Falana deplores clampdown on protesters
Onyebiuchi Ezeigbo and Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Senator representing Lagos East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Tuesday advised President Goodluck Jonathan to resign for failing to ensure security of lives and property, in the country, which she said, was the main reason the government exists.
According to the senator, the president had failed in securing an unconditional release of the girls abducted in Chibok Borno State, on April 14.
But the senator’s husband and former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, who was equally speaking on the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls called for the involvement of more women in the country’s affairs.
Governor Tinubu, who spoke when members of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) paid him a visit ahead of their triennial delegates conference holding in Lagos from May 16 to 18, said several women through their courage and commitment had being able to bring about development.
“We need courageous women in our body politics I hold a lot of gratitude to womanhood. Women are a unique species. We must not leave any girl behind, hence the now global campaign to bring our abducted girls back and avail them good education. I salute Mitchell Obama’s solidarity with the Nigerian women, mothers, girls and people in this ongoing campaign.”
Tinubu praised NAWOJ and urged them to continue to be professional in their work as journalists.
He said NAWOJ had become an important organisation protecting and promoting the interest of female journalists.
“You are key players. See what we did in Lagos to empower and enhance the role of women politically and of course in the judiciary.
NAWOJ used the occasion to announce that at a dinner slated for Thursday, Tinubu would be awarded, the ‘Man of Substance Award’.
Meanwhile, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, has expressed worry over the attempt by law enforcement agencies to stop civil society activists from protesting against the non-release of the girls of Government Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram insurgents.
Falana, who addressed the National Conference Committee on Civil Society, Labour and Sports yesterday in Abuja, urged the labour movement not to allow itself to be intimidated by government or its agencies in seeking the good of the workers of the country.
He said the more dehumanising aspect of the whole abduction saga was the doubt being cast on the incident by some influential personalities in the country.
“The most embarrassing thing about it all is for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) woman leader to come out and express doubt if the School girls were actually missing. Imagine parents hearing important people in government expressing doubts if their children were missing, “ Falana said.
Falana commended the civil society groups in the country who through protests and sensitisation had successfully attracted the attention of the international community to intervene.
He said it was never true that civil society organisations had gone to sleep since the advent of civilian administration, adding that genuine civil society bodies are still at work fighting the menace of injustice and human right abuses by government.
On the issue of minimum wage law, he urged Nigerian workers not relent in fighting for their welfare and not leaving their faith in the hands of ill-minded government officials.
The human right activitest took time to share with the committee tales of financial abuses committed by high-ranking government officials who at the end, come to tell workers that government was cash-strapped and cannot pay salaries.
“Let the provisions of chapter two of the constitution be made justiceable and any worker who is paid the minimum should be able to go to court and get justice,” he said.
He appealed to the committee on civil society and labour to seek synergy with others committees to ensure that the conference is able to push through things that will serve the interest and wellbeing of the people.