Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has carpeted the Senior Special Assistant on media to President Muhammadu Buhari Mr. Garba Shehu for cheapening and rubbishing the dignity of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by converting it to a centre for political blackmail and religious bigotry. HURIWA said the media statement against Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka has totally eroded the integrity and honour of the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and may need a wide range of political exorcism to restore the lost glory, prestige and dignity of that high office.
The Rights group was reacting to the claim made by President Muhammadu Buhari through Garba Shehu accusing Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka the Enugu based maverick cleric of calling for the impeachment or resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari from office for failing to protect the lives and property of Nigerians from killers, armed bandits, terrorists and armed Fulani militia, because he, Fr Mbaka asked President Muhammadu Buhari for contracts during his visit to the President in Abuja and the President refused to grant his wishes. The Rights group said the claims of the President against Mbaka are a ‘bunkum ‘ and wishy-washy effort to burnish an already damaged presidency.
HURIWA accused Garba Shehu and his principal of political blackmail and denigration of the office of the Roman Catholic Priesthood by seeking to destroy the image of the Church hiding under the guise of blackmailing Reverend Father Mbaka even as the Civil Rights Advocacy Group said in the last 6 years, even going by media reports, the President has hosted a retinue of Moslem Clerics and many of these AsoRock Presidential guests go home with unspecified favours from the President.
HURIWA said since assuming office, the President is known to have made nearly half a dozen of his nephews and cousins officials of his government just as one of them who was alleged to have sold recharge cards in Kaduna and Katsina States was made a Presidential aide and he has suddenly become a multibillionaire as alleged by a family friend of President Muhammadu Buhari who later cross carpeted to the Peiples Democratic party. “President Buhari thinks people don’t know how rural Daura was before 2015 and how his newly minted billionaires made up of his associates have reportedly turned Daura to eldorado and a paradise on Earth.”
The National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf who endorsed the media statement for the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA said the President has now confirmed solidly that he is an Islamic bigot who would do everything outside the law to tarnish the image of the Christian faith.
“The calculated mischief and political blackmail by the President against his one time loyal friend was actually carried out because Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka is a Christian leader and attacking him will also ipso facto affect the institution of the Church since he is an ordained man of God”.
“If Mbaka was a Moslem cleric, both Garba Shehu and President Muhammadu Buhari will never contemplate the adoption of cheap political blackmail to attack him for simply exercising his fundamental rights to call for the Impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari in the event that he fails to resign honourably. The call by Fr. Mbaka is legitimate, constitutional and legal because Impeachment and resignation are captured in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for a fact, President Buhari has allowed Nigeria to be one killing field too many under his watch and he has allowed his parochial interest as a Fulani to undermine the oath of office that he swore to protect Nigerians equally from the cocktails of violent attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen and other mass murderers.”
HURIWA wondered why the President had to resort to cheap and calculated anti Christian blackmail against Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka now that he constructively Criticised the President for manifesting absolute incapacity to govern.
The Rights group reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that it was the same him that in 2015 and 2019 eulogised Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka when he predicted his victory against the then incumbent President in 2015 and also repeated same in 2019.
The Rights group said for the avoidance of doubt, it will refer Mr Garba Shehu to the press statement by his Senior Mr Femi Adesina after Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka visited the President and the media statement praised Mbaka thus: “PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, has commended the courage of Father Ejike Mbaka, for not only criticizing some policies of the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration but also moving against the latter’s reelection bid in the 2015 presidential poll.”
The Rights group also reminded Garba Shehu that his colleague Femi Adesina had in 2019 praised Mbaka when he President Muhammadu Buhari played host to the controversial Catholic priest and founder of Adoration Ministry, Enugu, at the Presidential Villa, even as the President had then described the pre-election exhortation of the priest, when he descended hard on the former president, as the best in his life.
Going down memory Lane, HURIWA said: “A statement by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, said the president noted that the message was not only honest but also well delivered. President Buhari has “said that one of the best exhortations to the nation he has heard from the pulpit was the one made early this year by Father Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministries, Enugu.
“President Buhari expressed his appreciation of the Catholic priest’s exemplary courage, “the statement read. It quoted the president as saying:” “Thank you very much for what you have done and said. It brought you out to the whole country as a man of courage. It was honest and well delivered.“It has gone into the records as one of the best concerns expressed from the pulpit, not because it favoured me and my party, the All Progressives Congress, but because it was good for the country.“ President Buhari reaffirmed his conviction that change will come to the country, “with a lot of hard work, despite the security and economic problems”, President Buhari had then said in 2019 soon after he won a reelection.
HURIWA then accused President Muhammadu Buhari of seeking to rubbish the Christian religion by using fallacy of attacking the messenger in the Person of Reverend Father Ejike Camilus Mbaka who is an ordained Priest of the Roman Catholic Church instead of responding robustly to the critical but well considered observations made by the Reverend gentleman.
The Rights group said it is pure blackmail to have declassified proceedings of a private meeting in the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a callous, brutal, but absolutely illiterate and mischievous way even when this same President who has cornered all the strategic and juicy offices to Moslems including Moslem Clerics like the sympathizer of AlQaeda and Taliban like Sheikh Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami whom he made Communications and Digital economy minister, will never divulge discussions he has held with over 6 dozen Moslem clerics in the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
HURIWA asserted that: “This religious bigot called President Muhammadu Buhari gave all the juicy posts in the ministry of education such as that of JAMB to Moslem Clerics but is quick to divulge private discussions he had with a Christian Pastor because as an Islamic bigot, damaging the Christian brand is another kind of Jihad. The President is using the office of the President of Nigeria to launch a Jihad against Fr. Mbaka and by extension the Christian faith”.
HURIWA recalled that Garba Shehu had in his garbage of a press statement alleged thus: “An outsider distilling the avalanche of verbiage, will be surprised that after supporting the President two times to win the Presidency, Father Mbaka has made a complete U-Turn, preposterously asking President Buhari to resign or be impeached. Here is the point of departure: Father Mbaka asked for a meeting and to the shock of Presidential Aides, he came accompanied by three contractors. The President graciously allowed them in, and to everyone’s surprise, Father Mbaka asked for contracts as compensation for his support.”
HURIWA however dismissed the press statement by Garba Shehu as tissues of lies and fabrication meant to damage the Christian brand.