address the enormous challenges of building human capacities in the maritime sector especially regarding training and employment of cadets by urging maritime administrations to develop an integrated human resources strategy for the maritime sector to support the provision of skills taking into account gender balance in the entire maritime value chain which includes shipping and logistics, offshore activities, fishing, tourism and recreation, and safety and security.