Enugu, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)– In a joint observation, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), the South-East Zone of the Civil Liberties Organization (South-East CLO), the South-East Based Coalition of Human Rights and Democracy Organizations (SBCHRDOs), and the Human Rights, Social Development, and Environmental Foundation have identified a critical juncture for Nigeria’s Democratic Forces.
According to the groups, the exit dates of two pivotal figures, CJN Justice Olukayode Ariwoola and INEC Chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu, present a golden opportunity to reclaim and revitalize the country’s democratic institutions, which they claimed have suffered during the previous administration of former President Muhammad Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo.
The groups stated this in a press releases issued by the Board Chairman Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi, on Wednesday and made available to voiceofnaija.ng.
He said the disastrous governance under Buhari and Osinbajo led to the erosion of democratic principles and the infiltration of conformists into key institutions, including the Judiciary and Electoral Umpire.
The present administration under Bola Tinubu is continuing these policies, raising concerns about the future of Nigeria’s democracy, they added.
The statement noted that urgent calls are made for the activation of pro-democracy measures to overhaul institutions, including the removal of current heads and the establishment of a national legal think tank to review legislation from 2011 to 2023.
They said as Nigeria stands at a crossroads, They called on democratic forces to seize the exit dates of CJN Ariwoola (12 August, 2024) and INEC Chairman Yakubu (21 October, 2025), to steer the country back on track.
Concerns about compromised institutions are heightened by recent revelations about the Imo Governorship Election, where over 70 per cent of the announced votes were allegedly “harvested and written.”
This however, raised questions about the credibility of the electoral process, demanding a thorough review and the activation of industrial actions by Labor Unions and Civil Society Organizations to scrutinize nominees for key positions.
He said that the call extends beyond mere workers’ pay issues to encompass public interest, urging a return to pre-Oshiomhole era industrial action strategies. The focus is on preventing compromised elements from assuming top positions in the Judiciary and INEC.
Also, he said the need for a comprehensive review of Federal Government of Nigeria enactments from 2011 to 2023 is emphasized to align with global democratic principles and the constitution.
In conclusion, the groups said that the unfolding events in Nigeria underscore the critical need for timely and decisive actions by democratic forces.