A civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Thursday, alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari used his position and influence, while in office for eight years, to amass fortunes for neighbouring Niger Republic where he had confirmed he has cousins.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also insisted that anti-graft and security agencies should prove themselves right for once by forbidding Buhari from jetting off to hide in Niger Republic after the May 29 handover but probe him over the award of contracts worth billions that benefited Niger Republic.
Recall that HURIWA has consistently said that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to pleasing his cousins in Niger Republic than doing his job as a Nigerian President. This necessitated his award of a $1.96 billion, 284-kilometer Kano-Katsina-Maradi railway project to Niger Republic and also the purchase of premium high-class vehicles worth billions for the President of Niger Republic and his cabinet members.
With barely a week to the end of his inglorious eight-year regime, Buhari said he has a safe haven in Niger Republic, Chad and other neighbouring countries and would not hesitate to run there for refuge if disturbed by Nigeria after handing over on May 29.
He said one of the first things he did on assumption of office as President in May 2015 was to visit Niger Republic, Chad and Cameroon to cement relationship with those countries.
He said: “I have good relationship with my neighbours. Niger people will defend me.
“That is why when I became the Head of State that is President, my first visit was to Niger, Chad and Cameroon because based on neighbourhood, on personal and national reason, if you don’t secure the confidence of your neighbour, you are in trouble. If you are not in trouble, your children and grandchildren will be in trouble. So, it is very good I established relationship with my neighbours,” Buhari was reported to have said.
HURIWA, in its further statement, said: “There is a need for a forensic investigation to ascertain if President Muhammadu Buhari is a Nigerian or a Nigerien. Because apparently, he used Nigeria’s cash, including loans, to set up infrastructure and buy expensive exotic jeeps for Niger Republic politicians to provide a safe haven for him after power should he be probed.
“Buhari should be prevented from running away to Niger Republic until he accounts to for the last penny his administration looted through all sorts of dubious projects.”