Nigeria Human Rights chief lambasts Fayose, Mbaka over election ad, comments

Chidi Odinkalu, Chair, National Human Rights Commission

The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, has lambasted Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, over his comments on President Goodluck Jonathan on New Year eve.

Mr. Odinkalu said the cleric breached the law twice – first in November, when he praised the president and on New Year eve when he condemned the same administration.

He said Mr. Mbaka breached Section 95 sub section 3 (b) of the Electoral Act which states that worship centres, police stations, and public offices shall not be used in the promotion or attack on political parties or candidates, their programmes or ideology.

“What we do not want is Nigeria being wasted by politicians seeking power. We are Nigerians, not savages; we are going to do an election not war,” Mr. Odinkalu said.

Mr. Odinkalu also condemned the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, for placing a newspaper advert suggesting the death Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, if voted into office.
The head of the Human Rights commission said the ad was clearly in breach of the Electoral Act.

He said the Mr. Fayose failed his people with his advert.

Mr. Odinkalu said all Nigerians must cooperate to ensure the 2011 post-election violence does not reoccur.
“People from Kano and Katsina may not vote in governorship elections in Ekiti but people from Kano and Katsina vote in presidential elections,” he said.

He also noted that one of the past Head of States, Murtala Muhammed, mentioned in Mr. Fayose’s advert did not just die but was assassinated. He said Nigerians must be humane as such referencing could incite violence and is unfair to family members.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Bem Angwe, encouraged the media to abide by its code of ethics and professionalism.

He also called on social media users and bloggers to desist from using their platforms to fan disunity, tension or incite violence before, during and after the elections.

“There is going to be no form of immunity against any form of hate speech,” Mr. Angwe said.

The National Human Rights Commission said it will set up an Election Violence Incidence Centre, that will help prevent, mitigate and hold politicians and all Nigerians accountable against hate speeches that could incite violence before, during and after the 2015 general election.

The centre, led by Tony Ojukwu, will open 23 offices to track hate speech incidences in Nigeria. The center will also have an election advisory on hate speeches and violence, release a post-election report on such as well as make available to the public a list of persons indicted.


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  • True Nigerian

    Well done, Chidi. You and Akinwumi Adesina are the only faces of honour in our institutional decay under Jonathan.

    • Bio

      False Nigerian,first, no institution was ever raised in the past 10yrs,what’s ever institutional uplifting started last 8yrs ago,from Yaradua to date.

      • True Nigerian

        Well, Nigeria had a functional well-established police force, an army, intelligence service, a ministry of agriculture and a National Human Rights Commission …long before the 8 years you have just claimed in your loud trumpet of ignorance.

        As you can see, your anger and venom don’t change anything when it comes to facts. The facts are still staring into your face, and you need to deal with them before you deal with whether the person stating them is false or True Nigerian.

        • Bio

          All the above institutions mentioned by you were never functional. Tell me from when to when were they functional?. The functionality of an institution is squarely based on, when it’s definition of establishment is been carried out optimaly in adherence to the constitution of the country in which it exist for the beneficiary of all ,without any one been treated according to ethnic,tribe,majority, minority…etc. You can now stare at the facts and tell him which one functioned as said before last 8yrs.

  • Ette

    This is the man who invited two prominent preachers of the Bible to his office and rather than the men telling him to depart from evils they massaged his evil ego by saying that their presence to the state and his office will yield success in every area in the State. See the shame that hypocrisy has brought to us as a nation. How on earth would a normal human being pronounce death sentence on a respectable Nigerian who has contributed immensely to the developments of this nation. Fayose is indirectly heaping curse of death on himself. God is no respecter of any person.

  • tundemash

    Mr. Chidi … If only you had been quick to react in November when Fr. Mbaka campaigned for Dumbo, maybe you could have prevented the Fr. Mbaka Dec. 31 message and the Ayo Fayose death threat !
    Nice you reacted at all, but next time, stop sleeping on duty !!!

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  • Thepeople

    Yeye Human Rights commision who do not know their left, from their right. That is why they lack credibility. Did fr Mbaka convene the meeting solely to campaign for election?. It is part of his job to be critical of the government of the day if need be. Even the Bishop of Canterbury does the same in Uk. Nigeria would a better place if other priests would have the balls like fr Mbaka.

  • Chuckwuebuka Alavavite

    The National Human Rights Commission should also take a look at GMB’s delicious rhetoric then. Some APC members have done nothing but call for violence if they lose, acting as if they already had won. Such reckless behaviour will only make both camps more angry, and push them towards violence if the final result of the election doesn’t go their way. Wasn’t 2011 enough of a lesson? Seemingly not. The APC goes on adding straws on the camel’s back. A group, the Northern Coalition for Democracy and Justice, has called for the prosecution at the International Criminal Court, of GMB for “orchestrating” the 2011 post-election violence in some parts of Northern of Nigeria. Northerners turning against GMB! This goes to show the harm his war mongering talk has done to our civil society.

  • Dickson dickson

    It is of utmost importance as Mr Odinkalu says, that people remember that “we are going to do an election not a war”. I feel like even though all candidates pledged themselves to respect a peaceful running of the elections, some have reverted to hate speeches in order to gain more followers, especially Mr Buhari. With his constant attacks and slander attempts against GEJ, he is only succeeding at one thing, bringing Nigeria closer to a civil war.

  • Rose Danjula

    I too, do not want to see Nigeria wasted by a politican seeking only power. I’m speaking of Mr Buhari of course! He is the crystallized fruit of the old Nigerian dictatorships. Being no stranger to corruption himself, with his theft of $2.8 billion as Head of Petroleum and his association with corrupted heads like Ahmed Tinubu, his absence of a political program for Nigeria has been an excuse to try to find a saving grace in consistently bashing GEJ, but to no avail.

  • Akinfenwa Mikel

    Angwe misses the point entirely by asking bloggers and social media to avoid fanning the flames — he needs to cut the violent rhetoric off at the head. It starts with Buhari and the APC governors, who have preached non-violence while behind the scenes imploring their followers with the language of war — fight, scrap, kill, injure. But then again, that is the only language Buhari knows. Major general of a corrupt army, military dictator, oppressive regime. GEJ has his problems but he is what Nigeria needs if it wants to continue its democracy. Buhari is anti-democratic to the core!