BILL ON NGO REGULATION; EXTRANEOUS, REPRESSIVE AND UNWELCOMED! – CACOL
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, hereby unequivocally express its vehement rejection of the 2010 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Regulation and Co-ordination Bill to forestall so-called illegal activities of some groups being proposed by the House of Representatives, HOR.
We hold that in terms of regulation, the NGOs/CSOs are already sufficiently regulated, if not over-regulated as things stand presently in Nigeria.
We object to the totalitarian attempt by those who have a lot of corrupt and criminal baggage to shroud in conscious secrecy in order to continue the perpetration of their rule of opaque mode of governance, ineptitude, greed and crass diabolic thirst to keep the vast majority of Nigerians in permanent socio-political and economic slavery.
We are convinced that the promoters in the HOR and within the government generally are desperate not to only perpetrate the subsisting status quos but perpetuate it even at the expense of stripping the masses of their commonwealth and basic rights, at times including the fundamental right to life.
Speaking specifically on the unintelligent justifications by the HOR for necessity of the bill to be passed to law, we say, all the points put forward hold no water!
To begin with, like we said, there are already adequate regulatory mechanisms to particularly monitor the activities of NGOs or Civil Society Organizations generally. The truth is that NGOs and CSOs are over-regulated already by: Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Special Control Unit on Money Laundering, SCUML, Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria etc. HoR is only troubled by idleness, the huge pay for doing nothing, inanities and fundamentally ways to cover-up their tracks of corruption!
We aver that the position of the HoR that some NGOs are used to fund the activities of terrorists and insurgents is an extremist one taken for the purpose of ‘calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it’. It is absolute generalization and the proponents should be asked why those supposed NGOs in the North east are not isolated for interrogations, prosecution or judicial conviction as the case may be.
Also, the insinuation that “they (NGOs) are supposed to be partners in progress with the government” portends a tendency that is apparently insisting that partnering with government is a fundamental conditionality to its recognition. This is absolutely shallow as the position smacks of intolerance for dissenting opinions and therefore has no place in a democracy.
Those propounding the idea at HoR must be reminded that most of the vibrant organizations that were at the forefronts of dissension and struggles against the military rule which eventually culminated into today’s democracy were not even registered!
The gains of those struggles they have already appropriated to themselves; yet they want to muzzle and annihilate the voices of the tradition that battled to achieve the civil rule. And this is apparently because these social formations are still battling for the deepening of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy toward full democratization which makes the promoters of the bill uncomfortable as a result of their palpable innate abhorrence for openness in governance.
The proponents are elected officials who have been recalcitrant in making their assets and remunerations public with all effrontery even though relevant laws require them to, has no moral authority question the integrity of CSOs so generally considering that they are non-governmental abnitio. Clearly, it’s because of the in-justifiable humongous funds the lawmakers rip Nigeria of in the name of remuneration for ‘public service’, while the majority wallow in penury that is lurking behind somewhere in this ill-fated bill.
The HoR needs to be educated to understand that social formations like CSOs/NGOs are formed by people out of circumstances necessitated by their socio-political, economic and cultural existence. No legislation can mute the voices of dissension as long it’s legitimate and existential. Wherever there is oppression, repression, exploitation and subjugation; there will always be dissension and resistance.
We advise the present National Assembly and the shenanigans therein, that has so far been notorious for inanities and futile attempts at covering up their corrupt rumps to focus on fundamental issues of governance. The diabolic and superfluous bill stands rejected like the inordinate and clever moves to kill the social media. CACOL calls on Nigerians to join in vehemently resisting the retrogressive bill by every legitimate means possible, collectively we must stop the marauders in power!
Media Coordinator, CACOL
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