Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, has claimed that the government of Muhammadu Buhari is not bothered by Nigeria’s bad image abroad at the moment due to alleged human right abuses.
Mr. Adesina, a journalist now working for government, said this on Wednesday when he featured on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, asserting that as a sovereign nation, Nigeria is not bothered about the reports from the United States, United Kingdom and European Union as regards “abuse of human rights”.
Asked if the federal government was not perturbed about the perception that it is disrespecting the rule of law, Adesina asked the US, UK and EU to focus their energy on their own issues.
Adesina said, “We are not answerable to the US, the UK or the EU. We are Nigeria, a sovereign country,” he said.
“Those countries and entities have issues of their own. Let them deal with their issues. Let Nigeria also deal with its internal issues. We are not answerable to them. If the perception is not right, why do you need to get worried? The perception is not right.
“It doesn’t get anybody worried. The president knows the truth about what is happening in the country, so no need for any worries or agitation.”
According to the government spokesman, the ultimatum issued by 14 civil society groups as well as the editorial by The PUNCH was not the mind of the majority of Nigerians.
“But the question is who are these people and how many are they among about 200 million people? Who are they?” he asked.
“A tiny but vocal minority who will always complain. If they mistakenly get to heaven, they will complain about the conditions in heaven.
“So why do you worry yourself about those set of people? When you talk of the media, you are speaking as if there is a unanimity among them. No, you have a minimum of 15 major newspapers in the country and you have other smaller ones, 100 of them.
“There is no unanimity that there is repression in the land, disregard of the rule of law. So, if one of them comes out to say that, it is just an opinion. It has a right to it, nobody will begrudge them.
“How many people do they amount to? We can’t begin to take the minority to represent the majority.”
There have been concerns lately by the international community over the human rights situation and disrespect for the rule of law in Nigeria following the rearrest of political activist and journalist Mr. Omoeleye Sowore in a court of law by agents of the Department of State Service (DSS).
The action had also outraged Nigerians.