Conference of Nigeria Civil Society for Peace and Security (CONCIPESE), has lambasted the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, for defending the exclusion of South-East in the appointment of service chiefs.
CONCIPESE National Coordinator, Dr Aminu Shettima and National Secretary, Barr. Olufemi Amuda, in a statement, yesterday, expressed disappointment, adding that Shehu’s defence was not only irresponsible but insensible giving the country’s regional plurality.
They 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 Mohammadu Buhari as insensitive and irresponsible.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“We appeal to President Mohammadu 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.
“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. As civil society organizations, we owe the country the obligation to be fair and just to all in our actions,” the statement read.
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