Odinkalu, HURIWA Demand Probe of Shooting in the Villa


Tobi Soniyi

A former Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu has called for a thorough investigation into the alleged shooting at the Aso Rock presidential villa, Abuja last Thursday.

He also said that Nigerians needed to be reassured that President Muhammadu Buhari is safe.
Odinkalu argued that once forearms were discharged within the Villa, it was no longer a family affair.”There are rumours – neither affirmed nor denied by the Presidency – that there has been discharge of firearms in the Villa by or from uniformed personnel. If that is true, it is no longer a family affair.

“Any discharge of firearms in the Presidency is presumed to be either on the orders of the President or against him. If it is the latter, it could be treasonable. If it is the former, it could be defence of state. We need to be told which and reassured that the President is safe.”

He urged Nigerians to note the difference between any excitement in the family life of the occupants of the Villa on the one hand and matters that impinge on affairs of the state on the other.
Also yesterday, a civil society group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) said it was time President Muhammadu Buhari took charge of his domestic issues in the Villa to check the constant disgraceful infighting and squabbles between his personal aides and his wife Mrs. Aisha Buhari.

The group is also calling for a thorough investigation of the incident in the presidential mansion in which there was reported use of lethal weapons which the group said should be viewed as an “attempted coup plot”.
It said: “Whomsoever fired the shots should be investigated and sanctioned just like a coup plotter “.

HURIWA said the consistent quarrels by members of his household had the capacity to damage the nation’s brand internationally and ‘making us a laughing stock of the International comity of nations just as it warned that the seemingly uncontrollable disagreements and supremacy battle or power tussle in the presidential mansion has the near- infinite capacity to paint Nigeria graphically in the global community as a Banana republic.
The incident, it said, reinforced the perception that Nigeria is being governed by a president that is not in charge of his domestic affairs.

It said: “Serious investors overseas will not be idiotic to take their hard earned cash in this Covid-19 era of economic recession to a country whose political leader has no control of what goes on within his own home.
“The domestic health of the political leadership of sovereign nation’s is a basic requirement and indeed the global determinant for knowing the stability of a given nation.”

HURIWA in the statement endorsed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said it was reacting to the development in the Presidential mansion in which it was reported that there were gunshots just as some key aides attached to the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, were reportedly arrested by personnel of the Nigerian Police.

“HURIWA is hereby telling the Nigerian Government that Nigeria needs a leader who will not be distracted with regular disagreements that sometimes spill out into a dramatic PUBLIC SHOW OF SHAME. The Rights group said Nigeria has greater issues that demands the full attention and focus of the President to resolve such as rebuilding the collapsed national infrastructures of health, education, Water and restoration of security across the Country than to for the President to be weighed down by constant squabbles by his family members and aides over contestation for supremacy”.