Civil Liberties Organizations are the watch dogs in civilized societies. Their activities or duties cannot be over irto the doggedness in fighting for the masses. Indeed, when the civil liberties of citizens are threatened by the government’s policies and programmes, the Civil Liberties Organization stand in to fight and protect the life of the citizens. In many nations of the world, civil liberties organizations are known to the intermediary between the government and the people.
It is worthy to note that civil liberties mean the rights of a person to do, think and say what they want if this does not harm other people. On l January, 2012, when the Federal Government of Nigeria removed fuel subsidy, it was the civil liberties organizations that stood openly to condemn the fuel subsidy removal. To a large extent civil liberties organization on, in the past were alive to their responsibilities for rejecting some obnoxious policies of the government.
Today in Nigeria, it is difficult to differentiate civil liberties organization and political parties. It is disheartening to observe the dwindling state of civil liberties organization in Nigeria. It is rather very unfortunate to see spokespersons of civil liberties organizations becoming the mouthpiece of some political parties and some politicians in River State in particular and Nigeria in general. It is preposterous to see civil liberties organizations denying the rights of the masses because of selfish interest of their leaders. The state of civil liberties organization is confusing and difficult to ascertain in River State.
The reason being that spokes persons of civil liberties organizations are used or influenced by politicians to undermind the ethics of their beliefs. The fact is that today spokespersons of civil liberties organizations are protecting and promoting political sentiment of some closed political associates instead of the unprotected citizens of the state and nation. It is not far-fetched story. It is glaring that spokespersons of civil liberties organizations have abused and misused positions while rendering their services to the society. The state of civil liberties organizations has become so political even more than the political parties in politics. The masses are allowed to wallow in a state of bewilderment without any substantial support by the civil liberties organizations.
Indeed, spokespersons of the organizations do the bidding of some politicians in Rivers State and Nigeria. In involving in active politics they have embraced propaganda as a major tool to deceive the unsuspecting citizens. Today, citizens hear or listen to half truth and full fledge deceit to their detriment. They pretend to be speaking for the masses’ plight. This is not right. Indeed, without mincing words some spokespersons are politicking instead of enlightenment and educating the masses. There is a divided interest and this has caused doubt in the minds of Nigerians who see them as messiahs. The time in which all these gimmicks are happening has given room for divergent views on the activities of the spokespersons of the Civil Liberties Organizations.
In the same vein, they kept the masses in a state of hopelessness and helplessness because of the movement of their body language and recent activities in Rivers State. It is hard to believe the activities of the some C.L.O. leaders in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria. They usurp powers of civil liberties organization to do their selfish biddings. And this turn is affecting the revered position of C.L.O. in Rivers State. The body language of C.L.O. leaders in Rivers is full of suspicious and sentiment. In a way, it has serious suspicions about the integrity and trustworthiness of C.L.O. in the State and Nation.
The leaders of C.L.O. in Rivers State and Nigeria should not allow their personal interest and ambition to override the long awaited expectations of the masses. The existence of C.L.O should not be a blessing in disguise as Nigerians are yearning for a better tomorrow. C1.O. is a watch dog and should not allow itself to be lured into unnecessary politics that will turn it to agent of darkness instead of light. Civil Liberties Organizations supposed to champion the course of the oppressed and downtrodden in the society. But it is ironical seeing spokespersons of C.L.O. championing the course of wealthy and highly placed individual in government. Nigerians and Rivers People need credible leaders to man the affairs of civil liberties organizations. Time and tide wait for no man.
FRANK ENEAWAJI OGWUONUONU