Posted by NewS Express | 2 July 2020 | 517 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has carpeted the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for stating that the Nigerian Air Force cannot protect Southern Nigeria as much as it would because of the commitments of the Nigerian Air Force in waging war on terror in the North East of Nigeria.
The rights group asked him to apologise, retract his offensive statement or be sacked for displaying crass incompetence and showing that he is not properly in charge of the Nigerian Air Force but is devoted to protecting Northern Nigeria.
“HURIWA is miffed to read from a very reputable online media forum (Global Sentinel), that the Chief of Air Staff uttered such a disappointing and absolutely unprofessional and unacceptable public statement in a written press statement to the effect that he is unable to defend all of Nigeria. This is the most unfortunate public speech from a military General since the amalgamation of the country and is a direct breach of the core essence of the constitutional responsibility and functions/powers of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as enshrined in sections 217 to 220,” the rights group said.
HURIWA further affirmed that the unprofessional statement is symbolic and very toxic at the same time.
“It is saying that the security interests of Southern Nigeria is not guaranteed and it shows that the loyalty of the Chief of Air Staff is with and for the North East of Nigeria and not even with the North Central, North West or Southern Nigeria as a whole. Is this why the majority of the National military assets of the country are located in Northern Nigeria?
“The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, should sack this officer who has used his mouth to tell millions of Nigerians of the Southern extraction that the Nigerian Air Force under him is not committed to protecting the South as much as it does in the North.
“HURIWA referred the Chief of Air Staff to the constitutional provisions so he understands the weight of the very unfortunate and highly uncoordinated statement that he has just been reported to have made,” the rights group said.
It expressed worry by the larger implications of the statement which “has the overall consequences of affirming that the Southern part of Nigeria is deliberately being exposed to attacks from centripetal and centrifugal forces.”
HURIWA said there is the urgency now for the Chief of Air Staff to be compelled by the Nigerian President to provide clarifications of this disturbing statement within the next 24 hours or it would approach the President to so compel him or if nothing is done it we would petition the global community to intervene to stave off any threats to the sanctity of the lives of the people of Southern Nigeria.
HURIWA said also that if after 24 hours there is no retraction or clarification and a profound apology from the Chief of Air Staff, then it would write to the President to, within 78 hours, reassure Southern Nigeria that his government is not for the North and by Northerners and to correct the impression that the South cannot receive the same kind of military cover like the North as credited to his Chief of Air Staff.
“We will petition the United Nations and world leaders to protect the South should the Nigerian President not concretely reassure Southern Nigerians that they are to enjoy equal protection like the North. Honestly, this is a highly worrying development,” HURIWA noted.
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