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Buhari’s Shoot-On-Sight Order Heartless ― Afenifere

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Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has condemned the “shoot-on-sight” order issued by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the order as “artless and heartless” and targeted at protesting Igbo youths.

Acting Leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, made this condemnation on Thursday in a statement made available to newsmen, even as he further condemned what he saw as a situation where two sets of laws existed in the country – one where the Fulani go scot-free and another, that ensured that the lives of others, especially those of the Igbo do not matter.

According to him, with the “shoot-on-sight” order, “the fate of the people of the South-East amid clear and present animus, arising from the deeds and words coming from Major General Buhari, now appears to be in a certain jeopardy.”

 

It would be recalled that the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, early in the week, raised fresh worries over the “shoot-on-sight” order, insisting that it clearly confirmed the uneven handed way the Federal Government had been treating matters affecting the people of the zone.

Adebanjo, while noting that the rising hostility against the South-East zone since the beginning of the Buhari administration had now become a matter of great concern to Afenifere, said this reality should also become a major concern of other stakeholders in the Nigerian project.

The elder statesman sadly recalled Buhari’s disposition towards the Igbo as well as his mode of engagement in the South-East zone, from the moment he became president, saying it “has been this decisive, no dialogue, no civil discourse, just the gun and bullet approach.”

This was just as Adebanjo observed that the same fate does not apply to Buhari’s Fulani ethnic group, who as exemplified by the herders, was the fourth deadliest terrorist group “as determined by Global Terrorism Index, the safely international body that monitors terrorism all over the world.”

“Whereas Buhari allows his Fulani people to roam freely, and engaging in killing, maiming and raping. While protecting, prevaricating to the Fulani herders without a restraining order, the Igbo youths, he orders his mainly northern military to kill on sight,” he said sadly.

Afenifere leader described such posturing as a “devious plot,” recalling the genocide in Benue State a few years back in which the Fulani herders killed in their hundreds the innocent citizens of that state.

The elder statesman, who happened to have travelled to Makurdi, the Benue State capital on that occasion as one of the leaders of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) to observe firsthand the positive identification of the killers by the state government, expressed disappointment that no arrests and indictment took place despite the incontrovertible identity of the killers.

“Despite the incontrovertible identity of the killers, all Buhari had to say to the governor was ‘accommodate your neighbour. No arrests, no indictment,” he said.

Speaking further, Chief Adebanjo, while decrying the situation where two sets of laws exist in the country, noted that no Igbo man is a member of Buhari’s security council, querying: “Is that how to run a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country like Nigeria?”

Afenifere leader argued that with the “shoot-on-sight order,” which he described as draconian order under which no opposition member was safe, it would be assumed that Nigeria had now become a theatre of bloodshed and the streets “now lined with the blood of innocent Nigerians not paved with the gold Buhari promised Nigerians with his mantra of Change.”

“With this draconian order no opposition member is safe,” he declared.

Adebanjo, therefore, charged leaders in the other zones of the country to stand up and condemn the “shoot-on-sight” order in order to prevent yet another looming massacre in the South-East.

The elder statesman said President Buhari must be told to revoke forthwith what he termed his “reckless and draconian order” if he was sincere about the peace and unity of this country, and does not have a hidden agenda as there were more civilized and democratic ways to beef up the security in the South-East zone.

“The president must be told that if he is sincere about the peace and unity of this country, his reckless and draconian order should be revoked forthwith.

“Certainly if the president has no hidden agenda, there are more civilized and democratic ways to beef up the security in the South-East,” he added.

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