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HURIWA knocks Buhari’s aide over insecurity as CAN flays alleged insensitivity to killings

By Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
30 November 2021   |   4:09 am
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammad Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, to cover his face in shame for talking down on innocent...

[FILES] Buhari

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammad Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, to cover his face in shame for talking down on innocent citizens killed on Nigerian roads by Fulani terrorists in the last six years.

The reprimand followed a challenge by HURIWA requesting Shehu to travel the length and breadth of the country without security details, with a view to highlighting the inherent danger.

Shehu, who says Buhari deserves kudos for improving security in the country, had in a phone call to HURIWA accepted the challenge.

But at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said: “It would appear that Mr. Garba Shehu is mistaking our challenge, made out of altruism and patriotism, to mean we had ‘betted’ out or fixed some amount of money to be paid to him should he take up our challenge.

“We made our challenge based on empirical evidence that insecurity is still rife and that unless killers are brought to trial and published, which is not the case now, we can’t say that government is successful with the fight against mass killings.”

MEANWHILE, the northern chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, reminded that democratic government is about protecting people and their rights. It also alleged conspiracy of silence over killing of its members in Kaduna State.

Speaking in an interview, CAN Vice President (North), Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said: “That’s why anytime you hear us challenging government or security agencies, it is not that we don’t appreciate what they are doing. We are only saying, ‘Look, you’re not doing it for good results; you are instead doing it to protect and give cover to criminals.”

He said: “I have enumerated days and places where people were abducted within the last one and a half month. But because they shutdown Internet, the impression is as if nothing is happening and that Kaduna is calm.”

Hayab, who said bandits have abducted over 200 persons since October 3, 2021, added: “What we are appealing to our government is, can we sit up? Things are bad. We are failing. The state is going down economically and security wise, because with the shutdown of networks, poverty has come back.

“Amid these pains, all our governor could do was tell Nigerians about the bridge in Kawo! What’s the value of having a bridge where people are dying? When people are not free and you think you can boost your success by building a bridge, you have lost touch on what democracy is all about.”