A rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has condemned comments credited to the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina asking Nigerians to stay alive by giving up their land for ranching.
Adesina had spoken in an interview against the backdrop of lingering clashes between herdsmen and villagers, reportedly encouraging indigenes in parts of the country to give up part of their land for the construction of ranches as proposed by the federal government.
He was also quoted as saying that it was better to donate land and stay alive than being killed because of persistent clashes involving herders.
But Intersociety, in a press statement signed by its Chairman Board of Trustees, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, and made available to DAILY POST in Awka, said that such comment was legitimizing the killings being perpetuated by the rampaging herdsmen.
He said, “Instead of government de-escalating the violent attacks on Christians, such inflammable and complicit comments by the said presidential aide have escalated same.”
The group said that by making such comment, Adesina has made himself complicit in the killings going on around the country, while calling on those it described as apostles of justice not to forget to join him when suing those responsible for such killings.
“The apostles of justice and other campaigners of accountability for state and non-state atrocities around the world particularly in Nigeria’s old Middle Belt and Eastern Nigeria are hereby called upon to ensure that names of such presidential aides in Nigeria including Mr. Vice President and Mr. Femi Adesina are not omitted in any civil claimant or criminal suit to be initiated in any part of the world including before ICC at Hague.”
The group also condemned the comparison by Adesina over the level of killings in the present government and those of the past, saying that the comparisons were unnecessary.
“These days, if he (Adesina) is not caught on camera comparing between his boss’ regime and that of the immediate or long past which one ‘out-killed or out-supervised each other in national killing spree’; then he is caught on camera and in print ordering indigenous Nigerian Christians and other non Muslims to “give up their ancestral lands for ranching or die or become a land owner in dead”.
The group appealed to international community to come to the aid of vulnerable Nigerians, especially in the face of ineptitude on the part of the federal government.