The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has appealed to Nigerians home and abroad to send Facebook and Twitter messages to President Goodluck Jonathan to “urge and encourage him to fully implement the ECOWAS Court judgment requiring the government to provide as of right, free, quality, and compulsory basic education to every Nigerian child.”
In a statement dated 14 August 2011 and signed by SERAP Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the group said, “We appeal to Nigerians and non-Nigerians to take advantage of the social media to give a voice to the campaign to ensure that the over 12 million Nigerian children of school age roaming the streets across the country are back in the classroom and afforded a free, quality and compulsory basic education by the government.”
Explaining the background to the campaign, Mumuni said: “Following a case instituted by SERAP against the Nigerian government, the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in
November 2010 delivered a ground-breaking judgment requiring the government to provide as of right, free, quality, and compulsory basic education to every Nigerian child.”
“The court among others ordered the government to: make adequate provisions for the compulsory and free education of every child forthwith; ensure that the right to education is not to be undermined by corruption; ensure that funds disbursed for basic education are properly used for this purpose; and recover stolen education funds to cover the shortfall in order to avoid denying any of its people the right to education,” the group also said.
The group said that “However, since the judgment was delivered, the government has neither acknowledged the judgment nor taken steps to implement the letter and spirit of the judgment. Yet, more than 12 million Nigerian children of school age still roam the streets and have no access to quality basic education.”
Earlier, SERAP and its partners, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), INTERIGHTS, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), and Nigerian Guild of Editor (NGE) asked President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Mohammed Adoke to ensure the full and effective implementation of the judgment.
But the group said both have so far ignored the request, and have not acknowledged the judgment. Article 15(4) of the ECOWAS Treaty makes the Judgment of the Court binding on Member States, including Nigeria. Also, Article 19(2) of the 1991 Protocol provides that the decisions of the Court shall be final and immediately enforceable.
The group said: “We know that Nigeria has the resources and capacity to effectively implement the ECOWAS Court right to education judgment if the government is able to exercise the required political will.
We plead again with President Jonathan and the Attorney General of the Federation for the sake of Nigerian children to publicly acknowledge the judgment and tell Nigerians how the government plans to fully and effectively implement the judgment”
“We urge Nigerians and non-Nigerians to please send Facebook and Twitter messages to President Jonathan and the Attorney General as suggested here:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Education-Right-Now/226439864066715?sk=wall Or http://www.facebook.com/serapnigeria with the message: President Jonathan, Please ACT NOW on the right to free education (judgment) for all Nigerian children!
Twitter: @presgoodluck, @JGoodlucktweets, @serapnigeria , @ hashtag #EducationRightNowGEJ. Tweet, re-tweet: ChildRight2Education: President Jonathan Please Act Now!”