The Presidency has yesterday faulted the letter emanating from members, British House of Lords, the United Kingdom blaming the Nigerian government over recent killings by Boko Haram and Bandits in the country. The massage was contained in a letter titled, “British Lawmakers, legal experts and campaigners should work with President Buhari, not fall for Propaganda” delivered by The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja.
Accordingly, the British lawmakers had in one letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, dated 14th September 2020 co-signed by Baroness Cox, Baroness Kennedy, Jim Shannon, Fiona Bruce, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, and 14 others, demanding the commonwealth to carry out an investigation into the killing going-on in Nigeria and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The parliamentarians expressed resentment over the insecurity situation through wanton killing by the Boko Haram elements and the Fulani herdsmen especially in North-Eastern Nigeria are describing it as a breach to the Commonwealth charter.
The lawmakers requested the Commonwealth to raise the killing with the Ministerial Action Group.
However, the Presidency kicked that not all those who provide the information to the MPs that form the bases for their decision are committed to democracy or peaceful co-existence in Nigeria.
Shehu, whose statement partly reads, “At the same time as we take note of the lawmakers’ letter, it is also important to stress to our partners and colleagues in the United Kingdom that not all who press them have the best interests of either democratic governance or peaceful coexistence in mind.
“For example, the former Nigerian Chief of Army Staff named and quoted in the letter as a source on military matters relinquished that position some 40 years ago – in 1979.
“He was last in a government position 17 years ago in 2003 (as Minister of Defence). At that time, religious and ethnic riots erupted in two states of the federation, (2001 and 2002).
These were violently and ruthlessly put down by the military under his authority, leading to the loss of thousands of lives and the displacement of some further 50,000 persons.
“He is, therefore, not a natural source of pressure for good governance.”
Garba Shehu noted that as one of the signatories to the letter, is well-known to be associated with the Indigenous People of Biafra, a Nigerian Proscribed terrorist group.
He said the IPOB is running a blacklisted group who’s their source of finance is not known and are engaged in an International bad campaign directed to damage the image of the Nigerian state and its government in other to push forth their agenda of independence. The same person jumped bail in Nigeria, though frequently travel with a Nigerian passport but urged his kinsmen to tear their own.
Shehu continued, “The IPOB barely mention their aims in their publicity; neither do they mention that their own leadership does not claim to be Christian. Yet, their media and lobbying campaign has focused near-exclusively on promoting matters related to Christianity in Nigeria, promulgating false claims that a government with 50 percent of its cabinet and 50 percent of its state governors who are Christian somehow works against Christians.
The Federal government said it is calling on the British Government to join Nigeria in addressing genuine solutions but not to dance to the quest of anarchist.
He said that the Government of President Buhari welcomes the seriousness of the letter and the attention paid by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.
He said the Nigerian Government is always ready to work with the British parliament and the Commonwealth is looking for the lasting solution to the Farmer versus harder clashes in Nigeria and the Sahel region at large from the clutch of the terrorist.
Meanwhile, he explains that the Nigerian government cabinet is made up of both Christians and Muslim counterpart in the same proportion, the Vice President is an evangelist and Pastor, saying Nigeria stand to gain everything as a country through international cooperation with concerned Senior British Parliamentarians and policymakers.
He concluded that it is wrong, “The threat to civilians and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups from Boko Haram, banditry and land disputes is of serious concern to the President and the government. It is incorrect, however, to assert that the government has or is doing nothing to address these intertwined threats.”