President Muhammadu Buhari has been tasked to personally see to the quickest resolution of the near -intractable reasons for the ongoing industrial actions in the tertiary educational institutions and the public health sector.
Making the charge in a press statement is the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which emphasized that as a person who by age can be considered a consummate statesman ought to show more than passive interest in bringing about functional and an effective educational and health sectors.
HURIWA affirmed that the current president has since December 31st 1982 as a military officer who took over power from the then ruling National Party of Nigeria under President Shehu Shagari, had adduced reasons for that intervention to be the collapse of the critical educational and health sectors.
“It is therefore a notorious fact that the current President under the garb of a civilian and democratically elected President ought to be in a vantage position to thoroughly confront the developmental and industrial and trade union related issues like an experienced and well fortified statesman”.
The rights group, however, has lamented that even after the current president had won political office and sworn in for over two years, his administration has not prioritized the educational and health sectors which formed the basis for his involvement in the taking over of the democratic space even as the then military general which in any event remained unconstitutional.
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 that of his Offsprings (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 there 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”.
“Mr. president should personally oversee the resolution of these critical national issues because Nigerians are already insinuating that it is because president Buhari enjoys publicly sponsored health tourism in foreign jurisdiction and children of all the political elite school abroad, therefore the wellbeing, welfare and standards of public health and educational sectors may collapse and are not the urgent interest of national political leadership”.
In a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said the central 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.
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 the gradual collapse and deterioration of public educational and heathcare 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 rightsvto human dignity.
HURIWA cited section 17 (1) (b) which states thus: “(b) the sanctity of the human person shall be recognized 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.”