Stringing together a catalogue of offences allegedly committed by President Muhammadu Buhari, a Nigerian-American, Barrister Carol Ajie, has petitioned the United States’ President Barack Obama to call the former to order.
A copy of the petition was sent to President Buhari, Senate President Olubukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
Ajie, who is a George Town-based lawyer and a human rights activist, said her “clarion call” on Obama would augur well for Nigeria if America assists the country to attain greatness, deepen democracy and give Nigerians a sense of belonging a la ‘’federalism modelled along US confederate path.’’
She said: ‘’Bearing in mind the world’s greatest democracy, the United States would assist in guiding nations to achieve great potential, in contributing to shaping democratic norms around the world, so that Nigerians in the North East, North West, North Central, South East, South-South and South West would, as a matter of national priority, cultivate a true sense of federalism modelled along US confederate path.’’
The list of alleged offences by Buhari which precipitated the petition, according to her, are: stoking of sectional tension, deliberate acts of inhumanity, gender inequity, presidential profligacy in the marshalling of the 2016 Budget and impunity.
Ajie, therefore, sought Obama’s intervention to whip Buhari into line by pressuring him to respect court orders or resign, curtail his supporters who may have started campaigns for tenure elongation and muscling of the opposition in the name of fighting corruption.
She further appealed to Obama to ‘’respectfully call President Buhari to order, prohibit violence from politics and rights advocacy campaigns and respect court orders.
‘’Buhari’s presidency and agents despise subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja per Honourable Justice Adeniyi Ademola to release IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally, who is still being held in chains in a dungeon cell since October 14; this is the fourth month!,’’ she wrote.
Ajie also urged President Obama to ‘’support Nigeria and Nigerians to achieve true federalism’’ as well as ‘’support the path to a confederation of independent states in Nigeria.’’
To her, ‘’Buhari’s unfair tactics, expression of prejudices and hostility towards the people commonly known as “Biafrans” in the South Eastern region of Nigeria, is a bad precedent against our peaceful co-existence.’’
Insisting that ‘’he must be magnanimous in victory,’’ the petitioner noted that the President is yet to learn an important lesson from the Nigerian civil war by detaining ‘’the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu’’ and killing defenceless citizens calling for his release.
The petitioner also cited ‘’presidential disdain for Shiite Muslims in Nigeria,’’ who were allegedly decimated by the Nigerian Army in Zaria, ‘’whilst President Buhari looks away!’’
On the 2016 Budget, Ajie observed that Buhari who “rode to power on the crest of a Spartan lifestyle…no longer practices what he preached.”
‘’Seven months after he took the oath of office and the oath of allegiance on 29th May, 2015 and against the principles of transparency and accountability, President Buhari has declined to disclose sums he said he recovered from Nigeria’s treasury looters and projects he intends to fund with his mentor-dictator Abacha’s loot returned,’’ she added.
She added that the President has failed ‘’to downsize excessive presidential fleet; and his prodigious spending of N1.8 billion monthly on maintenance costs for 11 aircraft viz Falcon 7X jets, Falcon 900, Gulfstream 550, Boeing 737 BBJ, Gulfstream IVSP, Gulfstream V etc.
“Majority of Nigerians live in squalor in the cruel face of splendour where the lives of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) could be transformed with as little as 10 percent of the monthly air fleet maintenance costs. What does it cost President Buhari to provide modest housing for the poor? Personal sacrifice!’’ she emphasised.
In her words, the 2016 budget ‘’surpasses previous regimes as Buhari’s frugal proclivity and Spartan predilection suddenly disappear.’’
On the marginalisation of women, Ajie wrote: ‘’For obscure reasons, President Buhari ceded only 15 percent to women in his cabinet, without remorse or apologies,’’ stressing that ‘’he must be held to keep this and his other campaign promises and pledges.’’