Mixed reactions as APC as Tinubu’s campaign director resigns few weeks to election
As a result of President Muhammadu Buhari’s “failure to reverse the unlawful, unjust, and unreasonable increase in electricity tariff, and to probe the spending of public funds as “investments and bailouts” to DisCos and GenCos since 2005,” the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against him.
In December 2022, power rates were raised throughout all DisCos in the nation after NERC reportedly gave its approval.
According to reports, a number of prepaid consumers have confirmed the rise. Both the NERC and the Minister of Power have declined to acknowledge or reject the increase.
SERAP is requesting the court to “compel President Buhari to urge the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to reverse the unlawful, unjust, and arbitrary increase in electricity pricing” in the lawsuit FHC/L/CS/99/2023, which was filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Additionally, SERAP is requesting that the court “compel President Buhari to direct Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies, to promptly investigate the spending of public funds as investments and bailouts to DisCos and GenCos since 2005.”
“Regular and unhindered access to power is a fundamental human right,” SERAP claims in the lawsuit. Although being in the dark is a price that millions of Nigerians continue to pay due to corruption in the electrical sector, electricity remains a necessary public service.
The increase in electricity rates, according to SERAP, “failed to follow due process of law.” It is completely at odds and incompatible with the terms of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, the 1999 Nigerian Constitution [as amended], and the nation’s duties under international human rights law.
The rise is unreasonable, according to SERAP, especially given the unstable, ineffective, and subpar quality of the electricity in the nation. Despite governments spending trillions of naira on investments and bailouts for energy providers, millions of Nigerians still live in darkness.
In order to lessen vulnerability to corruption and poor management, the Federal Government has a legal obligation to ensure openness and accountability in how investments and bailouts to electrical providers are spent, according to SERAP.
The government “has legal responsibility to effectively and gradually offer inexpensive, regular, and uninterrupted access to energy as a matter of human rights,” according to SERAP’s other claim.
The lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of SERAP by attorneys Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms. Adelanke Aremo, stated in part that a rise in electricity prices would make the country’s acute poverty worse and make it harder for millions of Nigerians to meet their most basic necessities.
“Citizens experience the effects of corruption in the electrical sector on a daily basis. They are forced by corruption to pay exorbitant electricity bills and additional expenses. Supply of electricity is still insufficient and inconsistent.
“It would be in the public interest to look into the claims of corruption in the spending on investments and bailouts for power businesses, and to retrieve any stolen public monies.
“It is the sacred obligation of the government to uphold transparency and accountability in the use of the nation’s resources, including the use of tax dollars for investments and bailouts of electrical firms.
“The most recent hike in electricity rates follows a research from NBC that reveals that over 50% of Nigeria’s population is multidimensionally impoverished and prefers to use dung, wood, or charcoal for cooking as opposed to cleaner energy sources.
High levels of deprivation are also visible nationally in housing, healthcare access, food insecurity, and sanitation. The population’s quality of life would increase if they had access to reliable electrical supplies.
Najatu Mohammed, the director of the (APC) Presidential Campaign Council’s Civil Society directorate, has left the ruling party and resigned from his position as director as a result.
This was written in a letter dated January 19, 2023 and sent to Abdullahi Adamu, the national chairman of the APC.
Mrs. Mohammed claims that she is no longer able to take part in party politics as a result of recent changes to the nation’s political and democratic landscape.
Mohammed, a national commissioner at the Police Service Commission (PSC), claimed that given the difficulties Nigeria faces, she must continue to lead the fight for a better nation while maintaining her moral integrity.
“Resignation Letter I’m writing to you to inform you of my resignation from the All Progressive Congress (APC), in accordance with article 9.5 I of the APC Constitution, the letter states.
This letter also serves to tell you of my resignation as director of the Civil Society directorate of the Presidential Campaign Council of the APC, according to a portion of the latter. It has been a wonderful honor to collaborate with you in helping to strengthen our beloved country.
“However, recent changes to the political and democratic landscape of the nation make it hard for me to continue to take part in party politics. The difficulties that Nigeria is currently facing force me to continue leading the fight for a better nation while maintaining my moral integrity and complete loyalty to my beloved Nigeria.
Please accept my deepest gratitude for your leadership as the APC Chairman. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is still alive.
The activist claimed in a separate statement that she stopped participating in party politics because there is no ideological division between the parties.
I have made the decision to give up on party politics after giving it great thought. I’ve realized that my ideals and opinions no longer coincide with party politics. Our political parties are merely robes that politicians wear to serve their own needs and interests at any given time. They have no ideological differences. As a result, politicians frequently switch between robes when it is convenient for them.
She made it clear that she preferred backing individual individuals to backing political groups.
“At this time, it is the person wearing the robe that matters, not the garment itself. I’ve made a commitment to helping people who are genuinely interested in finding solutions to the underlying problems that our country faces. One must be prepared to make audacious and determined decisions in order to honor such obligations.
One of these steps would be to stop participating in party politics at this time. We all understand that Nigeria has a number of difficulties, such as insecurity, poverty, inequality, and a lack of access to essential services. Such difficulties call for the concerted efforts of capable and patriotic leadership at all levels of government.
“After the dreadful leadership failures the nation has endured over the years, Nigerians must understand the seriousness of their predicament. Nigerians need to be conscious of the effects of their choices and decisions. Therefore, it will be damaging to the growth of our nation and our democracy to limit one’s option to a single political party.