Thursday, 4 November 2010

News Release: Payment Of Remunerations To Past Military Leaders Is Anti-Democratic

Logo Of Nigeria's National Assembly
The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) is appalled at the recent approval by the National Assembly for remuneration to Ex- Presidents and Military Heads of State. The IHRHL condemns this act as counter-productive to the nurturing of true democracy in Nigeria.

The IHRHL is of the opinion that this act by the National Assembly is anti-democratic and exhibits total disinterest towards the entrenchment of democratic tenets. Furthermore the IHRHL notes that paying remuneration to past military heads of states is undoubtedly an approval by the National Assembly of those who have set the nation backwards through military dictatorship and autocracy.

It is a proven fact that Nigeria in her long and tenuous 5O-year existence has been battered, bruised and violated by decades of military leadership characterised by extra-judicial killings, gross human right violations, treasury looting, destabilisation of the economy and stultifying of democracy to mention a few. Most of these leaders have fed fat from the nation’s treasury and are still largely unaccountable for their acts and misdeeds while in office, yet the National Assembly- an institution that symbolises all that democracy stands for- is paying these military heads of states remunerations from the Nation’s treasury while the millions of Nigerians they have helped to impoverish still lack basic amenities that are considered as fundamental Rights by various International Human Rights treaties.

Furthermore, these Military Heads of States are already on huge pensions as retired Army Officers yet, the National Assembly has deemed it fit to reward them with more handsome remunerations. The IHRHL also faults the reasoning of the Senate President that the Act would discourage other ways of getting into office. Rather, when people are rewarded for hijacking democracy, it would invariably encourage them to do more. The IHRHL warns that acts like these are in direct conflict to the spirit and nature of democracy.

Wodu Nkasi Fred
Programme Officer, ESC Rights Unit
Institute Of Human Rights And Humanitarian Law(IHRHL)