By Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos
Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation Afenifere has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of ‘hypocrisy’ in advocating justice, fairness and equity at the United Nations when he is ‘hounding those calling for such dialogue’ in Nigeria.
‘The reforms President Buhari advocated for at the UN is the same thing those calling for dialogue at home are calling for. Why and how our president considered reform and dialogue as necessary at the global level but consider the same as anathema in Nigeria beats one’s imagination. It is called reform at the global level and restructuring at home,’ Afenifere said this in a release signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi.
The group challenged President Buhari to put in practice what he preached in New York during his address to the UN General Assembly in practice in Nigeria.
It said it is strange and hypocritical that Buhari who consistently ignored and even hounded ethnic nationalities and other concerned stakeholders that call for dialogue in Nigeria will go to the UN to champion the same.
The organisation further said that ‘ethnic nationalities and other concerned stakeholders in Nigeria have been calling for dialogue to resolve Nigeria issues for long. But the Federal Government under President Buhari has not only been ignoring them but hounding those calling for such dialogue. It is interesting, perhaps comforting that the Nigerian authority realises that dialogue is the way to go in resolving knotty issues. It is however hypocrisy of the highest order for this same authority to be prescribing this to foreign authorities while describing those calling for the same thing at home as “hate speechmakers” and separatists.’
The organisation also said the realities on the ground negates Buhari’s claim in his address that the military is winning the war against terrorism.
‘The reality on the ground belies the president’s claim in his speech that terrorists have more or less surrendered to the Nigerian army. We, as Afenifere, commend the heroic efforts of the Nigerian army but it is a fact that activities of terrorists appear to be more expanding rather than receding going by the submission of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, that over 330,000 Nigerian refugees are languishing in neighbouring countries due to insurgency and armed banditry in the North East and North West as well as Kaduna State Governor El-Rufai that advocated for the military to be decentralised,’ he added.
Afenifere also noted said that the level of insecurity in the country has degenerated so bad that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) advised corps members to always let their people prepare ransom to be paid in case they are kidnapped in course of travelling from one point to another while in service.
‘What else could underscore the unfortunate level to which insecurity in the country has fallen? It is in this respect that Afenifere calls for the NYSC to allow corps members to serve the nation in their respective states at least for now. The NYSC, on page 56 of its pamphlet titled “Security Awareness and Education Handbook For Corps Members and Staff”, advised both corps members and staff travelling on “high-risk” roads to alert their family members, friends and colleagues to have someone on hand to pay off the ransom that could be demanded in case they are kidnapped. Since it has been admitted even by a Federal Government agency that we may need to live by kidnap syndrome as indicated by this NYSC tip, the minimum that the government owes parents and corps members in this regard is to let the youths serve their nation in their respective states, that way, their chances of being kidnapped would greatly be minimised,’ he further said.
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