By Ejiofor Alike
The Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of fiddling when Nigeria is burning.
In a statement yesterday, the spokesman of CNM, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, cited theÂ recent United Statesâ€™ annual country report on Nigeria, which observed that â€œthe government took steps to investigate alleged abuses but fewer steps to prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government.â€
According to Osuntokun, the US report also noted that â€œimpunity remained widespread at all levels of government,â€ adding also that â€œthe government did not adequately investigate or prosecute most of the major outstanding allegations of human rights violations by the security forces or the majority of cases of police or military extortion or other abuse of power.
â€œAlthough the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services,â€ Osuntokun quoted the US report as saying.
Osuntokun argued that in line with the observations made by the United States in their report, incumbent Senator Dino Melaye had been barred from traveling on official assignment to Morroco and subjected to harassment and violent manhandling, culminating in his emergency hospital admission to the intensive care unit-in a style reminiscent of the worst excesses of Papa Doc Duvalierâ€™s Haiti.
According to Osuntokun, this was done in apparent coordination with political forces seeking to recall him from the senate.
He noted that while still in the hospital, the recall process was set in motion but quickly ended in failure.
He also noted that the regime of genocidal massacres in Benue State attained another height last week in the invasion of a church where two Catholic priests and indeterminate number of the congregation were butchered.
â€œThis tragedy was casually reinforced by the decision of President Buhari to proceed on a campaign tour to Bauchi in careless and insensitive disregard of the intensifying Benue calamity. This peculiar attitude has become all too familiar and characteristic of President Buhari.Â Something of the unfolding national calamity can still be salvaged in the unlikely event that the President sees fit to mend his ways going forward. Were the President to continue to prioritise his re-election over the security and well being of Nigerians, he would be putting the corporate existence of the country at risk,â€ Osuntokun added.