Dear Sir,

Fundamental rights are rights associated with or connected to all human beings on earth to exercise according to the law. No one must be denied lawful enjoyment of fundamental rights.That being the position of the law, the governor of Niger Sate, Alh Abubakar Sani Bello, in the course of exercising the rights that any other person enjoys, should not be disturbed, criticized, challenged, nor distracted from enjoying such rights. 

Recently, the governor traveled abroad and went to the stadium to watch a football match between Chelsea and Arsenal.The picture of the governor watching the match was posted in the social media and generated a lot of criticisms. The way it was portrayed, it was as if the governor had committed a crime. Why can’t a governor, given legitimate permit to travel abroad by his state legislature, use his time abroad the way he deemed fit. After all, watching football is a legitimate right, that falls under the right of free association and assembly. Those who challenged the governor’s presence in the stadium are directly challenging the legitimate right of the governor to freedom of association and assembly. Hasn’t the governor any right to assemble or associate with a legitimate crowd? And what is more, the governor, while abroad for medical check-up, tried to seize the available opportunity to woo investors to the state. I thought that is commendable leadership. Shouldn’t he do that? Anybody who has driven or walked on UK Bello – Kasuwan-Gwari and Sabon-gari road will doff his cap for this governor, who had rescued residents of that central part of the city from pain and economic downturn.

The governor is protected by the Constitution of Nigeria; sections 37, 38, and 40 give every Nigerian right to privacy, thought, conscience, peaceful assembly, and association, among others. The governor must be allowed to enjoy these rights, as every Nigerian. We have a performing a governor, who must not be distracted from his state duties. The recent declaration of state of emergency on the water sub-sector, to provide adequate water in the state capital, is a welcome step.We are aware of many leaders, who have turned to deaf after victory and no longer accessible to. Governor Bello, however, is accessible and openshis doorsto advice and constructive criticism.Why some people should chose to criticize him unnecessarily over his Chelsea match beats my imagination. In spite of this virulent criticism, I appeal to the governor to maintain his tolerance of the media.

By Peter Wakili Shatta,

Niger State Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture,

Minna.

Tel: 07039690722.

TAURARUWA