A FRONTLINE prodemocracy
and civil society
organization, Human Rights
Writers Association of Nigeria,
HURIWA, yesterday in Abuja
warned that the progressive
weakening of the legislative
institutions of the 36 states of
the federation by the governors
poses one of the greatest threats
to democracy in Nigeria.
In a press statement issued
by the National Coordinator of
HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel
Onwubiko, the rights group
carpeted the governors of
Kaduna, Kogi, Imo and Abia
states specifically for actively
putting mechanisms in place in
their states to destroy legislative
independence and to seek to set
up state dictatorships.
The group also accused the
state governors of sponsoring
groups that antagonize
independent platforms and Non-
Governmental organisations
that are operational in those
States with the aim of totally
muzzling and stiffling
constructive oppositions to the
State governors.
“States such as Kogi, Ebonyi,
Abia,Kaduna are no-go-areas
for independent minded non-
Governmental groups and
individuals for fear for their
lives as there seems to be some
fanatics armed to kill off any
visible opponents of their ‘altar
ego’ and political demi-gods

who are currently the state
governors”.
HURIWA specifically
criticized the Kaduna State
governor Malam Nasir El Rufai
for actively instigating the
unfair suspension of the key
representatives of the largely
Christian Southern Kaduna
constituencies of Zangon Kataf(
Mr. Bitiyong Nkom of PDP) and
Kaura (Mr.Danladi Kwasu of
the PDP) from the State House
of Assembly.
Conversely, the Rights
group carpeted governor
Rochas Okorocha for illegally
spending the Paris fund
refund that accrued to Imo
State without recourse to the
state legislature and the good
people of Imo State. HURIWA
pointed to the reported boycott
of the presentation of the
2018 budget by tge governor
earlier scheduled for today
Wednesday November 2017
and the protest by some
state legislators over lack of
transparency and accountability
in the management of Imo state
resources as the clearest sign
that democracy in Imo state is
under attack from the occupant
of the office of governor.
HURIWA blamed the growing
insecurity in Kogi State and the
widening poverty occasioning
suicides by state employees to
the dictatorial tendencies of the
governor Mr. Bello who has
relied on Federal Military and
Police might to stifle dissenting

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voices in the State Assembly and
the political class and especially
from the opposition parties.
The Rights group condemned
the recent gruesome murder
of the labour leader in Kogi by
unknown armed hoodlums and
blamed the security forces for
compromise.
“We have watched with
considerable trepidation
and consternation the
unconstitutional and
undemocratic tendencies of
state governors who have
relied on the toxic provisions of
section 308(1) of the constitution
on executive Immunity to
transform themselves into
political demigods and have
constructed massive capacity
for destroying potential
independent political voices in
their state houses of Assembly
and have emasculated the
administration of local council
areas in a bid to set up state
–wide dictatorship of the
governors.”
HURIWA lamented that the
absence of funding autonomy for
the state legislators has created
opportunity for tyrannical
governors to convert the state
legislatures as appendages
thereby impeding the powers of
the state as enshrined in section
4(7) of the Constitution which
states that: “(7) The House of
Assembly of a State shall have
power to make laws for the peace,
order and good government
of the State or any part thereof

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with respect to the following
matters, that is to say- (a) any
matter not included in the
Exclusive Legislative List set
out in Part I of the Second
Schedule to this Constitution;
(b) any matter included in the
Concurrent Legislative List set
out in the first column of Part
II of the Second Schedule to
this Constitution to the extent
prescribed in the second
column opposite thereto;
and (c) any other matter
with respect to which it is
empowered to make laws in
accordance with the provisions
of this Constitution.”
HURIWA mentioned the
recent suspension of the
members of the state house
of Assembly representing
Zangon-Kataf and Kaura and
the sponsored political attacks
by attack dogs of Governor
El Ruffai against Senator
Shehu Sani of Kaduna Central
Senatorial Zone as clearest
point that democracy has
collapsed in Kaduna State.
HURIWA criticised governor
ElRuffai for arrogantly
dismissing civil servants
without due process.
The Rights group has asked
the National Assembly to take
over the legislative duties of
the Kaduna State House of
Assembly until such a time
that constitutional norms
of equity and equality of all
ethno- religions groups are
restored in Kaduna State.

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