Presidential media aides make mockery of Nigeria – Int’l Society

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Garba Shehu
Garba Shehu

THE Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law has deeply frowned at the steady and unchecked embarrassment and tainting of Nigeria’s international corporate image by Shehu Garba and Mr. Femi Adesina and other private media aides attached to the office of Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The human rights group noted the have been denting the image of the country since mid-2015 when their boss hired them under the guise of “Presidential Media Aides”.

Since then they have internationally reduced Nigeria to “government of parochialism, clannishness and mockery” including “a government where indefensible policy blunders and conduct atrocities are fruitlessly defended and repeatedly perpetrated”, it said in a statement at the weekend.

“The personally biased and inexperienced presidential media aides not only talk loquaciously and emptily on sensitive matters requiring tact handling and expert opinions but have also elevated their personal biases and opinions as policy and conduct laws of the country; to the extent that ‘they now lecture the same international agencies and governments they and rest of Nigerians have consistently and solely fallen back on, in matters of credible local and international data and statistics including data on governance, defense, security, policing and intelligence.

“Henceforth, such embarrassing and loquacious opinions expressed by private media aides of Mr. President on weighty national issues must be regarded by Nigerians and members of the Int’l Community and other watchers on Nigeria as ‘personal opinions and biases’ of such private media aides of the President. This is because Nigeria as a country of over 200m citizens and acclaimed democratic country is not ‘a Government or Presidency of Mallam Garba Shehu and Mr. Femi Adesina”, it said.

According to Int’l Society, “Sadly and regrettably, such uninformed and unguarded utterances have steadily escalated the butcheries and emboldened the perpetrators to continue unchecked to the butcher, maim, plunder, rape, abduct, loot and forcefully convert captive defenseless Nigerian Christians with reckless abandon or impunity. Such utterances are also tactically a confirmation of the Nigerian Government aiding and abetting in the butcheries and provision of state cover and protection for their perpetrators.

“By the 1999 Constitution, the present Government of Nigeria, though grossly asymmetrical in composition or heavily Muslim controlled; is constituted and led through ‘a Federal Executive Council’ with Secretary to the Government of the Federation as its chief scribe and intellectual warehouse. Government’s responses on such weighty issues of international coloration such as the letter to the Commonwealth by some concerned UK Parliamentarians ought to and should be handled by the Federal Executive Council or Secretary to the Government of the Federation through a media conference or briefing; not by ‘private Presidential media aides’.

“We have therefore read and analyzed with the deepest dismay ‘a statement of indefensible defense, distortion, and trivialization’, released by Mallam Shehu Garba, claiming to be representing “the Government and People of Nigeria” and in response to media reports of some concerned UK Parliamentarians that petitioned the Commonwealth Secretary-General, praying the body to prevail on Government of Nigeria to adhere strictly to her human rights commitment to the Commonwealth Charter as a notable member of the Organization by addressing the spate of anti-Christian butcheries and other forms of insecurity in Nigeria.

“Lacking intelligent, tact and expertise, Mallam Shehu Garba undertook again to embarrass the country and taint her international corporate image by telling the international friends of the country’s downtrodden and persecuted citizens that “Vice President Osinbajo is a Christian Evangelical Pastor” and as such, “an indication of the formation of a religiously balanced (50-50 Muslim-Christian) Government by the Government of his Boss”. Instead of thanking the concerned UK Parliamentarians and others like them, with firm promise to frontally address the butcheries, Mallam Shehu Garba opted to rigmarole in absurdity, frivolity, and irrelevance.

“As if that was not enough, Mallam Garba Shehu further manifested personal bias, ignorance, and psychology of typewriter age, by attempting to reduce the weighty issue of killing of Christians and gathered intelligence and victims’ testimonies showing overt and covert complicity of the country’s security agencies and their operatives in the butcheries to personal castigation and attacks. We have wondered and still wonder what the years of service and government appointment of Retired Gen Theo Danjuma or “Kanu”/“IPOB as a proscribed terror group” got to do with the unchecked killing of Christians and obvious security forces’ complicity.”

This is more so when the killings have been researched and published by over 50 local and international groups including human rights and Christian, victims and non faith groups and locally and internationally respected personalities. Included in the list of agencies that have reported or published the killings are various agencies working for Federal Government of Nigeria which dishonestly and falsely chose to label the killings as “farmers-herders’ clashes”. This is more so when the same Federal Government of Nigeria was reported to have hired the like of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and others as its chief lobbyists in the same UK Parliament.

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 @ 12:35 GMT |

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