Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has lambasted Garba Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, over what it described as unbridled tendencies and unwholesome disrespect shown to Roman Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Mathew Hassan Kukah.
HURIWA accused Shehu of having used his words carelessly in the rejoinder he issued against Kukah’s presentation to the American Congress recently.
The rights group believes that Kukah’s statement to the US congress Committee on Foreign Affairs needed not to have generated controversy if not that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has degenerated to a Banana Republic whereby the elected leaders have turned themselves into tyrants who are scared of the truth.
In his statement before the Congress, the cleric had, among other things, alleged that Christians were being targeted by insurgents and bandits and Buhari was showing preference for people of his religion and ethnic group in matters of appointments and in the enforcement of the relevant policies and legal framework against the rising insecurity.
Angered by this, Garba Shehu, in a scathing response on behalf of the Presidency, described the cleric’s allegations as false and lambasted the revered Bishop.
Shehu considered it “troubling when a so-called man of the Church copies the worst excesses of those seeking personal advancement in public office.”
The Presidency also expressed disappointment that some citizens threw their weight behind Kukah following his comments.
However, HURIWA, in its reaction through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said that Shehu has only succeeded in celebrating his scanty understanding of the Constitution by making unintelligent and insensitive remarks.
HURIWA has asked Shehu to do a short intensive programme on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 so he understands the fuller intents of the relevant sections that speak to the issues of Federal character principles.
The Rights group said the Federal character of Nigeria includes the fact that Nigeria is a country with two dominant religions of Christians and Moslems and others such as African traditional worshippers.
“We totally endorse the presentation made by His Lordship the Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Sokoto for these are facts that are empirical and we are witnesses to the ongoing nepotistic appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari and the consistent killings of Christian clerics by Islamists are facts which the President can’t hide from.”