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The National Assembly is not dependable and has become a “national embarrassment”, Inibehe Effiong, human rights lawyer, has claimed.
Effiong said this on Tuesday at the 13th Wole Soyinka Centre media lecture series titled ‘Remaking Nigeria: Towards a Secure and Viable Union’, adding that civil society organisations, journalists, student unions and public interest lawyers must do what was needed to ensure the rule of law in the country.
He commended media organisations for rejecting the proposed amendments to the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Acts, just as said Nigerians must continue to challenge “executive impunity” when the situation arises.
Maintained Effiong: “The battle to salvage our country, the battle to rescue or revive the soul of our nation lies squarely with the Nigerian people, because the National Assembly has become a national embarrassment. We cannot depend on the parliament.
“We shouldn’t pretend about these things. We shouldn’t be diplomatic about it, because those who are oppressing us are not diplomatic. So, we must speak to them in the language they understand.
“Nigerians must take up the fight either through public interest litigation. We must continue to challenge executive impunity. And I must also say kudos to the Nigerian press for the solidarity we saw yesterday. That is the language they understand”.
Effiong added that citizens needed to be united against “excessive lawlessness exercised by the government”.
Said he: “Part of the problem we have as a country is the idea that protest is not helpful. You may have your own interpretation about the #EndSARS protest, the ups and the downs, but one lesson of history from the protest is that a truly people united can never be defeated.
“The day the Nigerian people say they have had it enough, there is no military deployment, ‘crocodile smile’ or ‘dancing python’ that will be able to suppress the determination of our people”.