2018 Independence Anniversary:you Have Elevated Nepotism As Statecraft- Huriwa Tells Buhari

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A prominent Non-Governmental and pro-democracy organisation-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has berated the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration as the worst in the political annals of Nigeria in the area of elevation of nepotism in appointments into strategic national security positions just as it also blamed the government for failing to protect lives and property of Nigerians from violent attacks by armed fulani herdsmen and terrorists.

HURIWA Said nepptism has become the hallmark of the current administration which has no respect for the constitutional provisions of federal character principles in appointments.

HURIWA in a statement to the media to mark the 58th Independence anniversary of Nigeria also condemned the governmemt for incessantly going cap in hands to borrow loans from China and diverse foreign credit granting institutions without greater consideration for the far -reaching implications of dragging the nation back into the toxic debts' trap and returning Nigeria into the slavery associated with a heavily indebted developing nation which Nigeria had exited during the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's administration when the then Finance minister negotiated foreign debts reliefs and the pay off of the remaining $12 billion USD to multilaterial credit lending institutions. HURIWA accused the Buhari administration of borrowing huge amounts of money for infrastructures which are never transparently deployed but are stolen and hidden away in private accounts of top officials close to the President who are beyond the reach of the politically tainted Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) headed by a politically compromised acting chairman.

HURIWA lamented that Nigeria's foreign debts profile has risen astronomically to over $22 billion USD since the last three years that the current administration came on board even when the international asking price of crude oil has risen considerably for a very long periods of time.

HURIWA in the statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf further blasted the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration for keeping quiet in the face of monumental corruption right under his nose such as the reported $25 billion contract scandals in the Nigerian National petroleum corporation as presented in a well articulated petition authored by the minister of state for petroleum Dr Ibe; the nearly N1 billion alleged theft of North East development fund by his disgraced erstwhile Secretary to the government of the Federation; the N2 billion that was allegedly stolen from the wife of the President Aisha Buhari by his aid de camp; the Abdulrasheed Maina's scandal which have all been swept under the carpets if impunity and the over $350 million repatriated Abacha loots already stolen by Presidency officials.

HURIWA faulted the 58th Independence Anniversary Speech by President Muhammadu Buhari in which he claimed that security situation had improved in the North East of Nigeria even as the Rights group condenmed as empty propaganda any of such claims when infact the security situations had escalated from bad to worst with several military formations and facilities coming under intensive attacks and bombardments by the boko haram terrorists resulting in the alleged killings of hundreds of soldiers many of whom are complaining of criminal neglects and abandonment by the Nigerian authorities.

HURIWA said: "This administration should find the best solution to the resurgence in armed violence by the boko haram terrorists who have once more upped their dangerous game of attacking military formations in the North East of Nigeria. The government should come clean and admit the challenges that the combatants on the Nigerian side are facing such as poor equipment and lack of motivation and delay in payments of allowances to the fighters many of whom are openly protesting. The administration should be honest to admit that hundreds of soldiers have perished in the past few months even as there are allegations that the military high command are burying soldiers without informing their families. These grave allegations must be investigated. The government should stop pretending snd lying that it has the upper hands when the armed boko haram terrorists have actually carried out many successful attacks in all of North East of Nigeria with devastating consequences to the lives of the common people and the professional combatants deployed to fight in the counter terror war."

HURIWA criticised the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration for destroying the independence of the National electoral commission with the ulterior motive of manupulating the 2019 polls and to rig the outcomes in favour of the incumbent President who is Fulani just like the Chairman of the independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) together with the nephew of the President as a powerful national commissioner of INEC. HURIWA dismissed the assurances by President Muhammadu Buhari in his 58th Independence Anniversary Speech on the independence of the electoral process under his watch just as the Rights group blamed the President for deploying armed security forces and police to use violent means to rig the elections that took place in Ekiti and Osun State and to award the results criminally to his party the All Progressives Congress.

"Never have Nigerians seen these levels of open partisanship and use of force by the armed security forces to manipulate elections in favour of the ruling political party at the centre like it happened on many occasions under the direct watch and with the full approvals of President Muhammadu Buhari. The current President has through the actions and the crude tactics of openly deploying force of arm by the police and other security forces to determine the outcomes of elections, succeeded in rubbishing the integrity and credibility of the electoral system in Nigeria and has clearly told Nigerians that he is not ready to organise free, fair, transparent and peaceful ekections come 2019.His statement claiming that his administration had improved any form of independence of INEC is therefore a red herring and is not a reflection of the realities on ground going by the conducts of INEC officials, armed securiry forces abd police who have all conspired to destroy the credibility of the electoral process.

The group therefore has called for a total reforms of INEC and the dismissal of the top echelons of INEC; Police and other security forces and their replacement with core professionals who would not pander to the whims and caprices of the current government and especially when it is a notorious knowledge that President Muhammadu Buhari is desperate to hang on to power and the All Progressives Congress is determined to bend the rules of constructive engagements to make sure that the incumbent President Retains power by every means conceivable including circumventing the laws and manipulating the agencies that are under the direct command and control of the President such as the armed forces and police and the terribly weak Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the outcomes of all elections henceforth in favour of the President and his political party- All Progressives Congress.

HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in his October 1st 2018 58th Independence anniversary speech stated thus: "On this first October date and on the eve of the start of the general election cycle, we should do well to reflect on what binds us together and the great strength our diversity bestows on us. Ours is an ambitious nation, and, as citizens we have every right to look forward to the future with confidence and optimism which are well founded, considering where we find ourselves today."

HURIWA however condenmed the President for letting his ambition to retain political power by all means to destroy the independence of INEC and by allowing service chiefs in the armed forces of Nigeria appointed from largely Hausa/Fulani ethnicity to take part in ensuring that elections conducted by the current INEC are anything but credible.

HURIWA has also cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari not to contemplate any form of clampdown on the use of social media because the Nigerian Constitution has guaranteed freedom of information without interference even as the group stated that there are robust laws

available to check any misuse of the freedom of information already guaranteed the citizens by the Constitution.

HURIWA said: "The allegation that the take over of skyeBank was politically motivated because the new owners are linked to the President and that because the bank which reportedly controls the nation's Satellite communication facilities that allows for such communications like the internet uses has been taken over so the President's men can have overwhelming control of the use of internets and social media is a very serious allegation that must be investigated by the National Assembly so our human rights to freedom of information is not violated with impunity as election of 2019 draws near".

HURIWA condemned President Muhammadu Buhari for doing nothing whilst armed Fulani herdsmen unleashes bloody violence on farmers also accused the President of prorecting the organisation that supports the killings known as Miyetti Allah Cattle Owners/Breeders Association. "The president should stop hiding under whatever subterfuge or excuses such as climate change to look for whom to blame for the bloodcuddling violence of the armed Fulani killer gangs.

The government should take the blame for playing Ethno-religious politics of protecting the killer gangs of fulani herdsmen by not treating the attacks as acts of terrorism but has continued to look for lame excuses to justify government's failure to protect other Nigerians who are not Hausa nor Fulani.

"All the members of the current internal security team are from Hausa/Fulani origin. These persons have watched as armed fulani herdsmen are killing off farmers for their lands and the government is working all round the clock to reward these terrorists by hijacking federal government's lands to build ranches to be handed over to private fulani owners of cows. Why is Miyetti Allah cattle owners Association that has supported and armed Fulani herdsmen not yet declared a terrorist group? There is nothing like herders/farmers clashes. What we have is armed Fulani herdsmen killing farmers unprovoked and the government stands by and watch without doing anything to check these trends."

HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had claimed that: "The age-long conflict between herders and farmers that was being exploited by those seeking to plant the seeds of discord and disunity amongst our people, is being addressed decisively. We will sustain and continue to support the commendable efforts by all including civil society organisations, local and states governments and our traditional and religious leaders in finding durable solution to this problem".

HURIWA places the blames squarely on the table of President Muhammadu Buhari for failing in his duty to provide security of lives and property of Nigerians apparently because he wants to protect his kinsmen who are killing off farmers and taking over their lands for their cattle. The President simply has no solution to these killings and the next best thing for him and for Nigeria is to resign and allow a competent and patriotic Nigerian to lead Nigeria positively and constructively and to reunite Nigerians who have become disunited since Buhari's administration introduced sentiments of nepotism in appointments to key positions of the federal government.