The Biafra Times
13 December 2019
Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, says as a sovereign nation, Nigeria is not be bothered about the reports from the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union as regards abuse of human rights issues.
Adesina spoke when he featured on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, on Wednesday, December 10, 2019.
While reacting to the reports by the international community that Nigerian has a high record of human rights abuses.
The presidential spokesperson asked the US, UK and EU to focus their energy on their own issues.
He added that the presidency is not bothered about the minority’s perception that there is an abuse of the rule of law and repression of freedom of speech.
“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 her 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.”
He also added that 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.”
Asked if the federal government would review some of its activities and actions, he said only genuine issues would be considered.
“Only if they are genuine issues, they will always be looked into,” he said.
“We have had instances in which the government had to reverse itself because there were concerns raised. It shows that the government is responsive but you cannot listen to a babble of voices and want to answer everyone. It will distract you from what you are doing. You let them have their say.”
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The Presidency says Nigeria is a sovereign nation and will not be bothered about the reports from the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union as regards human rights abuses.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Wednesday.
Adesina was asked to react to reports from the EU, UK and the US that Nigeria’s high record of human rights abuses.
He was also asked to react to the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja by men of the Department of State Services who arrested the Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, last Friday.
Responding to the question, Adesina said, “We are not answerable to the US, the UK or the EU. We are Nigeria, a sovereign country. Those countries and entities have issues of their own. Let them deal with their issues. Let Nigeria also deal with her internal issues. We are not answerable to them.”
When asked to respond to criticisms against the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) by Prof. Wole Soyinka, Adesina said the Nobel laureate was free to express his opinion.
“We respect Prof. Soyinka. You don’t have too many of them in the country or even on the continent. He is an avatar and he is well respected but his opinion will remain his opinion. It will be considered and if there are things to act on, we will act on them,” he said.
Adesina said the Presidency would not take the opinion of a few Nigerians as that of the majority.
He said 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.
“Genuine issues will be looked into. We have had instances in which the government had to reverse itself because there were concerns raised. It shows that the government is responsive but you cannot listen to a babble of voices. It will distract you from what you are doing,” the President’s spokesman said.
When reminded of the fact that he was also a journalist before taking up the job to be the President’s spokesman, Adesina said he would remain true to his calling.
“I am still in the media. It is just that the roles are a bit reversed… when I am done with government by the grace of God, I will still return to the media,” he said.