Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Thursday, knocked President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing another northerner as the new Chief of Army Staff.
HURIWA National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said in a statement that Buhari’s refusal to appoint an Igbo as the new COAS showed that he does not believe in the unity of the Nigerian nation.
Buhari had earlier on Thursday appointed Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff following the tragic death of the former COAS, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash last Friday.
While Attahiru hailed from Kaduna State, his successor, Yahaya, is from Zamfara State in Northern Nigeria.
Umbrella Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, had criticised the President for appointing four service chiefs and an acting Inspector General of Police earlier in the year without including anyone of Igbo extraction.
Ohanaeze had argued that the injustice of the Federal Government under the leadership of Buhari was responsible for the growing agitations and insecurity in the South-East.
But while reacting to Buhari’s appointment of a new COAS from the North, HURIWA in a statement titled, ‘New Army Chief: We Are No Longer Shocked By Buhari’s Primitive Nepotism’, lambasted the President for not spreading his appointments across all the socio-ethnic interests in the country.
HURIWA’S statement partly read, “The shameless, nepotistic decision of President Buhari to continue in the illegal and unconstitutional abuses of appointing only Hausa/Fulani citizens into juicy Internal Security positions in breach of the Nigerian Constitutional provision of Federal Character is despicable, reprehensible and totally toxic.”
It accused Buhari of violating his constitutional oath of office by his alleged violation of the Federal Character principle.
“Buhari’s refusal to appoint an officer from the South-East of Nigeria as the Army Chief of Staff even when he is the most senior of the Major Generals further solidified his notoriety as someone who does not believe in one Nigeria,” HURIWA said.