KADUNA, Nigeria – In a significant move just hours before the handover to the incoming administration, the Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Nasir El-Rufai has declared the Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA) an unlawful society.
The government has proceeded to issue an official proscription order against the group.
The Southern Kaduna association has been accused of partaking in activities that could disrupt the peace, tranquillity, and coexistence essential for the state’s good governance.
The proscription order, signed by Governor El-Rufai himself, stated these allegations as the primary reason for the action.
El-Rufai’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye, confirmed that the governor signed the Atyap Community Development Association (Proscription) Order, 2023, leveraging the powers conferred by Section 60 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law No. 5 of 2017 and Section 5 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The order to proscribe the group came into effect on May 24, 2023. Despite its implementation, the document highlights that Sections 38 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria still safeguard citizens’ rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.
The late-term decision by the El-Rufai administration to ban the ACDA has raised questions about its timing and potential ramifications for the incoming administration, not to mention its impact on the citizens associated with the proscribed group.
As the political landscape shifts with the incoming administration, the ACDA’s fate and the future of similar community groups in Kaduna State hang in the balance.