Osuntokun Criticises Buhari Over Comments About ‘Those Politicising Insecurity’

 

A former presidential aide, Akin Osuntokun, has taken a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari over his comments on those he says are politicising the issue of insecurity in the country.

President Buhari, while receiving the National Executives of the Buhari Campaign Organisation at the State House on Tuesday, had said he was confident that his administration uses all the resources at its disposal to protect the lives of all Nigerians and not just prominent Nigerians.

He, however, stated that those who politicize the isolated incidents of insecurity are not patriotic Nigerians.

Reacting to the comments, Osuntokun who was a guest on Channels TV’s Politics Today, said, “what do you mean by politicising? who is politicising it?”.

“That is his (President Buhari’s) own interpretation according to his own convenience. In any case, if people are commenting on issues, how does that amount to politicisation?

“What of those people who are victims? This type of casual detachment to people is getting out of hand. When he (President Buhari) was attacked some years ago, did people not talk? Did people not raise issues then? Should people not have talked now? Now you want people to be quiet,” he added.

A Professor of Criminal Justice System and Penology, Ussiju Medaner, who was also a guest on the programme, however, disagreed with his opinion, insisting that the issue of insecurity is indeed being politicised.


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His comments come on the heels of the murder of Funke Olakunrin, a daughter of Afenifere’s National Leader, Reuben Fasoranti.

She was shot and killed on Friday by suspected herdsmen while traveling along the Benin-Ore Expressway – a situation that has sparked outrage from different groups across the country.

Many have called for tougher measures to be put in place to secure the nation while also asking that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

One of those making such calls is former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who in an open letter to President Buhari, said the killings (which many say have become one too many), can no longer be ignored or treated with nonchalance.

The former president, however, admitted that the menace requires a joint effort to be tackled as the president cannot do it alone.

Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan also called on the government to set up a separate agency that will handle the security challenges facing Nigeria.

Buhari’s Certificate: PDP Will Head To Court – Osuntokun

PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it will indeed head to court to seek redress over the controversy surrounding the credentials of the opposition candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, which they have insisted he provide.

“The party is going to court,” Director of PDP Campaign Council (Southwest), Akin Osuntokun, said on Sunrise Daily on Monday, noting that it was a topical issue.

Osuntokun, who appeared on the programme to discuss the 2015 elections, as well as espouse the achievements of the Goodluck Jonathan led administration, insisted that General Buhari’s failure to present his certificate implied that he had none.

He also claimed that contrary to reports that the Nigerian Military admitted that it had copies of the former Head of State’s academic records, the military only said the rule was that they had copies of all who had passed through the organisation.

“Nobody said – Buhari’s certificate is with me,” Osuntokun insisted.

However, it appears the party would have to settle its grievances in court as the electoral umpire, INEC, directed it to the judiciary, to iron out any issues it had regarding the primary school leaving certificate of General Buhari.

Nigerian Politicians Asked To Stop Politicising Insurgency

AKIN OSUNTOKUNA member of the People’s Democratic Party, Mr Akin Osuntokun has advised politicians not to play politics with the security situation in Nigeria. 

Mr Osuntokun, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday,  said the problem of insurgency in Nigeria should now be looked at from the perspective of ideology, as the incessant bombing in Nigeria was as a result of some persons propagating anarchy, imputing instability to the system and making wide claims about the situation.

“I don’t like to say this as I sympathise with what happened to General Buhari; However, when you look at the statement he made two days before the bomb attack on him.

“They are the kind of things that create volatile situation as many of the things he said are things that can incite anyone who has cause to be angry with the nation and he shouldn’t have said them,” Mr Osuntokun pointed out.

In his opinion, all Nigerians should have a say on the security situation in the land but things shouldn’t be said that will build a crisis of malice amongst people.

“Every Nigerian should have an opinion on the incessant bomb blast, as it is something we now live with. We should pray as we are at a dead end on the situation.

“However, utterances should be guided, as they give room for all these kind of things to fester.”

According to Mr Osuntokun, people should not go around to make allegations that are not true which may turn out to be self-fulfilled prophesies.

On the wave of impeachment in the nation, Mr Osuntokun alienated the Presidency from it, stressing that “the decision lies in the hands of the people of the affected state and the PDP do not have any reason to salvage the APC in their states”.

“If you really know what was happening in Adamawa State – referring the the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako – there was nothing the Presidency could have done about the situation there, as it was almost an unanimous decision of the people and it followed due process’’.

On whether the government of the day is reaching out to everyone across board especially other political parties in the fight against terrorism, Mr Osuntokun said the various inter-party meetings and the council of state meeting were a testament of the seriousness of the government in telling everyone, especially the opposition that they were on the same page when it comes to fighting insurgency.

He advised politicians to play a role towards fighting insurgency devoid of party affiliation and polarisation but as statesmen.

“That is why those who should know better should not say things that will deepen and perpetuate the atmosphere of crisis with wide and scurrilous allegations,” he emphasised.

Asked if the statements made by politicians will reduce if people are brought to justice as a result of the investigative process been hastened,  Mr Osuntokun said there was a difference between constructive criticism of the security situation of the country and allegations made  by some persons, reiterating that the best role a politician can play is not to politicise the issue of security as insurgency affects everyone.

“The general security situation does not discriminate whether you are PDP or APC and often times is the ordinary people that bear the consequences,” the ruling party member said.

 

Decent Discussion Of Issues Will Make National Conference Successful – Osuntokun

The former Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Akin Osuntokun, says that what can make the National Conference successful is the good will of all Nigerians and a decent discussion of the topics in focus.

Giving his opinion on the proposed national conference’s modalities, Mr  Osuntokun supported the call for the adoption of fiscal federalism but suggested that the “present revenue allocation formula should be preserved for about 10-20 years before the fiscal federalism is made operational.

He expressed optimism that every zone or unit would have attained a position of sustainability by the end of the period.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Tuesday, Mr Osuntokun maintained that “the centre is having too much power”.

He bemoaned the political practice in Nigeria, which is characterised by selfish interest, saying that people take oppositions victory too personal.

“Nigeria is still in a position where politics is on the low. Somebody views your victory as a loss for him,” he said, comparing the nation’s political situation in 1960-1960 till now.

The former NAN boss said that in 1960, Nigeria had a better structure compared to the nature of things in the country now.

Boko Haram: Amnesty Can’t Be Undertaken In A Vacuum – Osuntokun

A public affairs analyst and former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Akin Osuntokun, on Tuesday said before the government could consider granting amnesty for the members of Boko Haram, the group must have a structure.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Osuntokun said the situation was not that of the government versus the Boko Haram sect but a case that should involve all Nigerians.

He said: “I personally would have wished that General Buhari (Muhammadu Buhari) would have lent his status to helping in mediating in some kind of peace but he flatly rejected.”

Asked why he believed General Buhari was in a better stead to mediate with the extremist sect, Mr. Osuntokun said it was because the former head of state possessed credibility and integrity that the sect leadership could trust.