By Kayode Fasua
Notable rights group, Campaign for Democracy (CD), has lambasted Gombe State Governor Inuwa Yahaya, for appointing two close relatives of Senator Danjuma Goje, a former governor of the state, as commissioners in his cabinet, describing the act as “the promotion of aristocracy and demotion of democracy”.
The Gombe governor had recently named Goje’s daughter, Hussaina Goje, and son-in-law, Mr. Dasuki Jalo Waziri, as commissioners in his new cabinet.
The governor also named five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the state who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the twilight of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo’s administration as commissioners.
Condemning the appointments, particularly the appointments of two members of the family of “his political godfather” as commissioners, the CD said the people of the state ought to stage a protest to make Governor Yahaya rescind the decision.
In a communiqué it issued yesterday, after its national convention held in Owo, Ondo State, the CD pilloried Yahaya, stating, “Such appointments fall short of the basic principles of fair play, natural justice and tenets and norms of democracy.
“It is extreme display of greed and a ploy to ambush dividends of democracy from getting to the grassroots. It makes the wealth of the state to be concentrated in the hands of a few members of the family of the former state governor and it can best be described as myopic and senseless appointments which is the promotion of aristocracy and demotion of democracy.
“We, therefore, urge the people of Gombe State to protest the appointment without further delay.”
In the communiqué signed by its President, Comrade Bako Usman; General Secretary, Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, and Secretary, Publicity and Publications, Comrade Lanre Ogunyinka, the CD wondered why the soul of a state comprising millions of people should be sold to an individual simply because he is a political godfather.
“By now, Nigerians should be resisting attempts to sell the soul of our public institutions to political godfathers, as government institution is our joint patrimony and not the property of any individual.
“We must stop impunity in our political system if we must move on as a nation. A situation where the wealth of the state will be in the hands of a few will be vehemently stood against,” the body declared.
Meanwhile, the CD has commended the Nigerian judiciary for ordering the release of publisher of Sahara Reporters and AA presidential candidate in 2019 election, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, after spending weeks in the detention of the Department of State Service (DSS).
“We commend Nigeria’s judiciary for living up to expectation in its professionalism and courage to release Mr. Omoyele Sowore, who was arrested and detained for close to two months by the overzealous DSS operatives for unwarranted prosecution.
“The court pronouncement was no doubt a plus for our nation’s democracy, because, the judiciary was not able to be ambushed by the Presidency this time.”
The CD consequently called on President Muhammadu Buhari, saying, “Rather than resorting to tyranny, it is advisable you give Nigeria good governance as that is the only universal remedy for revolution or uninterrupted democracy.”
It lamented further that “it is sad that Nigeria’s social, political and economic situations under President Buhari is worse than the days of the government of Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan.
“There are serious suspicions and strives among Nigerians, and threats to our national unity arising from executive recklessness and rascality, besides senseless killings, kidnappings and high-profile corruption. In all, President Buhari’s body language speaks volume.”
In her goodwill message at the convention, the immediate past president of the CD, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, admonished civil society organisations to be united, focused, organised and nationalistic in their quest for a better Nigeria at this period that Nigeria is striving to survive all sorts of nightmares.
Okei-Odumakin who is the President of Women Arise for Change Initiative, and Center for Change, said, “If the pro-democracy and human rights forces can put sentiments apart, come together just as they were in the days of the military, we will make serious impact in returning Nigeria to her right path.
“But if this priority is misplaced, some relegates and political marauders who are out to destabilise the country will further have their ways, by pillaging and annihilating our basis of existence.”
The group stated that it reposed confidence in its national officers and thus returned them for another three years tenure. They are: Comrade Bako Usman, President; Comrade Bayo Obatugase, Deputy President; Pastor Ifeanyi Odili, General Secretary; Comrade Lanre Ogunyinka; National Publicity and Publication Secretary, and Comrade Adewumi Olowoniyi, National Treasurer.