The Coalition for Nigeria Movement, led by a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for ‘campaigning’ in different parts of the country despite the ongoing killings ravaging some states, particularly Benue.
Mr Buhari has indicated his intention to seek reelection in 2019 after months of suspense. Many have accused him of putting the cart before the horse by not tackling bloodletting in some states like Benue, Zamfara, Plateau, Kogi, Borno and others first before throwing his hat into the ring for 2019.
The movement, in a statement by its spokesman, Akin Osuntokun, said Mr Buhari’s visit to Bauchi State to campaign less than 24 hours after several persons were slaughtered in Benue State was the height of insensitivity.
The statement titled, “Fiddling while Nigeria is burning”, admonished Mr Buhari to put the security of Nigerians ahead of his political ambition.
The statement explained how the regime of massacres in Benue State attained another height with the invasion of a church in Benue where two Catholic priests and “indeterminate number of the congregation were butchered”.
“This tragedy was casually reinforced by the decision of President Buhari to proceed on a campaign tour to Bauchi in careless and insensitive disregard of the intensifying Benue calamity. This peculiar attitude has become all too familiar and characteristic of President Buhari.
“Something of the unfolding national calamity can still be salvaged in the unlikely event that the President sees fit to mend his ways going forward. Were the President to continue to prioritise his re-election bid over the security and well-being of Nigerians, he would be putting the corporate existence of the country at risk,” part of the statement read.
The coalition aligned with the report of the United States’ Department of State last week, which accused the Buhari administration of failing to effectively tackle corruption and human rights abuses.
It also said the failed attempt to recall a Kogi senator, Dino Melaye, despite his ‘unjust arrest’ was evidence that Mr Buhari was running a government similar to “totalitarian former President François Duvalier of Haiti.”