Posted by News Express | 15 February 2021 | 259 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has attributed what it referred to as the divisiveness in the Nigerian polity to President Muhammadu Buhari’s double standards stemming from his undue loyalty to religion and ethnicity.
The rights group said the President has maintained his nepotistic practices of always insisting on picking his Hausa/Fulani Moslems to head security architectures of significance.
HURIWA said it was incomprehensible that a tribe like the Igbo-speaking nationality of the South East has never had a Service Chief of any of the armed security forces since the assumption of office of President Buhari in 2015.
The rights group spoke against the backdrop of the Hausa versus Yoruba inter-ethnic conflict in Ibadan adding that the President has created the perception that members of his Hausa/Fulani ethnicity can never be prosecuted for the offences of alleged invasions and destruction of farms and the slaughter of citizens majority of whom are Christians.
HURIWA said the Police has also exacerbated the conflicts between different ethnicities because it has been ethnicised by President Buhari to appear more like a Hausa/Fulani Brigade than a national police force since 2015 with the South East always kept in the fringes. “When you make your administration appear like a village meeting of Huasa/Fulani and only promote your people in the security forces, you are only stoking up the embers of ethnic and religious hatred and conflicts like the type that flared up sadly in the biggest city in West Africa, Ibadan, Oyo state,” HURIWA said.
The rights group said the deliberate failure of the administration of President Buhari to prosecute armed Fulani herdsmen responsible for the massive destructions of parts of Benue, Southern Kaduna, Plateau and Enugu States, including the spate of killings and kidnapping in such places like Nasarawa, Benue, Kaduna, masterminded by mostly armed Fulani herdsmen is the fundamental cause of organised chasms and divisiveness dovetailing into conflagration and bloody conflicts such as the Ibadan fight between traders of Hausa/Yoruba ethnicities.
The rights group urged members of all ethnic groups in the country to live in harmony.
HURIWA said: “It is increasingly becoming notorious that the Presidency or rather, the administration of retired military General Muhammadu Buhari, the Katsina state born Fulani erstwhile military despot, is much more concerned about elevating the parochial and mundane group interests of his ethnicity no matter how dangerous to the health of the nation, above the public good.
“This the President has demonstrated overwhelmingly and has had running squabbles with representatives of diverse ethnic groups in a warped attempt to impose policies that are offensive to the greatest public good of the collective.
“This tendency directly contradicts the core of the presidential address made by President Muhammadu Buhari whereby he said: ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody’. President Buhari has not hidden where his mind is when it comes to making top-level security appointments in the last five years because he had concentrated all internal security architectures under the dominance of mostly Northern Moslems. The government has also invested a lot of passion in pushing out programmes that clearly shows that the Fulani herdsmen are to be promoted and rewarded as if they are superior to the over 200 other ethno-religious groups making up modern-day Nigeria.”
HURIWA maintained that: “The back and forth debate between the spokesman of President Buhari, the Fulani-born Garba Shehu and the Ondo state government over the decision to issue a seven days ultimatum on unregistered and illegal occupants of forest reserves of Ondo State who are mostly nomadic Fulani to quit these illegal settlements, is a quick reminder of the colouration and texture of the biased policy implementation of the central government which basically seeks to elevate the myopic interest of the Fulani ethnicity over and above National interest and public good. This argument on the side of President Buhari also contradicts his stand on the need to check the consequences of climate change because forcing illegal Fulani settlements on Ondo state’s forest reserves is akin to encouraging deforestation which President Buhari reportedly spoke against before the global community."
The rights group said the open confession in a letter to HURIWA by the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that armed Fulani herdsmen arrested and paraded by the Police for series of armed criminality cannot be prosecuted because of a lack of case files, is a demonstration of the dangerous politics of ethnic and religious favouritism of Hausa/Fulani which is becoming the political ideological underpinnings of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Endorsed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Ms Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA called on the government to stop Commissioners of Police and military commanders from showing open partiality and double standards whenever there are issues of alleged invasions of farmland as was recorded in Oyo and Abia States in which the Police Commissioners took sides with the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen who were accused of destroying farms of communities in the two States.
“Unless there is equality and equity in the enforcement of the laws, there will continue to be conflicts between the people who feel alienated and the favoured tribal and religious group that enjoy Presidential cover and one sided protection of armed security services in Nigeria.”
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