I am not comfortable with the bill to regulate NGO ,CSO in Nigeria, ….. it will be abused by government when it becomes law says Shehu Sani

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By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

 The Lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District,  North West Nigeria in the Upper Chamber  Senator Shehu Sani says he is not comfortable with the bill currently in the House of Representatives, seeking to regulate the activities of Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria.

The Senator who made the assertion in a press statement in his post made available to the media on Tuesday in Kaduna stressed that it will be abused by those in government when it becomes law.

According to the lawmaker, it is dangerous to support the bill, adding that the increasing cases of human rights abuses and intolerance to divergent views across the country make it dangerous to endorse or support any bill aimed at ‘regulating the activities of the NGOs’.

“The increasing cases of human rights abuses and intolerance to divergent views across the country make it dangerous to endorse or support any bill aimed at ‘regulating the activities of the NGOs” he said.

“It will be recalled that Umar a member of the Lower Chamber Buba Jubrl sponsored the Bill which is currently generating controversy”.

“Tagged: “the Bill for An Act to Provide for the Establishment of the Non-Governmental Organizations Regulatory Commission for the Supervision, Coordination and Monitoring of Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, etc, in Nigeria and for Related Matters.” has also received outcry from Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, and the media.

“I will stand against this bill to protect and preserve our fundamental rights to freedom of expression and of assembly.

“The tendency of the Bill when it becomes law to be abused by people in the position of power is high.”

Also, an anti-graft group, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has condemned the action of the federal lawmakers.

CACOL said the existing regulations were sufficient to monitor the NGOs.

Speaking against the bill, the group claimed that its promoters were desperate to deprive Nigerians their fundamental human rights.

The group in a statement issued on Saturday, said, “To begin with, there are adequate regulatory mechanisms to monitor the activities of NGOs or civil society organizations. The House of Representatives is only troubled by idleness and the huge pay (lawmakers get) for doing nothing.”

 

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