Ethnic Nationalities Knock Buhari Over N1.4bn Car Gifts To Niger

Ethnic Nationalities Knock Buhari Over N1.4bn Car Gifts To Niger

Prominent ethnic nationalities and other groups in the country have condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of N1.45 billion to purchase 10 units of Toyota Land Cruiser Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in February this year, to the Niger Republic. The groups, including the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), and the Credibility Group, in separate telephone interviews with Saturday Sun, wondered why President Buhari approved such funds to assist the Niger Republic with its insecurity challenges when the situation at home deteriorates daily. National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi said President Buhari’s action confirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government is not in touch with the reality in Nigeria…Continue reading

He said: “It is tempting to regard the government’s gesture to the Niger Republic as uncalled for. Indeed, it is tempting to insinuate that there must be an undisclosed ulterior motive in President Buhari over the gesture. Those who might think so should not be condemned. For there is so much happening here that deserve urgent attention. What the government should do is to raise the welfare and morale of the fighting security officers, equip them appropriately and allow the setting-up of state police.”

National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Chidozie Alex Ogbonnia called on the National Assembly to investigate the matter and determine whether any laws were breached in disbursing the funds.

He said: “it is the height of insensitivity and unconscionable on the part of the president to approve such humongous amount for Niger Republic given the insecurity challenges and hunger facing Nigerians. It is very painful to ordinary Nigerians. Of all the policies and actions taken by President Buhari’s administration, this is the worst, it shows his insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians.”

President of the MBF, Dr Pogu Bitrus said there are two possible sides to the issue, the obligations of Nigeria to the Niger Republic under a possible bilateral agreement between both countries and the morality side.

He noted that regardless of any bilateral agreement that may exist, it is morally wrong and offensive to ignore situations at home to fulfil bilateral agreements. He observed that recent actions of President Buhari suggested he has a preference for the Niger Republic over Nigeria.

Chief Goddy Uwazurike, a lawyer, and the president of the Credibility Group also condemned President Buhari’s action. The former President of Aka Ikenga noted that President Buhari has demonstrated another downward spiral with his action by ignoring the situation of things at home and concentrating on situations in a foreign country.

He said: “Nigerian money cannot be appropriated unless first budgeted for and signed into law, so says the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It comes as a shock that Mr President, the person most concerned with the supremacy of the constitution authorised the expenditure of our money by buying 10 expensive SUVs at more than what common sense dictates. The president’s action is condemnable by all patriotic people. The Nigerian university system is comatose just because the president has refused to handle the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) issues. Today, terrorists are holding up the country, but the priority of the presidential team is the welfare and progress of the Niger Republic, not that of Nigeria. I can only say: ‘Cry the beleaguered country’.”

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