Crisis has rocked the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council, AU-ECOSOCC in Nigeria over the alleged constitution of a national standing committee by one of the two representatives in the country without the knowledge of the other.
AU-ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the African Union, AU, designed to give civil society organisations, CSOs a voice within the AU institutions and decision-making processes.
Nigerian Representative at the Third Permanent General Assembly of the AU-ECOSOCC, Mr. Oba John Adebusuyi, in a statement signed and issued yesterday in Abuja, accused his colleague, Mr. Tunji Asaolu of “illegal constitution of national standing committee” for the Council without his knowledge, describing such action as “illegal, false and none.”
He said: “AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria has two Representatives and no one Representative can single handedly constitute any committee without the consent of the other. More so that the Council’s statute requires that constitution of national cluster among the CSOs must be by election and not by appointment to ensure transparency in the composition of the clusters.
“Therefore, the National Standing Committee for AU-ECOSOCC is not known to the AU-ECOSOCC Constitutive Act and its formation in any member state is illegal.
“Hence, all those appointees are advised to cease from parading themselves as members of the national chapter or do anything in the name of the chapter as that would be impersonation.
“They should note that petition has been sent to the Inspector General of Police and the Director General, of SSS to help effect the arrest of whoever default.”
As Nigeria Representative, Oba explained that himself and Asaolu “are mandated to contribute, through advice, to the effective translation of the objectives, principles and policies of the Union into concrete programmes, as well as the evaluation of these programmes; undertake studies that are recommended or deemed necessary by any other organ of the Union and submit recommendations accordingly; carry out other studies as it deems necessary and submit recommendations as appropriate.”
He added that they were also mandated to contribute to the promotion of popularisation, popular participation, sharing of best practices and expertise, and to the realisation of the vision and objectives of the Union; contribute to the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, good governance, democratic principles, gender equality and child rights; promote and support efforts of institutions engaged in review of the future of Africa and forge Pan-African values in order to enhance an African social model and way of life.
Similarly, Oba said they are to foster and consolidate partnership between the Union and CSOs through effective public enlightenment, mobilisation and feedback on the activities of the Union; while also assuming such other functions as may be referred to it by any other organ of the Union.
He therefore informed all the supposed committee members that the mandate of the national chapter of AU-ECOSOCC is to network CSOs in the country to popularise AU programmes and polices.
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