A social media adviser to the Nigerian president has criticised the leader of the country’s Christian Association in an open letter posted to her Facebook page, calling the Christian leader “pretenders to the throne of God”.
Lauretta Onochie was miffed by Samson Olasupo’s criticism of Buhari’s appointments, which the latter said were lopsided.
But Onochie insisted that the CAN president’s criticism were misinformed.
“I do not really understand what you, as the leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), stand to gain from constantly misinforming Nigerians,” Onochie said.
“You keep harping on the lie that appointments made by President Buhari and VP Osinbajo, were lopsided.”
She argued that appointments made by her principal were based on “merits” and that “the appointees are qualified”.
The presidential aide accused Olasupo of being a paid agent, whose reason for criticising Buhari is motivated by money, noting that the cleric is a servant of “Mammon, commonly known as money.”
Olasupo in September said Buhari was discriminatory and partial in his appointments, with most of his appointees coming from the Muslim majority north.
He said the deliberate marginalisation of Christians by the president had added to the “tension” in the country.
“The dangerous and religious discrimination and partiality that have characterized the President Buhari-led administration. We believe the marginalization of the Christians is deliberate to heighten the tension in the land for whatever reasons,” Olasupo said in a statement.
Olasupo said the recent appointments of Yusuf Magaji Bichi, a Muslim from Kano State to replace Matthew Seiyefa, a Christian from Bayelsa, Zainab Ahmed as finance minister to replace Mrs Kemi Adeosun and that of Abbas Umar Masanawa as the director-general of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company were an indication of Buhari’s nepotistic appointments.
But Onochie said the claims of favouritism were untrue. She explained that the president had been faithful to the principle of federal character.
The 1999 Nigerian Constitution expressly stated that “the government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies.”
“It’s on record that this government has fulfilled the quota system and the federal character requirements in federal appointments,” she said.
Olasupo’s criticism of Buhari’s appointments reeks of religious bigotry, Onochie said. She tagged the CAN president as a hater of Muslims.
The CAN president is not the only person that criticised the president’s appointments. Many critics said the lopsidedness in the process set a “dangerous” precedent.
“Against the clamour to broaden the heads of our nations security framework, PMB has proven himself an irredeemable irredentist,” said Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River State and the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Nigeria’s next general elections.