Osinbajo’s Christian vice presidency is a camouflage – human rights group

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THE stark reality on the ground in present Nigeria is that Prof Yemi Osinbajo as the country’s Vice President and a Christian does not in any way indicate formation under the present Federal Government of Nigeria, a religiously balanced or 50-50 Christian-Muslim Federal Cabinet and its defense, security, policing and civil agencies.

As a matter of fact, Prof Osinbajo’s Vice Presidency is a camouflage-which was the case in Sudan where a makeshift position of “a Vice President” was allocated to Christians, and in Lebanon where a post of largely ceremonial President was also allocated to the same.

“Yet behind the scene, systematic efforts including propagation and institutionalization of radical Islamism were intensified to wipe out the Christian populations in the two countries with the intent to convert the same posts to Muslim hold once Christians are no more. In Lebanon, but for the State of Israel, radical Islamists would have wiped out all members of Christian faith and in Sudan, but for the independence of largely Christian dominated South Sudan in 2011 following a 2005 agreement, same would have happened,” the Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law has said at the weekend.

It stated this in a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chair, Chinwe Umeche, head, Democracy & Good Governance, Ndidiamaka Bernard, head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights and Damaris Amaka Onuoha, head, Campaign & Publicity.

They cited the example of Asyut, Egypt, where Coptic Christians once made up approximately 20% of the entire population of the country. But owing to years of sustained persecutions by State-backed Jihadists, the Coptic Christians are presently not up to 2% of the country’s population. Yet, Asyut is the oldest Christian nation-state in African. It also hosts the oldest Christian church-the Hanging Church of Asyut built in AD60. With the present radical domination of the Federal Government of Nigeria and its security and civil agencies by Muslims-a deliberate policy of the present central Government, the country is going same way as in Egypt, Sudan and Lebanon.

“Therefore, since Mallam Shehu Garba has raised the issue of formation by his Boss’s Government of balanced or 50-50 Muslim-Christian Government with gross distortion of facts, the following are the true position: that Sections 14 (3) and 10 of the 1999 Constitution prohibit domination or controlling of Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies by Muslims or a particular ethnoreligious group; but in practice and the present case, the Government of Nigeria and its agencies are heavily Muslim controlled. In the area of the composition of the Armed Forces of the Federation, Section 218 (1) of the same 1999 Constitution clearly forbids and provides that “the composition of officer corps and other ranks of the armed forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal character (ethnoreligious balancing) of Nigeria”; yet in practice, these provisions are observed in gross breach by the same Government.

For instance, the following top political, electoral, defense, security, policing, paramilitary and justice establishment positions, numbering twenty-eight are held by Muslims since mid-2015, out of the country’s 35 of such positions. President of Nigeria (Northern Muslim), Chief of Army Staff (same), Chief of Air Staff (same), Inspector Gen of Police (same), DG, SSS (same), DG, NIA (same), National Security Adviser (same), Minister of Defense (same), Minister of Police Affairs (Southwest Muslim), Comptroller Gen of Customs (same), Comptroller Gen of Immigration (same), Comptroller Gen Prisons (same), Commandant of Nigerian Security & Civil Defense Corps (same), Attorney Gen of the Federation (same), Chief Justice of Nigeria (same), Acting Chairman of EFCC (same), Chairman, Police Service Commission (Southwest Muslim) and CEO/Chairman of NAFDAC (same).

Other positions held by Muslims in the country’s security sector are the Senate and the House of Reps Chairmen on Defense, Interior, Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Intelligence, National Security, Customs, Immigration, etc. Few posts held by Christians in the Cabinet of the present Government of Nigeria are: Vice President (Southwest Christian), Chief of Defense Staff (Southwest Christian), Chief of Naval Staff (South-South Christian), Controller Gen, Federal Fire Service (North-Central Christian), Corps Marshall, FRSC (North-central Christian) and lately in acting capacity-Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (Christian) and President of the Court of Appeal (Christian).

Finally, since Mallam Garba Shehu has claimed internationally that his Boss’s Government is religiously balanced or a secular Government, we strongly call and challenge him to publicly publish the names and their ethnic and religious identities of all the 21 constitutionally provided serving Justices of the Supreme Court, 49 Justices of the Court of Appeal, 69 Judges of the Federal High Court, all the serving DIGs, AIGs, CPs, State CPs, DCPs, ACPs, CSPs and SPs of the Nigeria Police Force especially those in charge of 18 Police Zonal Commands, 36 State Commands and the FCT; SCIDs, Police Area Commands, Police Marine, Police Border, Police Highway, Police Railway, Police Mobile Force, Police Divisional Commands, and Anti Terror, Anti Cult, Anti Bunkering and Anti Robbery Police in Nigeria.

To be publicly published by Mallam Garba Shehu, too, are names and ethnoreligious identities of serving Deputy DGs, Assistant DGs, State Directors, and Local Government heads of SSS in the country and those in the Customs, Immigration, Prisons, NSCDC, and FRSC as well as GOCs, Brigade, Battalion and Artillery Commanders of the Nigerian Army throughout Nigeria and their equivalents in the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy. Not excluded from being publicly published are serving heads of Federal Government’s parastatals, agencies and departments (MDAs) including Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education and special schools including Principals of Federal Colleges as well as current heads of the NNPC, Nigerian Ports Authority and Airport Authority, etc.

The statement was signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chair, Chinwe Umeche, head, Democracy & Good Governance, Ndidiamaka Bernard, head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights and Damaris Amaka Onuoha, head, Campaign & Publicity.

– Sept. 28, 2020 @ 12:29 GMT |

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