The umbrella body of Nigeria’s Opposition, the Coalition of United Political Parties wants President Buhari to leave Mali’s problem and face the many problems currently threatening Nigeria’s continued existence squarely. The CUPP said the country Buhari was elected to govern is currently facing a situation similar or worse than that of Mali, hence the President’s charity should begin at home.
It will be recalled that the President left Abuja for Mali on the 25th of July 2020, to mediate and intervene in the political crisis in Mali.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the spokesman of the CUPP Ikenga Imo Ugochimyere, explained that the opposition has reviewed the situation in Mali and has resolved to join the suffering citizens of Mali in calling on the Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, to quit without further delay, noting that the call has become necessary to save the country from further sliding into more bloody chaos.
“Nigeria’s opposition coalition holds the view that if this happens, it will worsen the security situation of not only Mali but also all neighbouring countries, including Nigeria President Buhari’s journey to Mali is like the journey of a man whose house is on fire, but decided to be chasing rats. Buhari decided to take fresh air after months of hibernating in Aso Rock by going too far away Mali to resolve their crisis when his backyard Katsina which is his home state and 20 other states in Nigeria have been taken over by bandits and insurgents with soldiers and citizens being killed. Corruption has consumed his government. Nepotism, division, political crisis has taken over. We are warning Buhari to leave Mali problems and face Nigeria situation which is similar to Mali and will soon go out of control and consume the country.” Ugochinyere said..
The Malian President Keita came to power in 2013 in hopes that he would turn the country around, there have been allegations that Mali has been struggling to contain an armed rebellion that erupted in the north in 2012, which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives. Despite the presence of thousands of French and United Nations troops, the conflict in Mali has engulfed the centre of the country and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso,Niger and parts of Nigeria which is under attacks by fleeing Malian bandits.
The CUPP while calling for the release of Soumaila Cisse’s said the situation reminds Nigerians of the situation here in Nigeria where in the so called democracy, freedom speech and expression is perceived to be a crime and an attack on the ruling government just as he accused the Malian President used the Apex Court to sack Opposition lawmakers and gave victory to his party men who lost election .
“We also join our voices to the global call for the release of the country’s opposition leader, Soumaila Cisse, who has been held hostage since March by jihadist group suspected to have links with the government.We are highly saddened over Mr. Soumaila Cisse’s situation. He is the opposition leader, he was candidate in the presidential election and he was taken hostage in March even before the election. Cisse and several members of his delegation were ambushed by unidentified gunmen in March on the campaign trail in the northern region of Timbuktu. His bodyguard was killed and two others wounded. This kidnap of the Opposition leader Cisse’s to us was a plot designed to stop his Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) Party from winning and participating in the controversial election” .
Ugochinyere said the President of Mali failed in tackling the ailing economy and Mali’s eight-year conflict with armed fighters saying Nigeria Opposition supports the several Anti-Keita protests which has painfully turned violent and deepened the political impasse because of the “ruthlessness” of Malian President.
If Keita really wishes for his country to be at peace, It’s time for him to show restraint and step down to avoid escalating tensions.The CUPP also views and describes the ongoing effort by leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, including Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, as a back door move to continue to foist weak, corrupt and ruthless leaders on Africa, thereby cementing a regime of nepotism.The CUPP is in support of the position of the opposition in Mali which has so far rejected the proposal for a unity government. We are greatly behind them sticking to its core demand and rejecting conciliatory gestures from the President Buhari and Ecowas team led by a man whose house is burning in Nigeria and can’t bring peace. ECOWAS mediation had proposed that the current ruling coalition make up 50 percent of a new unity government, while a proposed 30 percent should be members of the opposition and the remaining 20 percent from civil society groups. We support the dismissal of the recommendation by the opposition because it means that Mali’s Incompetent President Keita still gets to remain power.
The President Buhari’s attention was further drawn to security situation which include insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West as well as kidnapping, armed robbery and other security challenges in other parts of the country, saying, “If not tackled headlong, may soon consume Nigeria”.
Ugochinyere revealed that the CUPP has received and noted the invitation extended to it to attend West Africa Opposition Spokespersons global conference on Mali situation holding in Togo and it will use such platform to push for more global support for the ongoing effort to “push the incompetent, corrupt and ruthless Malian President who stole the mandate of the people out of office”.