The national leadership of National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) has kicked against the NGO bill sponsored by Deputy Majority leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Umar Buba Jibril.
NAPS, according to a statement signed by its national Public Relations Officer, Comrade Ijaduoye Adetoye, stated that the bill, which has gone and passed through the first reading in the National Assembly as a means for the government render NGO’s ineffective and succumbs its existence as a pro-government tool.
The NGO bill comprises of 58 section of un-concealed ill-will and jumbled thinking in its proposal.
Part of the statement read that “The bill proposes that a regulatory commission is created to regulate the activities of the NGO, register, and operate with substantial immunities under the law. The commission, which is to be head by an appointee of the President must see that all NGO register with the commission only and renew registration in 24 months or legal personality is lost. This is seen as a means to dictate the operation of NGO’s as the commission can refuse renewal for no reason, revoke license or be dictated by the Minister of Inferior.
“The NGO Bill seeks to militarised the civic space and infringe on the fundamental protected rights of citizens to expression, association and assembly, thereby shielding away the citizens right to protest and oppose government decisions. The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government needs to understand the beauty of democracy lies in freedom to express and associate and thus must respect civil rights .
“The NGO bill is set to ruin student movement, a pressure group that has landmark in the history of the country, such as the Ali Must Go struggle led by Late Pa Segun Okeowo. Without the passage of the bill, many tertiary institutions lack student leadership or a substantial one in which the new executive of NAPS and the mother body, NANS, are trying to set student union activities back on right track, appeal against suspended student union leaders who are penalised for standing for the right of the students, but an actualisation of the NGO bill will empower the management of institutions to make callous policy and infringe on students rights.
“Above all, at a time of poor public finances, the bill seeks to create yet another pointless parastatal and yet add to government overhead cost.
“It is unarguably clear that the bill is aim to militarise and make governmental the Non Governmental Organisations and the leadership of this noble association rise to kick against and say no to the bill,” it read.