In a Passionate Video Message, Right Activist, Chidi Odinkalu implores Nigeria to Kill NGO Regulation Bill at Public Hearing
- Says it is the most dangerous piece of legislation ever considered
by Nigerian legislators in 20 yearsBy BnF News Online
The proposed bill has passed its first and second reading and will anytime in this September be subjected to public hearing.
The bill was sponsored byIt is sponsored by the Deputy Majority Leader in the House of Reps, Hon. Buba Jibril, APC from Kogi state.
Odinkalu said Nigerians must rise and by all means prevent the bill from being passed even as he warned that the birth of such bill will not only violate human right, but also mozzle the voice of the civil society and strangulate communal efforts at the grassroots.
The most sort after Right Activist made featured in a video 5 minutes and 35 seconds incisive and inspirational video through which he appeal to Nigerians to seize the opportunity of the public hearing to kill the bill which he said has the potential of killing the voice of the non-political opposition.The full text of his graphic backed video is transcribed below courtesy BnF News Online:-
"Nigeria's National Assembly is currently considering the NGO Regulation bil for passage. It has gone through the first and second reading; it is now in committee state. And later this month the committee on NGOs in the House of Representatives in Abuja will be holding a public hearing on the bill.
"And it is important that you (Nigerians) understand what this bill means; its implication for the country and you as a citizen, and for the country in general.
"Let me be clear. This is most dangerous piece of legislation that has come for consideration in the National Assembly since the return to civil rule in 1999. It covers the activities of every entity and every body that is not government. And it affects churches, mosques, schools, hospitals - everything as well as humanitarian operation wher
ever they are taking place in the country, whether in the northeast or in the southeast or South-South; whether in the middle belt or in the Northwest or Southwest.
"It is totalitarian in consequences.
"So what does the Bill require? Basically all resources; all funds that liable to be collected or made available to service communities, individuals in need in this country will be subject to Abuja. Before you can raise funds in your church, in your mosque, you have to get Abuja's permission. After you raise the money you have to take it to Abuja for Abuja to tell you what to do with them.
"And when you have done that only Abuja can help you to do your audit. No body can operate anything without clearance from Abuja. It is worse that a totalitarian piece of legislation. For the old mamas and old papas doing Isusu in the village - that is revolving credit - before you do your collection you have to come to Abuja; after you do you collection, before you share or rotate the collection amongst the beneficiaries you have to come to Abuja for clearance.
"The Ahmadiyya movement will have to come to Abuja for clearance; Nasfat will have to come Abuja for clearance before anything. The mosque that do collections every Fridays to support people in their congregations in their communities will all have to account for such monies to civil servants who will either tell them what to do with it or trouser it in their pockets. Churches will be out of business, the mosque will endangered.
"This is what our legislators will want us to subscribe to. And as a citizen, this means there will be no voice for criticism for government. Nobody can tell government anything. What this body proposes to do, and what government is proposing wImam, Alfas and everybody, you will have to apply to Abuja to register you to operate.
ith this bill is that after it has been passed, every organising in Nigeria under any form; be it students, old students association, Reverend sisters in covenant, Reverend fathers and whatever they may be;
"If they agree to register or refuse to refuse to register you, you cannot do anything. But if they register you, however, you will have to only hold that licence for two years. After those two years, you will have to apply for them to renew your licence. If they agree at that to renew your licence at that
time, you can continue to operate for another two years. If they don
't agree, you lost that licence. If you continue to operate without that licence, you are liable to imprisonment for 18 months. And if they are sympathetic and agree not to send you to jail, you may let go with a fine of N500, 000.
'The Civil servants will collect this money in the name of the politicians to fire up political power that will not be accountable to any one of us.
"And this is why I am saying that this is one of the most dangerous piece of legislation that we considered in our country today in the past 20 years.
"But you can do something about it. This does not have to be law. This will not be law if you agree that as the citizen you are the boss. Contact your legislator at the state level; contact your legislator in Abuja; contact your senator in your senatorial zone and tell them this will not happen.
"This is your country too! unless you fight for it, this people are going to destroy it - not just for you - but for your children and for your grand children. And that they don't have the mandate to do".