Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Thursday, flayed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over his donation of 10 SUVs worth N1.15bn to the Republic of Niger.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the nepotistic gesture to Niger Republic shows where Buhari’s original allegiance and patriotism lie as evident in his many construction linking Nigeria to the desert country. The group said the action like many others are antithetical to the oaths of office sworn to by President Muhammadu Buhari because he has allowed his personal interest to undermine National interest.
Niger Republic is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin and Burkina Faso to the southwest, Mali to the west, and Algeria to the northwest.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday, argued that Buhari has a responsibility to approved N1.15bn to purchase 10 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 vehicles for the Nigerien government “in the best interests of the country”.
A retired army colonel, Tony Nyiam, who worked with Buhari whilst in Army had also publicly revealed he is from the Niger Republic.
Whilst justifying the construction of the $1.96 billion Kano-Maradi railway project which many condemned last year, Buhari had said the Fulanis in Niger Republic are his brothers.
Also, in June 2021, during an interview, Buhari revealed thus: “I have first cousins in Niger. There are Kanuris, there are Hausas, there are Fulanis in the Niger Republic.”
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The fresh donation of SUV vehicles to Niger Republic where President Buhari has cousins is an evidence of where his allegiance, patriotism and loyalty lie. Any wonder then that terrorists from Niger Republic come into Nigeria in droves to kill, maim, destroy and cart away billions of cash as ransom back to develope Niger Republic and the President does next to nothing.
“Buhari must clear his patriotism amidst allegations of helping to build up Niger Republic whilst accusations of Niger’s involvement in terrorism in North West heightens.
“It is condemnable that whilst Nigerians grapple with so many challenges including poverty, unemployment, terrorism, amongst others that need financial intervention, President Buhari finds his priority in Niger Republic, even at a time when the Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike for over six months with students of tertiary institutions at home. And to think that ASUU’s demand is N1.1trn and Buhari splurged what would have been part of the money on Niger Republic.
“The romance of Niger Republic and Nigeria is more evident as President Mohammed Bazoum honoured the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawall, with a national award on security in Niger Republic. What an irony!
“According to the United States’ Department of State, ‘Niger is the only country in the world with ISIS-affiliate presence on three borders.’”
The report states thus: “Niger Republic’s efforts to fight terrorism are constrained by budget shortfalls and continuing instability in Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, and the Lake Chad Basin. Terrorist groups active in Niger included ISIS in the Greater Sahara, Boko Haram, ISIS-WA, and JNIM.”
HURIWA warned that the government of President Buhari must be compelled to stop actions that are pushing Nigeria towards a destabilisation of constitutional democracy by anarchists who may cash in on his doubtful patriotism to the Nigerian fatherland to cause a regime change which is absolutely non permissible.
August 4, 2022
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA).