Kano CSOs Sack Waiya-Led Interim Committee Over Gross Misconduct
The Kano Civil Society Forum (KCSF) has announced the dissolution of its interim leadership committee headed by Ibrahim Waiya.
KCSF is an umbrella body of over 100 civil society and pro-democracy organizations formed in 2012 to promote democracy, human rights, good governance, peace and security in Kano State and Nigeria at large.
A statement released today by the ‘Concerned Forum Members’ noted that the Waiya-led committee was given only six months to conduct an election that will bring on board a new set of democratically-elected leaders to head their KCSF, but instead spent seven years without achieving that mandate.
The members also accused Mr. Waiya for gross misconducts and disregard to the tenets and principles behind the establishment of their Forum.
The statement reads in full below:
1. We the Concerned Members of the Forum hereby express our utmost concern regarding the ongoing violations of democratic principles and fundamental tenets of good governance by the present interim leadership of the Kano Civil Society Forum (KCSF).
2. We have observed a blatant disregard for the mandate given to the interim leadership to facilitate democratic elections within a stipulated time frame of six (6) months, which has unfortunately extended to an astonishing seven years. The failure of the interim leadership to conduct elections and pave the way for democratically elected executive leaders in KCSF raises serious questions about transparency, accountability, and the commitment to democratic representation within the Forum. Hence, we the Concerned Members of KCSF firmly believe in upholding democratic ideals and providing a platform for diverse voices to be heard, as this is the cornerstone of a vibrant civil society.
3. We have witnessed several instances of flagrant abuse of power by the interim leadership. One alarming issue that has surfaced is the forceful removal of members from the central WhatsApp group of the Forum due to dissenting views. This authoritarian approach not only stifles freedom of expression but also undermines the essence of a civil society coalition meant to foster dialogue, inclusivity, and respect for diverse opinions.
4. We have also witnessed inconsistencies and contradictions between the interim leadership and the Board of Trustees (BOT). For instance, in a meeting of the Concerned Members of KCSF with the BOT, the BOT Chair mentioned not being aware of the establishment of any electoral committee, instead, the BOT had only constituted an Election Strategy Committee – with the mandate to recommend the most appropriate strategy for conducting election for the Forum. This is against the information currently being circulated by the interim leadership of the establishment of the Electoral Committee by the BOT which according to the interim leadership were sworn in on the 23rd of August 2023. This inconsistency and contradiction between the BOT and the interim leadership is considered unacceptable by the Concerned members.
5. Worrisome as well is the fact that the interim leadership has consistently made reference to the KCSF constitution. It should be noted that the Constitution is a draft and yet to be adopted by the CONGRESS. Thus, its provisions are not yet binding until adopted at a CONGRESS.
6. Additionally, we note with great concern the growing partisanship demonstrated by the interim leadership, which violates the core principle of impartiality and neutrality that should define a civil society coalition. The role of a civil society forum is to work collaboratively with government institutions, advocate for good governance, and provide an inclusive space for open dialogue between citizens and policymakers. Partisanship erodes the legitimacy and credibility of our collective efforts to hold those in power accountable.
7. The implications of these violations are far-reaching and concerning. The absence of democratic representation within KCSF undermines its credibility, weakens its advocacy capacity, and hampers its ability to effectively champion the rights of citizens. It erodes public trust and dilutes the impact of civil society organizations in advancing democratic governance and promoting social justice.
8. In light of these violations, and considering that the power of the FORUM lies in the CONGRESS, we the Concerned Members of KCSF hereby DISSOLVE the interim leadership of the KCSF under the leadership of Ibrahim Waiya and call on the BOT to facilitate the process for Congress Meeting where democratically elected Executives shall emerge.
9. In respect of the above, we urge the BOT to call the said interim leadership under Mr Ibrahim Waiya to order so as to desist from parading themselves as the ‘Leadership’ of the Forum.
10. We further call on the ‘General Public’ to desist from having any official engagement with the said Interim Leadership under Ibrahim Waiya. All official engagements should be directed to the KCSF BOT pending when the KCSF establishes an elected executive leadership.
11. Finally, the Concerned Members of the Forum call on all of the KCSF members to remain calm and law-abiding in these trying moments as we effortlessly continue to champion the process for the establishment of DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED leadership for the Forum.
Abdullahi Y. Sule
Yusha’u Sani Yankuzo, Esq.
Wednesday, August 13th, 2023