Nigeria: Those Seeking to Scrap NGOs Are Democracy's Enemies - Group

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By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, a justice reform and human rights organisation, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to shun the proposed Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, regulation bill in the works at the National Assembly, describing it as "draconian, wicked and dangerous."

The Executive Director of the organisation, Sylvester Uhaa, who spoke yesterday in Makurdi, said the bill was aimed at undermining the freedom of expression, civil liberties, fundamental freedoms and other democratic values that NGOs and civil society in Nigeria uphold and defend.

Uhaa noted: "The sponsor of the bill and those who support it remind us of the biblical injunction which says, 'woe also to you scholars of the law. You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.'

"Those who are bent on eliminating NGOs in Nigeria are enemies of the democratic values NGOs represent, and they should be prepared to pay the price in 2019.

"No civil society can survive under the stringent and suffocating provisions of the bill so the bill is meant to eliminate civil society in Nigeria so that elected officials can have their way without anyone holding them to account" .

"Even in jurisdictions like the US where millions of Dollars are given to NGO's to support their work, such excruciating laws do not exist. The Nigerian government, as far as I know, does not give money to NGOs".



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