The minority caucus in the House of Representatives has said it had “extensively” reviewed the address by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly and was “distressed” by the claims he made therein.
The caucus stated that the claims were “in complete disagreement with the ugly reality of the failures of his administration, as well as the economic, security and social ruins that have confronted the nation under his watch.”
The caucus took a swipe at Buhari in a statement issued on Sunday by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, and titled, ‘Minority Reps Flays Claims In President Buhari’s UNGA Speech.’
The statement partly read, “Our caucus holds that President Buhari’s speech is a great disservice to our nation by not presenting the true picture of affairs in our country; the human rights violations, corruption, and incompetence in his administration; the excruciating hardship, escalated insecurity, national divisiveness and infrastructural decay under his watch, thereby blocking avenues for desired intervention in our various ailing sectors.
“The minority caucus was alarmed by President Buhari’s report to UNGA that terrorists have been so weakened in Nigeria that they are now preying on soft targets, when in reality, insurgents have become so emboldened under his watch, that they are now attacking military formations, kidnapping and killing our gallant officers while overrunning communities and murdering our citizens without restrain.
“As representatives of the people, the Minority caucus is depressed that President Buhari’s speech did not reflect on the kidnapping and killing of students and school children in Nigeria. The speech did not reflect on the closure of schools and crippling of education in many parts of our country, where normal life has been destroyed by terrorists, neither did it show any empathy towards the victims of terrorism attacks.”
The opposition lawmakers said they were worried that Buhari’s address conveyed no personal commitments that can guarantee an end to “poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice, and inequalities, that are prevalent under his watch, even after identifying such as the causes of conflicts.”
The caucus also said they were shocked by the claims by the President that his administration ‘built’ isolation centres and emergency hospital wards ‘all over the country’ and ‘in record time’ in the fight against COVID-19, saying it is “a claim that is in conflict with the infrastructural reality in the country.”
The statement further read, “Moreover, our caucus is worried that Mr President’s speech did not portray any decisive roadmap towards economic recovery and food security; had no personal commitment to end corruption in his administration; had no personal commitment to end borrowing or show a clear-cut plan to repay the huge debt being accumulated by his administration.
“The speech also lacked definite personal commitments towards credible electoral process especially as the nation approaches 2023 general election.
“The minority caucus, after due consideration, urges President Buhari to always cross-check the content given to him by his handlers so as to ensure that his position, especially on the world stage, captures the reality as well as the aspiration prevalent in the country. This is because such addresses ought to serve as an unblemished working document for interventions and solutions at various levels of governance.”