Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Tuesday, lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari over his persistent failure to secure the lives and property of citizens nearly eight years of his administration.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress in Katsina on Monday despite the killing of over 100 vigilantes in Gidan Gamji village, Danmaidaki ward of Kankara Local Government Area of the state is the height of insensitivity by the ruling party.
The group said if the APC is sympathetic to the plight of the people, the party should have suspended its campaign in Katsina with the unprecedented killing of over 100 vigilantes by bandits in the North-West geopolitical zone, saying campaigning while people are mourning is a mockery of the sensibility of the indigenes.
The group also scolded the President over the redesign of three naira notes and the new deadline of February 10, saying the scarcity of naira notes has led to the death of at least one customer who slumped and died after hours of waiting in Agbor, Delta State.
The group said millions of Nigerians have been stranded in the last few weeks, with Point of Sale operators charging as high as N2,000 when people come to withdraw just N10,000. This is scandalous and exorbitant and totally avoidable if the CBN and its governor, Godwin Emefiele had done the needful to release the needed new notes to the populace.
President Muhammadu Buhari has just scored another infamous own goal and has earned a treacherous medal as the Head of State under whose watch Nigerians were killed or died whilst struggling to pull out their savings in the Nigerian deposit banks following the ill-advised, ill-timed decision by the Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank Mr.Godwin Emefiele to redesign the Naira notes and phase out three of the most important and popular Naira notes of N1,000 Bill, N500 Bill and N200 Bill.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said the January 31 deadline for the invalidation of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes is not
workable and feasible under any condition, pointing out that even in the developed parts of the world like the United Kingdom which changed the image on four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50) upon the demise of Queen Elizabeth II last year and replaced her with that of the new monarch, King Charles III.
The group also sought a one-year extension deadline by the CBN for all Nigerians, especially those in remote and unbanked areas to exchange their old notes for new ones, citing the example of the United Kingdom which unveiled its new notes on December 20, 2022, but gave the deadline of 2024 for banks to still swap old pound sterling for the new ones.
He said, “We have read the condemnation of the President on the Katsina attack by bandits where over 100 vigilantes were killed in cold blood. Yet again, the incapacitated President who can’t protect Nigerians is busy wailing. He would go ahead to attend a presidential rally in the state just while the people are mourning. If that is not a mockery, then it is what?
“It remains a wonder why the National Assembly is so dysfunctional that it is heavily bribed by the executive arm to overlook the failures of President Muhammad Buhari to protect lives and property and then stop him from using soldiers and police to kill protesters.
“We call on the international community to take diplomatic steps to sanction President Buhari over these actions.”