Apparently unhappy, over floods of criticism some Nigerians have continued to heap on Buhari, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Garba Shehu, said it was “absolute rubbish” that “somebody would sit in the comfort of his parlour” and say Buhari government was doing nothing on the matter.
Shehu spoke on Sunday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today. He maintained that the Nigerian Government under Buhari’s leadership had achieved incredible results in improving the security situation in the country since coming into power in 2015.
He said, “Let me say to you that the criticism is very unfair to the military gentleman who fought for this country to remain one, a gentleman who is a father and grandfather. President Muhammadu Buhari is on top of the challenges but people have brought politics into everything in this country. There is political Boko Haram. People make political capital out of everything at the expense of the unity of the country.
“Security challenges had been present before the present administration took over. We have our own security challenges and we are dealing with it as decisively as we can, but the security challenges keep on changing. It is a dynamic situation. In the past Boko Haram committed a lot of atrocities in this country. People could not go to church or mosque in some places in this country and hundreds were displaced and somebody would sit in the comfort of his parlour and say we are doing nothing. That is absolute rubbish.”
He also spoke on the unending protest by a Muslim religious sect, Shiites, who had been demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Buhari’s administration has refused to obey court ruling that ordered the release of the Muslim leader, but Shehu said that government might no longer tolerate the violent protest of the sect.
Shehu said, “If the Shiites have read our statement correctly they would have seen an olive branch from that statement. What did the government say? That we are still open to dialogue and we are going to abide by the adjudication by the court of law. The Attorney General of the Federation said government no longer has a hand in the case.
“We expect them to concentrate their energy on the ongoing case in Kaduna. We cannot continue to tolerate the idea of sending women and young kids and use them to disrupt the activities of President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders in this country. They think that will take them somewhere? No. They have to sit down and think about the best thing for themselves.”
“We have the capability to use force and overcome the violent protest of the Shiites. They should not push government to the wall. Persuasion is being employed and they should see that this is an administration that believes in dialogue. So, they should use the opportunity and seize the moment. If they decide otherwise and want to continue attacking the National Assembly and they think that the army and police are meek or powerless. They should not test the might of government,” he added.
On those asking Buhari to convoke a national conference on restructuring of the country, the President’s spokesman described such as spurious.
According to him, such calls are immaterial since there is existing National Assembly that has the constitutional power to deliberate on such issues.
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