Thursday, 17 April 2014

Open Letter: Public Petition Against Nigerian Minister

Senator Musiliu Obanikoro


The Chairman,
Senate Committee on Defence,
National Assembly Complex,

Dear Sir,

Public Petition Against Threat To Public Peace Conduct Of Minister Of State For Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro

With due respect sir, the Centre for Rights and Grassroots Initiative (CRGI) which is a civil society organization at the forefront for the enthronement of democratic values and constitutionalism in our national life wish to bring to your notice for urgent attention, a matter of national importance.

Lately, the attention of the Centre for Rights and Grassroots Initiative (CRGI) has been drawn to media reports about the threat to public peace and unbecoming conduct of the minister of state for defense, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro which has brought his office to public disrepute and is a threat to law, order, national security and our democracy.

At a recent stakeholders meeting called  by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Ondo State to brainstorm on the way forward with regards to the inconclusive Ileja Ese Odo federal constituency bye, the  Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Akin Orebiyi alledged that “ We are aware of how Obanikoro even soiled his hands obstructing the electoral process…” It has also been alledged that the minister of state for defense came and disrupted the elections by bringing in thugs clothed as soldiers and thus impugning the character and integrity of our revered military institution.

We are also aware that only recently, the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Fashola at his administrations 2500 days account of stewardship to the people of the state alledged that the development of a housing project at Ilubirin, Lagos Island in Lagos state was stopped when this same minister stormed the site and used soldiers to disrupt work.

Based on these allegations against the minister, we want to pose some pertinent questions that we would like you to seek answers to;
·What is the duty and responsibility of the Minister of state for defence in the face of our security challenges?
·What is the duty of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro on Election Day seeing that he is not an electoral officer, nor a party agent, observer or security official?
·Are we not right to assume that Senator Obanikoro is responsible for the inconclusiveness of Ilaje Ese Odo federal constituency bye elections going by Ondo INEC REC allegations and has thus committed electoral offence for which he should be arraigned and prosecuted?
·Is the minister of state for defence so idle and unserious in the face of pressing national security challenges that all he can do for now is to terrorize people on supposed federal government lands and properties in Lagos State?
·By misusing soldiers to commit acts of illegalities, is Senator Musiliu Obanikoro not compromising the lives of men of the Nigerian army and as well the integrity of the institution?
·Are the atrocities of the minister of state for defense not an act of irresponsibility and usurpation of the function of the minister of lands with regards to the Ilubirin project?
·On whose orders, is the minister carrying out this infractions of the laws of the land?

These and many other questions are what has bothered our minds like other concerned Nigerians, that with the way Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro has been using the army to commit illegality, if not investigated and called to order now, is already undermining the peace and tranquility of the country and portends grave danger for our democracy.

We are hereby calling for an investigation of the activities of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria and appropriate sanctions meted out if found guilty of abuse of office and endangering national peace and security.


Yours Sincerely,
Nelson Ekujumi,
Executive Director

Cc: 1. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,
         President and Commander in Chief,
         Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
         Presidential villa, Abuja.
      2. The National Security Adviser,
          Presidential villa, Abuja.
      3. The Chairman,
        Senate Committee on Public Petition,
         National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
      4. The Chairman,
         House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition,
         National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
  5.  The Chairman,
        Senate Committee on INEC
        National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
  6. The Chairman,
      House of Representatives Committee on Defense
      National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
   7. The Chairman,
        House of Representatives Committee on INEC
        National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
    8.  The Minister for Defence,
        Federal Ministry of Defence,
        Defence Headquarters,

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