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Buhari’s ‘shock of lives’ comments unecessary – Group

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A Civil Society group, Leadership Orientation and Basic Rights Advocacy Centre (LOBRAC), has said that the comments of President Muhammadu Buhari during a briefing by INEC officials, last Tuesday, were unhelpful in the current tense situation in the country.

Buhari had while receiving the officials led by its Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu at State House alluded to disturbances in the South Eastern parts of the country where gunmen had sacked police stations, killed personnel and burnt government facilities, stressing that those seeking to derail his administration would soon receive the shock of their lives. 

The President went on to point out that those of them who were in the trenches during the civil war bore testimonies of the carnage of the war, and vowed that those who did not witness that war and who were fomenting trouble would be “treated in the language that they understand”.

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But, in a statement by the group through its national convener, Barr Stanley Okafor, made available to journalists, in Awka, regretted that the comments of the President came at a time when words from Nigeria’s leaders ought to reflect untiring generosity and avuncular adroitness.

The statement read in part: “We note with regret that our national thermometer reads a dangerous temperature which only requires careful and delicate management as means of averting imminent catastrophe. 

“The President’s comments alluded to instances of the civil war in which the South-Eastern part of Nigeria suffered untold hardship and even genocidal cleansing, and for him to conclude the topic with the statement WE WILL TREAT THEM IN THE LANGUAGE THEY UNDERSTAND was clearly a particularized threat and it evoked feelings of baleful feverishness in those, on whose homeland the war was fought.”.

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The group further noted that the President had ample choice in the circumstance of comments other than those capable of evoking grotesque memories of the war and sending a sense of threat to a section of the country, insisting that stating that trouble makers would be penalised in line with extant laws, was a better choice that suited the moment.

It argued that destruction of strategic installations was not restricted to any part of the country since the northern part of Nigeria had witnessed incessant attacks against military units, schools and government properties. 

The group urged the government to pursue peace and show balance in its handling of the current crisis rocking parts of the country.

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