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Service Chiefs: Group Slams Garba Shehu For Defending Exclusion Of Igbo

                    Mallam Garba Shehu

The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, has come under sharp criticism over his defense of the exclusion of the Igbo in the recent appointment of Service Chiefs.

A Civil Society Organization under the aegis of Conference of Nigeria Civil Society for Peace and Security, took a swipe at the Presidential aide for justifying nepotism.

Shehu had defended the appointment of the Service Chiefs as devoid of ethnic considerations.

Expressing disappointment at Shehu’s statement, the group insisted that his justification of the exclusion of the Igbo from the appointments was not only insensitive but also irresponsible.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Dr Aminu Shettima and National Secretary, Barr. Olufemi Amuda, the group wondered if “competence only resides among the geo-political regions that President Buhari had consistently considered for appointments in his administration”.

According to the statement, “we find this statement coming from Mallam Shehu Garba at this time when Nigerians are still adding their voices to the exclusion of the South East from the recent appointment of the service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari as insensitive and irresponsible.

“As a Civil Society Organization with deep interest in Nigeria’s electoral process, we wish to express our disappointment in the statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu to the effect that appointments of service chiefs was not based on ethnicity.

“We view this statement ascribed to him as highly irresponsible, sentimental, and insensitive and an attempt to justify this government’s continuous neglect and hatred for the Igbo Nation, which no doubt, is the third largest tribe in Nigeria.”

The group continued that, ,”while we agree totally that the appointment of Service Chiefs is not and should not be done on ethnic basis, we wish to ask if Igbo people of South East don’t have competent officers that can be appointed in the administration of President Buhari?

“Does competent people revolve within only one or two geopolitical zones since the assumption of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration? Obviously no.

“We wish to say here without hesitation that continuous alienation of people of Igbo extraction from the scheme of affairs in the administration of President Buhari is confirmation of the deep rooted hatred for the Igbo people by this administration. It is now clear to everyone.

“Nigeria has three major languages with Igbo among, so why are the rest always carried along in sensitive appointments in the Buhari’s government except for the Igbos? The answer is clear to everyone and it is nepotism. This should never be allowed to thrive in today’s Nigeria”.

The group therefore appealed to the President to use his remaining years in office to right his wrong, “thus leaving a good legacy and not to allow sycophants to further paint him in bad light in our generation”.

“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore people like Garba Shehu and redeem his image during this remaining two years of his administration by reviewing the latest service chiefs appointment, for posterity sake,” it said.

It also noted that, “Mr President and the entire members of his cabinet must know that we all need each other in Nigeria to survive, and injustice and lack of equity is a direct threat to peace and security. This is why we are appealing that justice must be done to every region and persons in these regions”,adding that :”As civil society organizations , we owe the country the obligation to be fair and just to all in our actions.”

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