The spokesperson for the Coalition of Northern Groups, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, has insisted that the organisers of #RevolutionNow planned to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
This comes after the coalition had accused prominent Nigerians, including the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; Prof Wole Soyinka and Mr Femi Falana, of supporting the attempt to overthrow Buhari.
In an interview with Punch, Suleiman said that the Buhari’s administration has failed to meet the aspiration of Nigerians in many aspects.
He described the security situation as lamentable, while highlighting the Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen menace, kidnappings and banditry as areas where Buhari’s administration “appears unable to find inclusive and creative ways of addressing and de-escalating this complex conflict.”
“Not at all! Protests are among the avenues available to citizens anywhere in the world to get leaders to do what is right. We are all aware of the several disappointing inadequacies of the Buhari administration. The security situation is lamentable in many respects. The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, which killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions leaving about 7.7 million people in serious humanitarian crisis, is not yet over. Then, there are the herders’ problems which since 2015 have become more frequent and violent, assuming new dimensions in kidnappings and banditry across the North and other places claiming an estimated six times more than the Boko Haram crisis.
It is now being politicised and is stirring ethnic and religious tensions while the government appears unable to find inclusive and creative ways of addressing and de-escalating this complex conflict. On the economic front, the Nigerian economy has been growing at a slow pace while the government fails to show genuine concern for turning its diversification policy from mere paperwork into a more visible projects by channelling efforts and resources into revamping the agricultural sector, giving adequate incentives to farmers and addressing the farmers-herders conflict nationwide. And since inception, the Buhari administration has shortchanged some sections of the country particularly the North and South-East in the distribution of goods and services, budgetary allocations and appointments with total disregard for the principle of federal character as outlined in the Nigerian constitution. Buhari has also failed to assemble a team of experts, technocrats and experienced professionals to carry out rapid development across Nigeria.
The administration’s anti-corruption is also generally seen as a charade and a witch-hunt targeting a select people while ignoring those in its own camp. Buhari has failed to prove to Nigerians that he is impartial. The President is largely criticised for disobeying court orders, trampling on citizen’s rights and lack of respect for constitutional provisions. All these are matters of serious concern that call for citizen action. There are, however, grounds for suspicion with regards to the nature of protest suggested by the organisers of the #Revolutionow. It suggested forceful overthrow of the government which is not the type of citizen action allowable in a modern democracy. And for people who are respected statesmen to support such a move is certainly unfortunate. Asiwaju Tinubu happens to be a major beneficiary of this government and has played a major role in all its shortcomings. It, therefore, amounts to double standards to be seen by commission or omission to be supporting any move that suggests its violent overthrow.”