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“You are out of tune with reality” – FG Replies US Congressman Tom Marino who Accused Buhari of Autocratic Tendencies & Selective Anti-Graft War

BellaNaija.com

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Tom Marino and President Buhari

Tom Marino and President Buhari

The Federal Government has condemned the letter of a US Congressman, Tom Marino, asking his country to withhold security support to Nigeria, describing it as “out of tune with reality”.

Marino had written the letter to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, alleging infractions on some principles and local and international regulations and conventions by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that the allegations by Marino were imaginary and that he was poorly informed about the issues he commented on.

He wondered why the congressman did not take the pains to get first-hand information from the US Embassy in Nigeria or any other credible source before engaging in “what is nothing but a propaganda of his own imagination”.

According to him, by asking the US to refrain from selling warplanes and other military equipment to Nigeria based on a faulty premise, the congressman has demonstrated a poor understanding of global security issues.

“Insecurity anywhere is insecurity everywhere. Had Congressman Marino understood this, he would not have made the kind of call he made concerning the US security assistance to Nigeria. The Boko Haram insurgency that Nigeria has decisively dealt with under President Muhammadu Buhari is not just a Nigerian problem but a regional and international crisis,” he said.

Mohammed said that Marino was wrong when he alleged that Buhari did not “demonstrate a commitment to inclusive government and the most basic tenets of democracy – freedom to assemble and freedom of speech”.

“An administration that operates purely on the basis of respect for the rule of law and a strict adherence to constitutional order is not one to deny the citizens of their constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

This administration therefore does not need the goading of Congressman Marino or anyone for that matter to do what is right.

Concerning running an inclusive government, had Congressman Marino done his homework before dispatching his letter, he would have realized that no part of the country is left out in the distribution of political appointments.

The appointment of ministers was done in accordance with the Constitution that mandates that the President must appoint at least one minister from each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Had the Congressman sought information from credible sources before engaging in a flight of fancy, he would have been presented with comprehensive information on the appointment of CEOs for Federal Government’s parastatals, agencies and commissions.

The appointments were almost evenly matched along the line of the six geo-political zones in the country, with the North-West having 51, North-Central, 46; North-East, 45; South-East, 41; South-West, 45 and South-South, 45.

The Congressman may wish to note that each geo-political zone comprises six states, with the exception of North-West (7) and South-East (5),” he said.

The minister said that Marino’s description of the Buhari’s administration’s anti-corruption efforts as “selective” was a tired argument that clearly showed that the US lawmaker must have appended his signature to someone’s concocted line.

“That line was invented by those seeking to cause an unnecessary distraction from the administration’s anti-corruption efforts, and it has been roundly rejected.

Congressman Marino’s decision to exhume the dead postulation without an iota of proof is a reflection of whose side he has taken in the ongoing efforts to rid Nigeria of corrupt elements.

Needless to say that the anti-corruption battle will continue unhindered, irrespective of whose ox is gored. And in this fight, only the guilty needs be afraid,” he said.

Mohammed said Nigeria was delighted that Kerry, to whom the Congressman addressed his letter, was more knowledgeable, better briefed and definitely more hands-on concerning Nigerian issues.

Marino’s letter had read:

Dear Secretary Kerry, I am encouraged by the personal interest you have taken in aiding Nigeria and its administration as it takes on endemic corruption, multiple insurgent movements, and a faltering economy. However, I believe there are a number of warning signs emerging in the Buhari administration that signal ‘the man who once led Nigeria as a military dictator might be sliding towards former autocratic tendencies’.

I would urge the U.S. to withhold its security assistance to the nation until President Buhari demonstrates a commitment to inclusive government and the most basic tenets of democracy: freedom to assemble and freedom of speech. A logical start towards this commitment is for the Nigerian government to hold accountable those members of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Military complicit in extra-judicial killings and war crimes.

Human rights groups like Amnesty International have widely documented torture, inhumane treatment, and extra-judicial killings of defenseless Nigerians since President Buhari took office.

In the last six months, Nigeria’s military has unlawfully killed at least 350 people and allowed more than 168 people, including babies and children, to die in military detention.

The Secretary to the Government of Kaduna State even admitted to burying 347 of those killed in a mass grave. And while President Buhari promised swift condemnation, his words rang empty. Instead of swift reforms, Buhari chose to reinstate Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, who Amnesty International revealed was in charge of the Nigerian military unit that executed more than 640 unarmed, former detainees.

Also, in separate incidents concerning the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Nigerian Army has killed at least 36 – the real number is likely higher – people since December 2015 in an attempt to silence opposition and quell attempts by the group to gather publicly.

Of President Buhari’s 122 appointees, 77 are from the north and control many of the key ministries and positions of power. Distrust is already high in Nigeria and favouring Northerners for key appointments has only antagonized the issue. These appointments are also primarily Muslim in the north and Christian in the south, adding a religious aspect to long-held regional biases.

Of additional concern is President Buhari’s selective anti-corruption drive, which has focused almost exclusively on members of the opposition party, over-looking corruption amongst some of Buhari’s closest advisors. Politicizing his anti-corruption efforts has only reinforced hostility among southerners.

This is a logical first step in making a demonstrable, sustained commitment to inclusive democracy, with distributed power in Nigeria. Until President Buhari establishes a track record of working towards inclusion, we ask the State Department to refrain from selling warplanes and other military equipment to the country.

The State Department should urge President Buhari to form a government that represents the diversity of its citizens and allows dissenting voices to be heard. Democracy can thrive only if people are free to assemble, to express their beliefs, and voice their concerns.

25 Comments

  1. Darius

    September 5, 2016 at 10:29 am

    This is outrageous! I am outraged that the FG had the nerve to say that Mr. Tom Morino is out of tune with reality for saying the truth. We can’t continue to sweep the truth under the carpet. This is an example of the pot calling the kettle black; the FG is out of tune with reality.

    • I love America

      September 5, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks Congressman Marino for speaking truth to power! While Mr. liar mohammed is blinded by his lies and mental instability, the rest of the world is not. Thank you for operating under the premise of the precautionary principle and human rights convention. I know how hard it must have been for you to write this letter despite the loss of potential income by usa companies who would make money and create jobs from the sales.

    • Uberhaute looks

      September 5, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Lai, Pls you are seriously not in touch with reality. This is what everybody has been saying everywhere if you are truly the minister of comm, you’ll conduct a vox pop to know the mind of the people and work on it. Such a terrible waste of 4 years!

  2. keke driverk

    September 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

    @Lai Mohammed You’re the ONLY poorly informed person here.

    • Asa

      September 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Very true he has refused to open his eyes and his head to what is happening in this country.

  3. queenbee

    September 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

    A society which respects the rule of law and a strict adherence to constitutional order lmfao. If he is talking about a new make believe African country then I get it. But he is definitely in no way referring to Nigeria in this sentence. Mr FG is in a severe state of denial. He needs to come out of his bribery induced trance. Has he looked around his government recently. Or simply looked outside his window.

  4. Prince

    September 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

    The President’s spokesmen are damn annoying. Instead of them to listen to what the man said and make amends, they wont. they would prefer to rant and rant until they have nothing to talk about.

  5. Busarni

    September 5, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Apc can’t stand positive criticism; the truth really hurt and its bitter. What the congress man said is no news. Sai baba; Sai Chanjiii. We are all in this sh*t together ….

  6. Peyton

    September 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Why do our leaders live in denial alot? what exactly isnt real the Shite Killings? where is El Zak Zakaay? has he been charged to cour formally for any criminal act? has anyone being brought to book despite the fact that the panel of inquiry in Kaduna indicted the Nigerian Army? is it a lie that bodies were discovered. The senator had a grasp of the facts. Have we forgotten Agatu? how many people have been arrested or are currently facing trial for that? instead of penning a reply that is watery the goverment should expend its energy on more productive things.

  7. nene+

    September 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Tom Marino must have been branded a wailer or
    May be an oversea IPOB
    Lai Muhammed in my 6o’s I won’t touch any dirty job with the longest stick, what can I say to a man who has traded his soul?

    It’s a known fact that the cause of the recession in Nigeria today is the product of Buhari’s appointments of amateur personnel from his Daura clan to head every sensitive position in Nigeria. From Minister for petroleum to NNPC to AMCON to INEC! Wao just Wao!

    History is a treasure.

  8. Okechukwu Ofili

    September 5, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    “You are out of tune with reality” Nigeria replies FG

  9. Art

    September 5, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    It’s just a shame that some Nigerians decided to take us 30 years backwards by voting in this government that belong to the dark past of our national life. FG you’re delusional if you think what the congress man said about your administration is propaganda (sponsored by PDP or Jonathan your favorite scape goat).
    No matter the amount of lies and propaganda this present administration tries to drown the truth with, truth would still continue to speak out.

  10. Ibinabo

    September 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    This FG is the most unrealistic government… they lie confidently to themselves, it’s so amazing.

  11. Iris

    September 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    This is what I was afraid of. I was hoping I was wrong when he was voted in, but the fact is ‘once a dictator, always a dictator.’ He was in the military. He doesn’t know how to be anything other than what he was trained to be.
    We honestly need an independent party that makes sense. Both PDP and APC are made up of jokers. They aren’t even true to themselves. Neither of them stand for anything, they have no vision, no strategies to achieve sustainable goals. Denigrate the American Republicans all you want but at least they stand for something so you know what you’re getting into. Some of these ones here even crossed over from PDP to APC when Buhari won mtchew.

  12. EE

    September 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    A congressman is a common House of Reps member, this government does not cease to fall my hand.

    As for those agreeing with the man, this is not a matter of internal politics, this is a direct censure to the Nigerian state. There is a large difference between asking the government to criticise Buhari’s actions and another to ask the US to slap us with sanctions.

    Who do you think the sanctions will affect more?? Forgotten the almost daily bombings?? The military are already overstretched. Those weaponry are a vital resource in maintaining Nigeria’s security, that’s what Bros Marino wants to jeopardise.

    The government self nah mumu, in this day and age of the US wants to antagonise Africa’s largest state, we can shift our foreign policy to more appreciative customers. They’ll ignore the IMF, ignore World Bank but congressman nobody they can reply.

  13. saparole.

    September 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you, Congressman Marino for speaking the truth to your own country’s government. It already knows this truth, even much more than you but since it has played significant, underground roles to help orchestrate and manipulate and influence this state of events into being for its own selfish and cruel interests, and that of its western allies e.g. the UK, it ignores it/the truth, and having brought him into power, it continues to wield whatever secret and not-so-secret hold and threat it has over Buhari and his wife e.g. the non-existence of Buhari’s Cambridge certificate and therefore, complete illegality of his presidency, his wife’s criminal involvement in the Halliburton scandal, the $2.8bn that went ‘missing’ under Buhari’s own watch as petroleum minister, to get him to play ball and be their smiling, boot-licking puppet whilst they rape Nigeria and mortgage its future with his connivance in “”closed door”” meetings and pat him on the head in public and say “”he’s doing a good job.”” and offer all the necessary assistance they witheld in GEJ’s time, the price of which “assistance”, which is the slavery of current and future generations of Nigerians and Nigerian resources, they do not broadcast in public.

    It is Buhari himself, his wife, his advisers and friends, his sponsors, his religious clerics and spiritual leaders and advisers, his FG, who are all “”out of tune with reality”” and that reality will very soon come crashing down on him and on them with irrevocable and divine finality. He is going to self-destruct. He is so out of touch and so out of tune and so, so, so blind that he is rushing headlong inevitably into the pit he himself is digging relentlessly and stiff-neckedly under himself. This country and its destiny are much greater than any one individual or groups or interests or agenda , internal or external.

    Buhari and his sponsors and allies, ethnic, religious, and western may think Nigerians are fools, Nigerians are sleeping, Nigerians are complacent, Nigerians are corrupt, in Nigeria anything goes, Nigerians can be taken for granted even to extremes and nothing will happen. They will discover that there truly is a limit to which a people can be pushed and a limit to what a people will accept or tolerate without pushing back, without reacting, without acting, and that violently and decisively.

    Yes, there is 2019 and yes, long before 2019, there is impeachment and yes, there is, also, the donative effect, as happened in the Roman empire with the Praetorian Guard i.e. when, over time, the Emperor’s select and private, personal bodyguard and armed forces, the personal, imperial Guard and Seal Team Six became rather than the sworn protectors to the death of the emperor, open for hire to the highest bidder and would collect money from whichever aspirants to the throne paid highest and then kill the current emperor,; Buhari thinks he has surrounded himself with people he “”can trust””. Haha. Buhari is not liked, among his peers i.e. other former Heads of State and presidents as well as top brass in the military past and present, no matter what they say in public, and those guys don’t play, they are ruthless, and they are more intelligent than he is. If he goes against their interests, they will not sit idly by or make mere talk. They are men of action. They are intelligent. If he continues relentlessly and recklessly on his current path to destroy this country and take it beyond the brink of ethnic and religious tensions, northern or not, muslim or not, these are pragmatic and intelligent men who are much more in touch with current realities the world over as Buhari has never been, and they will not sit idly by and watch.

    But that is not all.

    Buhari is not god. The USA is not god The western nations are not god. When men try to play god with the resources, economy, politics, development and destinies of a people, nation, country, of other equally sovereign ethnicities and tribes, of other religions, then the real and one and only GOD shows up and changes the game. The God of Nigeria that showed up when Abacha thought he was the owner of Nigeria and the owner of Aso Rock, that same God is still alive and well today.

    • FasholasLover

      September 5, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Intelligent people tickle my fancy. You are intelligent. Where is baby geh sipping tea?

    • artklub

      September 5, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Preach! You go!

  14. Damilola

    September 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I’ve never seen such group in government so egoistic, and denial of truth. This is a passive dictatorship. So quick to always defend/protect Buhari’s image and don’t listen to sound message to improve the country. Then the response confirmed how clueless, incompetent this government really is. Very embarrassing. They should learn to not respond if they have nothing constructive and sensible to say.

  15. Ela

    September 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I believe rather its the FG that is out of tune with reality, cos they have turned deaf and can’t hear anyone,

  16. nnenne

    September 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Nigerian politicians should realize that the days of sweeping things under the carpet is over.
    The days of pre- Nigerian civil war and civil war genocides and even the in between massacres are almost over!
    The world is a village now, thanks to technology. Even the walls have ears.
    If you don’t want sanctions, do the right things.
    Simple!

  17. Mz_Danielz

    September 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    This administration does not need the goading of congressman Marino or anyone to do what’s right. Oyibo di ya. I’m almost sure oga Lai doesn’t understand his response. Maybe if he speaks his native tongue or pidgin he will fully understand his stupidity

  18. artklub

    September 5, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    mood: amused….

  19. tunmi

    September 6, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Sigh. Nigerians Sha. So we’re getting those weapons or nah?

  20. B.E

    September 6, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Now this is what you call a report following a well researched issue! kpam! This clearly covers a lot of nigerians concerns which unfortunately folks have not been able to communicate in this manner. Thank you congressman!

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