The Presidency last week blasted the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) over the numerous court cases filed by the advocacy group against the Federal Government.
We tracked two other stories from the seat of power for your reading pleasure.
1. Calling out SERAP
The Presidency on December 1 cautioned SERAP to stop to what it termed irresponsible and bare-faced publicity stunts and focus on its legal claims in a court of law.
“To date, SERAP has announced on repeated occasions – each time via a well-funded media campaign – that it is suing the government or President over a range of issues from alleged human rights abuses to alleged corruption.
“To date, SERAP has not taken their retinue of legal actions to a logical conclusion. They don’t follow through,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.
Presidency’s uneasiness over SERAP’s watchdog role further reinforces the perception that the Buhari administration has near zero-tolerance for dissenting voices or constructive engagements.
Indeed, it’s strategy of accusing perceived enemies of being funded by unnamed groups or individuals has become almost too predictable, and now a singsong.
While the Presidency reserves the right to defend its performance, being combative has almost always given it away as intolerant and sends a wrong signal to the rest of the world about the government’s commitment to protection of human rights.
SERAP has the inalienable right to visit the courts as many times as it pleases, and it is government’s duty to respond to the legal processes without seeking self help or resorting to intimidation.
Two other talking points
2. Buhari’s call to world leaders
President Buhari on December 3 appealed to world leaders to join hands and tackle common challenges affecting humanity.
The President, who made the appeal in his address at the EXPO 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, said: “The concerted efforts by world leaders, working together, enabled us to limit the catastrophic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Such level of continuing understanding and pragmatic partnership will be required and must be reinforced to ensure that our world is a better place that addresses humanity’s common challenges…”
Buhari’s appeal is not only timely but reinforces the globally accepted concept of teamwork as crucial in organizational growth and societal development.
It is even much more welcome because it comes at a time the world is in apparent haste to contain Omicron, another deadly variant of COVID-19, by resorting to nationalism instead of effective collaborations.
3. Osinbajo’s message of hope
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on December 2 expressed optimism that Nigeria’s insecurity would be over soon.
In his address, when members of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group visited him in Abuja, Osinbajo said: “A lot of the security challenges we experience in Nigeria today will be resolved in due course.
“This country will be stronger and greater, we must never relent in ensuring that we keep to the ideals of the country and we don’t lose sight of what we are trying to achieve here.”
Osinbajo’s statement, no doubt, inspires hope but may do little to return confidence to a system badly shaken by terrorism, banditry, corruption and ravaging poverty.
Therefore, the Vice President must appreciate that beyond the regular rhetorics, the public disenchantments can only be redeemed through good governance and total commitment to social justice.
Above all, government must act quickly to convince Nigerians of its ability to secure the country and protect citizens from mass murderers.
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