A pro- Democracy and Non-Governmental organisation-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has dismissed the October 1st 2017 57th Independence broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari as substantially deficient in statesmanship and portrays the President as someone with some deep seated grudges and unmitigated hatred for the over 50 million Igbo speaking people of South East of Nigeria.
HURIWA said portions of the Speech by President Muhammadu Buhari which specifically lampooned the people and leaders of South East of Nigeria amounted to raw hate speech which is capable of igniting longstanding hatred for the Igbo by his largely Northern followers who had earlier issued an unconstitutional quit notice on Igbos in the North to leave the 19 Northern States by today which they grudgingly suspended. This according to the Rights group violates the Presidential Oath of office as enshrined in the seventh schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
The Pro-Transparency group also carpeted the Presidency for failing to use the symbolic broadcast marking Nigeria’s independence anniversary to correct the abnormalities and systemic anomalies in the composition of the National Defence Council to specifically address the clear imbalances and inherent constitutional breach of the Federal Character Principles which prohibits the dominance of any section of the government by persons from particular Ethno-Religious affiliations.
HURIWA said it was constitutionally repugnant and even to good conscience that the current administration has over 85 percent membership of top level military and DEFENCE appointments drawn from one section of the Country and from predominantly the Islamic Religious affiliation in a complex and multi- Ethnic nation state like Nigeria.
“It was expected that in an occasion such as this 57th Independence anniversary whereby Mr President would solicit for greater patriotism and love of fatherland that that the holder of this high office would have addressed the lopsidedness in the appointments of top level military and DEFENCE chiefs to reflect the divergent Multi-Ethnic and Multi-religious configurations of the Nation State of Nigeria.
” A situation whereby the greater percentage of top national security Chiefs including all the top notch para-military/security and internal Security institutions are currently headed by Hausa/Fulani Moslems from the core North is a clear breach of the Constitutional principles of Federal character principle.”
“The continuous failure of Mr President to pick someone he trust from the South East of Nigeria to head one of the strategic national security and DEFENCE offices depicts a man who has deep seated hatred and unsettled but unsettling grudges against a whole Igbo race comprising over 50 million Nigerians.”
In a statement by the National Coordinator of HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION of Nigeria (HURIWA) Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari 57th Independence anniversary broadcast, the Rights group said it was disappointing that the President seems unperturbed about the alleged human rights violations and extralegal executions of civilians and unarmed members of the self determination group-Indigenous people of Biafra(IPOB) perpetrated by armed security forces during the ongoing Python Dance part 11 in the South East of Nigeria and most especially in Umuahia and Aba in Abia State.
The group said the conspiratorial silence of the President regarding these cases of gross human rights violations by soldiers that he despatched to the hitherto peaceful South East of Nigeria shows that he has no political will and the necessary will power to order for an independent judicial review and investigation of these allegations therefore making it necessary that a formal complaint be instituted before the International Criminal Court in The Hague Netherlands to demand the prosecution of the members and commanders of the security forces that carried out the well coordinated attacks of civilians in the South East of Nigeria whilst attempting to forcefully crush the unarmed and totally peaceful members of the Indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB) whose activities and platform the President used exparte motion to procure a court’s sanctioned proscription shortly after the cases of widespread use of torture and gross human rights violations including extralegal killings of IPOB members and sympathisers were carried out by the Nigeria Army.
“The failure of the President to disclose his administration’s readiness to investigate these grave human Rights violations by soldiers in the South East of Nigeria under operation python dance 11 is a clear manifestation of highest level of insensitivity and pure hatred of the people of South East of Nigeria. This should necessitate the closest monitoring of this government by the International community to prevent the occurrence of widespread genocide against Igbos who are persistently and graphically depicted by President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘hot-headed and their leadership as ‘irresponsible’. This hate speech against the Igbo speaking nationality as uttered in the Presidential speech today must be condemned in its absoluteness and the international community must be put on notice so a full scale state sponsored killings like what is going on Myanmar’s ROHINGYA community isn’t replicated in the South East of Nigeria by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”
HURIWA recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had affirmed that: “Recent calls on re-structuring, quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We can not and we will not allow such advocacy.
As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in our tragic civil war costing about 2m lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a re-run were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.”
The Rights group recalled too that President Muhammadu Buhari said:”I am very disappointed that responsible leaders of these communities do not warn their hot-headed youths what the country went through. Those who were there should tell those who were not there, the consequences of such folly.”
HURIWA accused President Muhammadu Buhari of showing deep seated animosity and hatred for Igbo speaking population and their leaders by calling them hot headed and irresponsible even when the agitations by the self determination group which he controversially declared a terrorist organisation were simply using peaceful assemblies of their members to democratically advocate for self determination which isn’t the same in all cases with secession since international human rights laws recognised right to self determination.
HURIWA said Nigeria’s human rights situation is abysmal and very frightening given the exoanding frontiers of involvement of armed security forces in curtailing fundamental freedoms of citizens including the monitoring of private telephone communications and social media activities of critical members of the civil populace.
HURIWA faulted the President for deployment of military forces to muzzle freedoms of association and fundamental freedoms of speech and movements of Nigerians only because they are calling for fundamental unbundling of the dysfunctional federation just as the Rights group said it was undemocratic to shut the opportunities for citizens to ventilate their opinions including the advocacy for a total overhaul of the Constitution since the extant Constitution was fashioned, designed, and foisted on Nigerians by the military regime of the then General Abdusalami Alhaji Abubakar(rtd).
HURIWA said the failure of the President to order the outright dismissal and prosecution of the suspended Secretary to the government of the Federation Mr. Babachir Lawal indicted for alleged contract scam running into hundreds of millions of public fund in the management of the North East rehabilitation fund and the suspended DG of the National Intelligence Agency(NIA) following the discovery of over $35 million USD cash from a porch flat in Ikoyi Lagos state shows that the government is playing double standards in the anti graft war.
“The failure of the President to order the investigation of the corruption allegations against the inspector General of Police Ibrahim Kpotum Idriss by a serving APC Senator Mr. Missau is another demonstration of selectivity in the so-called war against corruption”.
HURIWA said the President failed to address the collapse of the health and education systems and failed to disclose the amount of public fund committed towards his private healthcare in his many foreign medical vacations in the last two years.
“Nigerians deserves to know how much of the public fund is used for medical tourism even as we were expecting a workable blueprints to transform the Health sector to stop President Muhammadu Buhari and other politicians from frequenting foreign jurisdictions for their medicare.”