Posted by News Express | 6 September 2017 | 1,257 times
President Muhammadu Buhari has been tasked to personally see to the quick resolution of the ongoing industrial actions in the tertiary educational institutions and the public health sector.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) in a statement on Tuesday signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said the Federal Government must wake up and fix the collapsing public health and educational institutions since the primary duty constitutionally of government at all levels is to provide security and welfare to the citizenry.
The association emphasised that as a person who by age can be considered a consummate statesman, Buhari ought to show more than passive interest in bringing about functional and effective educational and health sectors.
HURIWA affirmed that President Buhari has since December 31st 1982, as a military officer who took over power from the then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) under President Shehu Shagari, adduced reasons for that intervention to be the collapse of the critical educational and health sectors.
“It is therefore a notorious fact that under the garb of a civilian and democratically elected president he ought to be in a vantage position to thoroughly confront the developmental, industrial and trade union related issues like an experienced and well fortified statesman.”
The rights group also lamented that even after President Buhari has been in office for over two years, his administration has not prioritised the educational and health sectors which formed the basis for his involvement in the military take-over of government from a democratically elected president in 1983.
The rights group said most persons have raised rational and empirically justifiable concern that “Mr. President has continued to patronise foreign health and educational services and institutions for his own benefit and of his Offspring (just like 99% of all political office holders) thereby occasioning critical question around the issues of the genuineness of his government’s public healthcare and educational policies and programmes targeted at benefiting the end-users who are mostly the poorest of the poor in the society.”
Besides, the rights group reminded president Buhari that the fact that most of his children just like children of top political office holders have undergone and are undergoing academic pursuits in foreign jurisdictions, must have compelled a lot of critical thinkers to believe that the current administration may not be in a hurry to once and for all pursue vigorously the existential and man-made crises tearing apart the fabrics of the educational and health sectors of Nigeria.
“We humbly urge president Buhari to be a statesman in the real sense of it by directing the quickest resolution of all outstanding issues afflicting the collapsing national health and educational sectors. Resident and public healthcare providers and members of the Academic Staff Union deserve to operate in conducive environment so that they can provide qualitative services to Nigerians at all times. “We do also expect that medical and academic practitioners to pursue other mechanisms of resolving trade and professional unions’ related crises than often resorting to total clampdown on academic and healthcare services which adversely endangers the health and academic wellbeing of ordinary citizens.”
HURIWA affirmed that in both chapters two and four of the constitution, the president is under a binding legal obligation to ensure functional and effective public healthcare and educational sectors because the collapse of these vital sectors renders the government illegitimate.
HURIWA reminded President Buhari that the denial of effective and functional health sector which subjects the lives of over 160 million absolutely poor Nigerians to avoidable risks, amounts to a clear breach of section 34(1) (a) which states thus: “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly, no person Shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”.
The rights group said the gradual collapse and deterioration of public educational and healthcare services amounted to denial of human dignity and torture since millions of Nigerians are already dying in instalment from treatable ailments and due to poverty they can’t all afford foreign health tourism like the political actors who misapply public fund to treat themselves and their Children and the lack of educational rights renders the citizenry as members of the human race denied of their inherent rights to human dignity.
HURIWA cited section 17 (1) (b) which states thus: “(b) the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced.”
Also, the Rights group cited section 18(1) which averred thus: “18. (1) Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.”
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