By Aliyu Aminu Ahmed
If CSOs are banned, it makes it harder for vulnerable communities and underserved and marginalized people to get the services they need.
CSOs are very important in Nigeria when it comes to promoting and protecting human rights of women, children, and people with disabilities – no one will be their to speak for them.
Democracy and good government is jeopardized and trivialized when CSOs influence and civil spaces get smaller.
CSOs play a big role in making sure that the government is accountable and honest. There will be no one left to hold them accountable.
CSOs watch out for people who are weak, vulnerable, living with disabilities like orphans, deaf and blind, critically ill, those who can not have access to drinking water or food, those struggling, the poor people and elderly, rural women, infants etc.
When civil society activities are limited or restricted, it makes it harder to protect human rights. Governance is not appreciated when critical CSOs voices are silenced.
CSOs may be demoralized to work together due to fear and uncertainties and the long term growth and development of the civil society sector will be affected negatively, jobs will be lost, young ones will not be interested in the sector.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can’t be met if CSOs get smaller and their influence gets weaker.
People will eventually lose faith in the government and governance when they can’t do what they want them to do. This will lead to decay in our societies both morally and otherwise
Banning CSOs goes against the right to freedom of association, freedom of speech, which is a basic and fundamental human right.
Civil society is a very important way to keep the government from going too far and maintaining balance in the society as youthful energies are channelled in positive direction and for the benefit of humanity.
Limiting civil society activities makes it harder for people to come up with new ways to solve social problems.
When civil society activities are limited, economic growth and development are slowed down.
When people don’t have access to independent sources of information, propaganda and false information can happen.
Suppressing civil society activities makes it harder for a strong public discourse on inclusive growth and development to grow.
If CSOs are indiscriminately banned in Nigeria, then democracy itself is banned!
Ahmed the executive director of Garga foundation writes from Yola.