Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
A group known as Alliance of Nigerians in America has tackled those criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s style of governance, declaring he is fully in charge and in control of his administration.
Mr Olajide Okuneye, the organizer of the group, who gathered at the Nigerian House to counter protests by supporters of the detained presidential candidate of the African Action Congres, Omoyele Sowore, said Nigeria was not isolated from problems happening across the globe but that Buhari has shown leadership and capacity to tackle them.
According to Okuneye, the closure of Nigeria’s border with Benin more than 30 days ago, followed by partial closure of its northern border to Niger has, contrary to expectations, yielded positive results.
He added that before now, the effect of the closure of the border would have been felt but for Buhari’s policy of operation grow what you eat.
He said: “Buhari knows what he is doing; he is the best man for the job. Nigerians should be more patient because the problems of Nigeria cannot be solved in a twinkle of an eye. We must follow due process in tackling them. Before now we cannot boost of feeding ourselves but the borders have been closed for more than one month and we have not heard that the nation has collapsed. This is the real operation feed the nation; this is the real man feeding the nation. There is no two ways about it; he is the best thing that has happened to Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, supporters if Sowore have described Buhari’s administration as intolerant and incapable of tackling the numerous problems facing the nation.
The group who were joined by Opeyemi, Sowore’s wife, demanded that he should be set free.
The group said: “Free Sowore now. We are tired of killings. Stop the kidnapping. We in America want to go home but no place to call home. We tired of medical tourism. Freedom of speech is guaranteed under the constitution.”
Meanwhile the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has demanded strict compliance and total respect for the rule of law by the Nigerian government.
Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, said: “While we are not unaware of the severe consequences that poor compliance to court ruling have brought to Nigeria’s diplomatic image, we maintain and reiterate our position within the context of constitutional provisions that the sanctity and sanity of the rule of law must be upheld by ensuring prompt release of Sowore, his international passport.”
and other political detainees who had as well secured same court order.
“While we work to promote good governance in Nigeria, we must articulate our concerns that further delay or lack of compliance to the rule of law will do more damage to our image as a nation that may further thwart our democratic reputation before international community and investors.
“We call on the government to ensure strict compliance to the court order to showcase its readiness to live by democratic value and portray the nation’s image in the right direction.”