Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative(ADAPHAI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has slammed the presidency on its position over the present security challenge across Nigeria, saying it is gradually dragging the country to a political armageddon.
ADAPHAI, claimed the disposition of the presidency towards various breaches of Nigeria’s internal security and its territorial sanctity remains lukewarm and unimpressive.
It added that the manner in which the present administration has managed security issues in the last few years had seriously worsened the ‘unitary security arrangement’.
The group was speaking on the heels of opposing views between the government of Ondo State and the presidency over Governor Akeredolu’s directive to herdsmen grazing in the state’s forests to vacate the environment within seven days, following a series of criminal activities around the area.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, Garba Sheu, had on Tuesday, through a statement cautioned Governor Rotimi Akeredolu against such ultimatum, arguing that herders, who have lived all their lives in the state have constitutional rights to continue to dwell without any intimidation.
ADAPHAI, in a press statement signed by its Executive Director, Olaniyi Ajibola and made available to newsmen on Wednesday described the statement credited to Shehu as a reflection of inherent ethnic jingoism and religious bigotry that have characterised the present Federal Government.
The NGO called for a quick rethink and urgent appraisal of Nigeria’s security architecture.
The group said the highly lopsided appointment of the highest echelon of security agencies in Nigeria at the inception of Buhari’s administration in 2015 clearly signalled unclear regional agenda.
The NGO also took a swipe at Northern leaders, saying they were busy plotting to retain power for no logical reason rather addressing the security situation in their domain.
”Being a retired Army General and a war veteran, one could have expected President Muhammadu Buhari to live above board on the issue of security and exhibit unbiased disposition and character that is totally devoid of emotion and illogical sentiment; unfortunately, the opposite has been the case since 2015.
”Every military elite of his status possesses a high degree of diplomacy and wealth of military exposure to tactically address insecurity of this magnitude in the most efficient way without fear or favour.
”That this government will descend to the dangerous level of acting as the mouthpiece for individuals who give cover to their kinsmen who are criminal elements speaks volume of the state of Nigeria’s nation.
“We are utterly disappointed that President Buhari would still display the same ethnic sentiment he exhibited in the year 2000 in Oyo State, when he, alongside the former military administrator of Lagos State and the newly appointed Chairman of the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Buba Marwa, led some Fulani elders and herdsmen to meet the late Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina, over herdsmen-farmers clashes in the Oke-Ogun area of the state and demanded why Oyo indigenes were killing ‘his people’.
”We are concerned that this leadership style of President Buhari and his handlers, especially those of Northern extractions, is capable of dividing Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines and eventually drag the country into a serious political turmoil of unimaginable magnitude.
”As an organization with a mandate to propagate peaceful co-existence in Africa and promptly decry and raise alarm against any action capable of breaching the peace, we hereby caution the presidency to desist from such acts that could trigger suspicion of ethnic partiality and favouritism. President Buhari should know that having sworn to the oath as Nigerian President, being a Fulani man should be second consideration on the scale of priority, he is first and foremost the father of all Nigerians’, the statement read.
ADAPHAI further advised the Presidency to always engage states responsibly on sensitive issues like security and not through a vague statement that suggests combative tendencies like the one of Tuesday.
It insisted that the degree of insecurity in Nigeria, especially in the Northern zone required concerted efforts from every stakeholder to stem the tide through every legitimate means.
”Sincerely, the tone of that press statement of Tuesday, credited to Mr. Garba Sheu is unequivocally unbecoming of a serious government that is desirous of combating crime with necessary vigour”.
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