Ezekwesili under fire for calling Buhari tribal leader
The senior special adviser on media to President Muhammadu Buhari has railed at the co-convener of the #BringBackOurGirls Obi Ezekwesili for describibg the president as a tribal leader following the military exercise Operation Python Dance going on in the southeast.
In a statement issued Thursday, Shehu Garba advised her to be responsible in her statements in the face of national security issues flaming all around the country, especially that of the Indigenous People of Biafra seeking secession.
“While it is convenient for the civil society activist to condemn the military and the government of President Buhari, Mrs Ezekwesili didn’t find it appropriate, even once, to criticise the dangerous and violent propaganda being propagated by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Oby, as they call her, tweets on everything. Why was she silent on this one?”
According to him, the attacks on soldiers and police officers by IPOB supporters “was most irresponsible, indefensible and reckless” and that nobody in her position “should elevate mobs to the status of rock stars for the sake of playing to the gallery.”
He said while the military are taking all precautions to observe the rules of engagement, IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu has his plans,
“There is a deliberate sinister agenda by IPOB to provoke the soldiers into killing innocent people in retaliation so that Nnamdi Kanu would use the pictures of the victims for international propaganda by accusing the government of ethnic cleansing against the Igbo with the sole purpose of gaining sympathy.”
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Similar military exercises are going on five other geopolitical regions for combat-readiness and improved civilian-military relations in the country, he noted. And may attempt to politicise it will jeopardise the objectives.
Defending Buhari’s nationalist character, Garba said a president who has put the nation’s cash cows, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Petroleum in the hands of the Igbo; who has given four out of five states in the sub-region senior cabinet posts in his administration, including Foreign Affairs; and Industry, Trade and Investment, and is constructing the Second Niger bridge after years of deceit and false starts cannot be called a hater of the Igbo.
“Ezekwesili’s hypocritical and timid silence while Kanu’s IPOB supporters were engaged in lawlessness and recklessness in violation of his bail conditions is a burden on her credibility as a national crusader who should be courageous to condemn criminality. This art of using a raincoat while taking a bath is nothing short of self-deceit,” Garba said.
“If the Buhari administration could take tough action against the extremist religious groups in the northern parts of the country to preserve national security, it is ridiculous to accuse the President of sending soldiers to the Southeast because he hates the Igbos. The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari respects all citizens and will ensure that they are safe and secure wherever they reside.”
Shehu advised her to transcend sentiments, and to resist the temptation to play to the gallery, when the country’s national security is under threat.
“Seeking to make political capital out of a chaotic situation is highly unbecoming of her and of the reputation she has worked hard to build over the years.”