A Development inclined NonGovernmental Organization- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has faulted the inauguration on Friday February 8th 2013 in London, the United Kingdom of the Olusegun Obasanjo foundation attended by President Goodluck Jonathan and other sub-regional leaders from the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS] because according to the Rights Group the symbolism of launching the foundation in a foreign territory outside of Nigeria shows that the man who provided inspiration for the foundation who served Nigeria as both military and civilian head of state has no faith and trust on the integrity of Nigeria hosting such an epochal event which would have brought glory to Nigeria.
Besides, the group has also tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint a substantive Defence Minister for Nigeria to end the long wait since the last occupant of that office was sacked over six months ago just as the Rights group said the absence of a substantive Defence minister in Nigeria at a time that Nigeria is facing violent terrorism attacks and targeted killings by armed Islamic extremists that even President Jonthan described as the greatest challenge to the territorial integrity as a sovereign nation is to put it mildly unacceptable and incredulous.
In a statement made available to the media and jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA said it was a shame of unprecedented dimension that the entire federal government of Nigeria led by President Jonathan vacated the seat of power in Abuja and headed for an entire weekend to the United Kingdom to embark on a meaningless jamboree of launching a foundation introduced by Nigeria’s two times Head of State and Head of Government Chief Olusegun Obasanjo even when controversy over the whereabouts of over $65 Billion said to have been left in Nigeria’s foreign reserves and the Excess Crude Account by the President Obasanjo’s administration in May 2007 is yet to be resolved to the satisfaction of the generality of Nigerians.
HURIWA stated also that former President Obasanjo who launched the foundation in the United Kingdom is yet to explain to Nigerians how his administration procured the several billions of public fund allegedly wasted in the pursuit of the botched third term agenda under his [OBASANJO] watch. “We in the civil society community think that for the former President to gain the respect of even the prospective beneficiaries of his foundation he has to answer basic questions of lack of transparency and accountability that characterized his government especially towards the tumultuous tail end of that government in 2007 when he allegedly sought to manipulate the constitutional amendment process to secure unlimited tenure of Presidential office which was scuttled at the National Assembly on the instigation of majority of Nigerians”.
HURIWA said; “We totally condemn former President Obasanjo for moving the venue of the inauguration of his foundation to the developed western nation of the United Kingdom which goes to show the total lack of faith and trust by the Nigerian elites on the integrity of hosting any global event on the African soil even when it is clear that most of them ruled Nigeria for years with nothing to show by way of development and the building of sustainable infrastructure. What is the essence of President Jonathan travelling to attend the launch of the Obasanjo’s foundation in London, the United Kingdom as if to tell the members of the global community that Nigeria is so unsafe that an event like the inauguration of the Obasanjo foundation can not take place in Nigeria? Who are the targeted beneficiaries of this obasanjo foundation? Are the beneficiaries in Britain or Africa.”
The Rights group also challenged President Jonathan to immediatelly appoint a substantive Defence minister who must be a thoroughbred professional and competent Nigerian to marshall out a workable anti-terrorism campaign to rid Nigeria of violent terrorists that have continued to unleash devastating bloodshed in parts of Nothern Nigeria including the killings of innocent health workers and worshippers.