Posted by News Express | 15 September 2022 | 415 times
•Cautions FG against misuse of security forces for partisan purposes
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for the immediate sack of the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, SAN.
HURIWA is asking Presndent Muhammed Buhari to relieved Keyamo of his public position, while at the same time asking heads of the security services in the country to arrest Keyamo and make him to provide all valuable information at his disposal concerning the phantom assassination he alleged that the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, was plotting against himself.
The group said it found Keyamo’s statement “very incendiary, dangerous, toxic and absolutely unthinkable” Obi was plotting a fake attempted assassination against himself.
HURIWA argued that Buhari should relieve Keyamo of the Public office as a Minister because he can't hold public-funded office and at the same time be engaging in a virtually full-time private duty as staff of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“This is absolutely unethical and unconstitutional since one person cannot at the same time draw public and private funds whilst essentially engaging in a strictly private partisan duties for APC,” HURIWA insisted.
HURIWA said for the fact that only few hours ago a prominent Anambra Senator, Ifeanyi Ubah, was nearly assassinated by armed attackers in Anambra State and given that many political stalwarts have either been killed by assassins or kidnapped across the Country with the relevant security agencies not solving almost any of these attacks and violent killings of politicians, the reckless statement by Festus Keyamo shouldn’t be overlooked.
According to HURIWA, “It is much more effective to prevent an incident from happening than do nothing until something happens and then for the relevant security agents to activate their usual fire brigade approach.”
Besides, the group also reminded the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces “that it is unconstitutional to continue to deploy huge numbers of operatives of the publicly-funded security forces for purely political assignments for only the interest of the APC and its Presidential flag bearer, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
Speaking on the vacuous allegation that the Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate was planning a phantom assassination plot against his person as made by Keyamo, the rights group noted that the reckless statement was a direct affront on national security and is as satanic and destructive as the spread of fake news and hate speech which precipitate hate crimes.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emanuel Onwubiko, equally asked the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to be worried that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria could come up with such a sensational allegation just to massage the ego of his political paymasters.
HURIWA noted that “the junior minister who still earns salary/juicy allowances as a public office holder works as a partisan appointee of a private candidate in the 2023 poll, as the Director of Media and Public Affairs and official Spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, on Monday alleged that the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, was planning to fake an assassination attempt on himself and hire some supporters dressed in the APC caps and T-shirts to attack some of his party offices.”
Keyamo’s statement, according to HURIWA, partly read: “Our attention has been drawn to an offensive, hate-filled video made and circulated by the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, in which he accused an amorphous and non-existent “Tinubu’s Group” of spreading a WhatsApp message calling on the Yoruba people not to vote for him.
“The purported message, according to Mr. Obi, forewarned the Yoruba that a vote for Obi would be a vote for a seaport in South-South and South-East. We are also aware that plans are afoot by Mr. Peter Obi to fake an assassination attempt on himself and hire Labour Party boys dressed in the APC caps and T-shirts to attack some Labour Party offices. It is all part of the ‘US Plan.’ Firstly, we vehemently deny the existence of any of such “Tinubu group” that made and circulated such a message.”
Reacting to Keyamo’s allegation, Obi’s Media Office described it as fallacious, saying it was surprised it was coming from a personality like Keyamo.
It said: “It is a fallacy! You media people should also know when you see something fallacious. Does Peter look like someone who pretends or fakes things? What do we gain to start faking assassination attempt? Are they in anyway trying to carry out such attempt and seeking on blaming Obi for it? The public deserves to know and that’s what we should put up in the press.
“Does Keyamo know more than we know and just using this opportunity to cry wolf? What is his plan for uttering this kind of stupid statement? Does he think Obi is part of the Old Order who are always desperate for power? Whenever he says ‘Go and verify,’ does it look like scheming?
“But we are aware of what Keyamo has done before. It is not out of place for him to say things like Obi is attempting to fake his assassination attempt? It is a terrible thing to say.”
HURIWA speaking against the backdrops of the controversial statement by Keyamo believes that if Nigeria truly practices constitutional democracy, the junior minister Mr. Keyamo should have by now be cooling off at one of the head offices of the law enforcement agencies in Abuja to answer a few questions on all that he knows concerning the phantom assassination plot which he alleged sensationally without any shreds of empirical data against the Labour Party’s candidate.
HURIWA has also challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission to sanction political parties employing toxic hate-filled sentiments such as the one just made by Mr. Keyamo.
On what it calls misuse and abuse of power by Buhari concerning deployment of armed security services for purely political assignments, HURIWA said the massive deployment of armed security forces in Lagos when Bola Ahmed Tinubu arrived Lagos after winning the presidential primary election of APC and the huge numbers of security operatives that created nightmares for citizens going about their businesses in Abuja when APC’s presidential candidate attended the last week’s national meeting of his party, were “illegal, vexatious and suspicious.”
The rights group expressed worry that if the central government continues to politicise the armed forces of Nigeria to do the bidding of APC, “then there is no guarantee that the military won’t interfere with the conduct of 2023 poll.” “HURIWA is asking the President to be a statesman and to stop misusing the operatives of the armed security forces funded by the members of the public,” the statement concluded.
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