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Accuses presidential aide of promoting nepotism, favouritism
*Tells Buhari to use his remaining two years to redeem his image by embracing all regions
By Joseph Erunke
A civil society organisation has taken a swipe at the statement credited to the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu,to the effect that appointments of service chiefs were effected by President Muhammadu Buhari devoid of ethnic consideration.
The group,under the aegis of Conference of Nigeria civil Society for Peace and Security, said it was disappointed in Mr Shehu’s statement, saying his justification of the exclusion of the Igbos from the appointments was not only insensitive but also selfish.
In a statement by its National Coordinator,Dr Aminu Shettima and National Secretary, Barr. Olufemi Amuda,the group wondered if competence only resides among the geo-political regions that President Buhari had consistently considered for appointments in his administration.
“We find this statement coming from Mallam Shehu Garba at this time when Nigerians are still adding their voices to the exclusion of the South East from the recent appointment of the service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari as insensitive and irresponsible,”the group said in the statement.
It added:”As a civil society organisation with deep interest in Nigeria’s electoral process, we wish to express our disappointment in the statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu to the effect that appointments of service chiefs was not based on ethnicity.
“We view this statement ascribed to him as highly irresponsible, sentimental, and insensitive and an attempt to justify this government’s continuous neglect and hatred for the Igbo Nation, which no doubt, is the third largest tribe in Nigeria.”
According to the group,” While we agree totally that the appointment of service chiefs is not and should not be done on ethnic basis, we wish to ask if Igbo people of South East don’t have competent officers that can be appointed in the administration of President Buhari?”
“Does competent people revolve within only one or two geopolitical zones since the assumption of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration? Obviously no,”it added.
The CSO said:”We wish to say here without hesitation that continuous alienation of people of Igbo extraction from the scheme of affairs in the administration of President Buhari is confirmation of the deep rooted hatred for the Igbo people by this administration. It is now clear to everyone.
“Nigeria has three major languages with Igbo among, so why are the rest always carried along in sensitive appointments in the Buhari’s government except for the Igbos? The answer is clear to everyone and it is nepotism. This should never be allowed to thrive in today’s Nigeria.”
It appealed to the president to use his remaining years in office to right his wrong, thus leaving a good legacy and not to allow sycophants to further paint him in bad light in our generation.
“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore people like Garba Shehu and redeem his image during this remaining two years of his administration by reviewing the latest service chiefs appointment, for posterity sake,” it said.
The group said:”Mr President and the entire members of his cabinet must know that we all need each other in Nigeria to survive, and injustice and lack of equity is a direct threat to peace and security. This is why we are appealing that justice must be done to every region and persons in these regions”,adding that :”As civil society organizations , we owe the country the obligation to be fair and just to all in our actions.”