Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) has on Friday supported the Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Dioceses of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan over his claims that it is not constitutional to swear in the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Naija News recalls that Onaiyekan had stated that no politician whose electoral victory is being challenged by opposition parties and co-contestant should be sworn in till the Elections Petitions Tribunal has cleared such politician and disposed of cases against him or her.
“There are cases in court that have not been disposed of. That is why we are in an anomalous situation. We have a president-elect whose election is being challenged and the court is handling it. I’m still waiting for the court to tell me who won the election. It doesn’t make much sense to be swearing in people when they are still in court,” the cleric had said.
Reacting to Onaiyekan statement while addressing newsmen in Abuja, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko argued that the cleric was not wrong, insisting that he made the statement for the growth and development of the nation.
The group went on to berate the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, for saying Onaiyekan’s position is “unstatesmanlike”.
HURIWA said, “80-year-old Archbishop emeritus of the Catholic Dioceses of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has spoken truth to power and this is very courageous of the octogenarian in a country filled with sycophants and hypocrites who form that they are with the masses but yet dine with the oppressors.
“We throw our support for these statements by the Cardinal, advocating the promulgation of the essential recommendations made by the Justice Muhammadu Uwais electoral commission reforms such as ending litigation before swearing in, and the appointment of INEC chair and commissioners by an independent body outside of the President.”
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