*Osinbajo’s Vice Presidential Christian position is same as camouflaged in Sudan, Lebanon, Etc
Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law is deeply frowning at steady and unchecked embarrassment and tainting of Nigeria’s international corporate image by Mallam Garba Shehu and Mr. Femi Adesina and other private media aides attached to the office of Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This they have been doing since mid 2015 when their boss hired them under the guise of “Presidential Media Aides”. Since then they have internationally reduced Nigeria to “government of parochialism, clannishness and mockery” including “a government where indefensible policy blunders and conduct atrocities are fruitlessly defended and repeatedly perpetrated”.
The personally biased and inexperienced presidential media aides not only talk loquaciously and emptily on sensitive matters requiring tact handling and expert opinions, but have also elevated their personal biases and opinions as policy and conduct laws of the country; to the extent that ‘they now lecture the same international agencies and governments they and rest of Nigerians have consistently and solely fallen back on, in matters of credible local and international data and statistics including data on governance, defense, security, policing and intelligence.
Henceforth, such embarrassing and loquacious opinions expressed by private media aides of Mr. President on weighty national issues must be regarded by Nigerians and members of the Int’l Community and other watchers on Nigeria as ‘personal opinions and biases’ of such private media aides of the President. This is because Nigeria as a country of over 200m citizens and acclaimed democratic country is not ‘a Government or Presidency of Mallam Garba Shehu and Mr. Femi Adesina’.
Sadly and regrettably, such uninformed and unguarded utterances have steadily escalated the butcheries and emboldened the perpetrators to continue unchecked to butcher, maim, plunder, rape, abduct, loot and forcefully convert captive defenseless Nigerian Christians with reckless abandon or impunity. Such utterances are also tactically a confirmation of Nigerian Government aiding and abetting in the butcheries and provision of state cover and protection for their perpetrators.
By provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the present Government of Nigeria, though grossly asymmetrical in composition or heavily Muslim controlled; is constituted and led through ‘a Federal Executive Council’ with Secretary to the Government of the Federation as its chief scribe and intellectual warehouse. Government’s responses on such weighty issues of international coloration such as the letter to the Commonwealth by some concerned UK Parliamentarians ought to and should be handled by the Federal Executive Council or Secretary to the Government of the Federation through a media conference or briefing; not by ‘private Presidential media aides’.
We have therefore read and analyzed with deepest dismay ‘a statement of indefensible defense, distortion and trivialization’, released by Mallam Garba Shehu claiming to be representing “the Government and People of Nigeria” and in response to media reports of some concerned UK Parliamentarians that petitioned the Commonwealth Secretary General, praying the body to prevail on Government of Nigeria to adhere strictly to her human rights commitment to the Commonwealth Charter as a notable member of the Organization by addressing the spate of anti Christian butcheries and other forms of insecurity in Nigeria.
Lacking intelligent, tact and expertise, Mallam Garba Shehu undertook again to embarrass the country and taint her international corporate image by telling the international friends of the country’s downtrodden and persecuted citizens that “Vice President Osinbajo is a Christian Evangelical Pastor” and as such, “an indication of formation of a religiously balanced (50-50 Muslim-Christian) Government by the Government of his Boss”. Instead of thanking the concerned UK Parliamentarians and others like them, with firm promise to frontally address the butcheries, Mallam Garba Shehu opted to rigmarole in absurdity, frivolity and irrelevance.
As if that was not enough, Mallam Garba Shehu further manifested personal bias, ignorance and psychology of typewriter age, by attempting to reduce the weighty issue of killing of Christians and gathered intelligence and victims’ testimonies showing overt and covert complicity of the country’s security agencies and their operatives in the butcheries to personal castigation and attacks. We have wondered and still wonder what the years of service and government appointment of Retired Gen Theo Danjuma or “Kanu”/“IPOB as a proscribed terror group” got to do with the unchecked killing of Christians and obvious security forces’ complicity.
This is more so when the killings have been researched and published by over 50 local and international groups including human rights and Christian, victims and non faith groups and locally and internationally respected personalities. Included in the list of agencies that have reported or published the killings are various agencies working for Federal Government of Nigeria which dishonestly and falsely chose to label the killings as “farmers-herders’ clashes”. This is more so when the same Federal Government of Nigeria was reported to have hired the like of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and others as its chief lobbyists in the same UK Parliament.
Osinbajo’s Christian Vice Presidency Is A Camouflage
The stark reality on the ground in the present Nigeria is that Prof Yemi Osinbajo as the country’s Vice President and a Christian does not in any way indicate formation under the present Federal Government of Nigeria a religiously balanced or 50-50 Christian-Muslim Federal Cabinet and its defense, security, policing and civil agencies.
As a matter of fact, Prof Osinbajo’s Vice Presidency is a camouflage-which was the case in Sudan where a makeshift position of “a Vice President” was allocated to Christians and in Lebanon where a post of largely ceremonial President was also allocated to same. Yet behind the scene, systematic efforts including propagation and institutionalization of radical Islamism were intensified to wipe out the Christian populations in the two countries with intent to convert same posts to Muslim hold once Christians are no more. In Lebanon, but for State of Israel, radical Islamists would have wiped out all members of Christian faith and in Sudan, but for independence of largely Christian dominated South Sudan in 2011 following a 2005 agreement, same would have happened.
Also in Asyut Egypt, Coptic Christians once made up approximately 20% of the entire population of the country. But owing to years of sustained persecutions by State backed Jihadists, the Coptic Christians are presently not up to 2% of the country’s population. Yet, Asyut is the oldest Christian nation-state in African. It also hosts the oldest Christian church-the Hanging Church of Asyut built in AD60. With present radical domination of the Federal Government of Nigeria and its security and civil agencies by Muslims-a deliberate policy of the present central Government, the country is going same way as in Egypt, Sudan and Lebanon.
Therefore, since Mallam Garba Shehu has raised the issue of formation by his Boss’s Government of balanced or 50-50 Muslim-Christian Government with gross distortion of facts, the following are the true position: that Sections 14 (3) and 10 of the 1999 Constitution prohibit domination or controlling of Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies by Muslims or a particular ethno-religious group and adoption of Islam as State religion; but in practice and present case, the Government of Nigeria and its agencies are heavily Muslim controlled. In the area of composition of the Armed Forces of the Federation, Section 218 (1) of same 1999 Constitution clearly forbids same and provides that “the composition of officer corps and other ranks of the armed forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal character (ethno-religious balancing) of Nigeria”; yet in practice, these provisions are observed in gross breach by the same Government.
For instance, the following top political, electoral, defense, security, policing, paramilitary and justice establishment positions, numbering thirty are held by Muslims since mid 2015, out of the country’s 37 of such positions. President of Nigeria (Northern Muslim), Chief of Army Staff (same), Chief of Air Staff (same), Inspector Gen of Police (same), DG, SSS (same), DG, NIA (same), National Security Adviser (same), Minister of Defense (same), Minister of Police Affairs (Southwest Muslim), Comptroller Gen of Customs (same), Comptroller Gen of Immigration (same), Comptroller Gen Prisons (same), Commandant of Nigerian Security & Civil Defense Corps (same), Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (same), Chairman, Federal Character Commission (same), Attorney Gen of the Federation (same), Chief Justice of Nigeria (same), Acting Chairman of EFCC (same), Chairman, Police Service Commission (Southwest Muslim) and CEO/Chairman of NAFDAC (same). Other positions held by Muslims in the country’s security sector are the Senate and the House of Reps Committee Chairmen on Defense, Interior, Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Intelligence, National Security, Customs, Immigration, etc.
Few posts held by Christians in the Cabinet of the present Government of Nigeria are: Vice President (Southwest Christian), Chief of Defense Staff (Southwest Christian), Chief of Naval Staff (South-South Christian), Controller Gen, Federal Fire Service (North-Central Christian), Corps Marshall, FRSC (North-central Christian) and lately in acting capacity-Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (Christian) and President of the Court of Appeal (Christian).
Finally, since Mallam Garba Shehu has claimed internationally that his Boss’s Government is religiously balanced or a secular Government, we strongly call and challenge him to publicly publish the names and their ethnic and religious identities of all the 21 constitutionally provided serving Justices of the Supreme Court, 49 Justices of the Court of Appeal, 69 Judges of the Federal High Court, all the serving DIGs, AIGs, CPs, State CPs, DCPs, ACPs, CSPs and SPs of the Nigeria Police Force especially senior police officers in charge of 18 Police Zonal Commands, 36 State Commands and the FCT; SCIDs, Police Area Commands, Police Marine, Police Border, Police Highway, Police Railway, Police Mobile Force, Police Divisional Commands, and Anti Terror, Anti Cult, Anti Bunkering and Anti Robbery Police in Nigeria.
To be publicly published by Mallam Garba Shehu, too, are names and ethno-religious identities of serving Deputy DGs, Assistant DGs, State Directors and Local Government heads of SSS in the country and those in the Customs, Immigration, Prisons, NSCDC and FRSC as well as GOCs, Brigade, Battalion and Artillery Commanders of the Nigerian Army throughout Nigeria and their equivalents in the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy. Not excluded from being publicly published are serving heads of Federal Government’s parastatals, agencies and departments (MDAs) including Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education and special schools including Principals of Federal Colleges as well as current heads of the NNPC, Nigerian Ports Authority and Air Port Authority, etc.
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair, Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance, Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights and Damaris Amaka Onuoha, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity