Nigeria

Buhari Media Organisation slams UK lawmakers for acting on reports about Nigeria

A group of British Parliamentarians has been accused of coming to wrong conclusions after acting on a skewed report on the security situation in Nigeria.

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that the letter the group wrote to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, was filled with lies and outright falsehood.

According to the BMO, “the thirteen members of the British Parliament who co-signed the letter are also members of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, which had a few months ago accused the Nigerian government of persecuting Christians in the country, based on a spurious petition by a self-styled National Christian Elders Forum.

“We are also aware of a series of meetings between the lawmakers and those people, which gave rise to a report that gave the impression of an unfolding genocide in Nigeria.

“Some of the outright falsehood packaged by these elderly but unpatriotic Nigerians to the All-Party Parliamentary Group were so damaging that any outsider would think Boko Haram was acting with government backing, or that there is no freedom of worship for Christians in Nigeria.

“But we are surprised that the Parliamentarians did not deem it fit to accept the invitation extended to them since June this year by the President, through its spokesman Garba Shehu, for first-hand information on the security situation, or at best hear the government side of the story before proceeding to escalate the packaged lies to the Commonwealth Secretary-General.

“How, for instance, could anyone believe that an Armed Forces headed by a Southerner would be involved in, or authorize, ‘ethnic cleansing in riverine states’, a claim which was attributed to a former Chief of Army Staff’?

“We make bold to say that those Parliamentarians have been taken for a ride by people with ulterior motives whom they have been holding meetings with”, it added.

BMO also drew attention to a recent United Nation’s (UN) report on the security and humanitarian situation in North-East Nigeria to show that the government had not been inactive in the face of the security challenges in some parts of the country.

“It is a fact that the UN which is on the ground in the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency recently commended the government, and by extension the military, for the improved situation.

“We won’t claim that the insurgents have been totally overcome but it is very clear that they have been pushed to the fringes of Lake Chad and no longer have the capacity to hold territories as a result of the military cooperation that Nigeria is getting from its allies, including the UK which has made it easier for relief support to get to the remotest of areas.

“There is no doubt that the Buhari administration is committed to addressing security challenges and has indeed taken necessary measures

“The military has also been living up to expectations in other parts of the country where bandits and militia groups had hitherto held sway.

“We find it disingenuous that critics who had before now raised concerns in places like Southern Kaduna have been criminally silent in the face of the improved security situation”.

BMO urged individuals and groups that have been feeding the international community with skewed information and outright falsehood for selfish reasons to turn a new leaf.

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