faults Mr. President on security, economy, rule of law
By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message to Nigerians, saying it was neither eye-catching nor impressive.
The apex Christian body faulted the President’s position on security, economy and rule of law; stressing that his speech contradicted the realities experienced in the country in these areas last year.
CAN said it would treat the President’s declaration of his intention to stand down from politics in 2023 as mere political rhetoric, saying he had made similar promises in the past but recanted his words when time for action presented itself.
The Nigerian Church also lampooned the President Buhari on his silence over the issue religious persecution and other related crimes in the country which were of particular I terest to it.
Speaking in a chat with Vanguard, CAN’s Vice Chairman (Northern region), Rev. John Hayab, said: “It is unfortunate that New Year speeches by our political leaders have become objects of mockery and deceit.
“We look forward to the 2020s as new opportunities for the government to give some bite to its promises. Over the years, we have read and heard many new year messages that were never translated into actions.
“Our leaders have become so insincere with their speeches that the ordinary Nigerian finds nothing spectacular in them.
“The President said he will be standing down from politics in 2023; but we consider that announcement as a political statement. He once told Nigerians that he won’t be running for President after 2011 polls, but he ran in 2015. President Buhari had also said he would do only one term in office but he is on a second term today.
“So until he really shuns the ‘enemies’ of our nation, who are always urging him to recant his promises; and actually stands down from politics in 2023, we won’t take him seriously on this matter.”
Hayab said: “If the Federal Government was sincere about the true state of insecurity in the country, it won’t be praising itself the way it has done in the President’s new year speech, because Nigerians are still feeling unsafe and living in fear of kidnapping, highway robbery, banditry, and herdsmen attacks.
“We are all aware of the Christmas day killings and several other attacks by insurgents in the Northeast region. These clearly show that violent extremism and the networks that help finance and organise terror in the country are yet to be dismantled by the security agencies.
“So the government must first come cleam and be honest about the true state of insecurity in the country before it lasting solution can be found and adopted for the good of all.Thank”
On Rule of Law
He said, “It was absurd for the President to have said government’s actions at all times have been governed by the rule of law. If that was the case, all the drama we witness about Sheikh El-Zakzaky, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and Omoyele Sowore would have been unnecessary.
“As we speak, there are many more unreported cases of human rights abuses perpetuated by government agencies but the President merely glossed over the issue as though all is well.
“The Federal Government is already failing in the area of providing room for well-meaning citizens of goodwill to engage with it and promote dialogue, partnership and understanding.
“Not all critics whether on social media mainstream media wish the government ill-will. We expected the President to assure Nigerians that the federal government will not in any form bridle their Rights to freedom of speech and expression through the social media and hate speech bills.”
“The President celebrated the revolution in agriculture, particularly in rice production. But he failed to ask how many Nigerians had the resources to actually buy these locally grown agro produce? It shows clearly that some of his economic policies are not working and the results continue to show themselves more clearly by the day
“We are not bothered about the closure of the land borders. In fact, we support the exercise. But we expected the President to tell Nigerians what specific measures were in place to check the security concerns, illegal migration, and smuggling activities linked with cross-border movements.”