Presidency attacks SERAP over ‘spurious’ suits against Buhari

The presidency, on Wednesday, blasted human rights advocates, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), for engaging in what it referred to as publicity stunts by bringing spurious suits against President Muhammadu Buhari.

A statement issued by Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), said despite filing numerous suits against the president of the country, the group has not managed to pursue any of it to the conclusion.

It said while SERAP sponsors are unknown, it had continued to sue President Buhari over a range of issues including human rights abuses.

The presidency maintained that such headline-grabbing suits are capable of sowing division amongst the Nigerian at a time of whatnot called heightened global economic volatility and hardship.

The statement read: “We would like to address the repeated ridiculous claims from the so-called Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that it is bringing legal action against the Government and/ or President of Nigeria.

“Very little is known about SERAP, or who funds them – despite their claims of being an organisation that champions transparency and accountability.

“To date, SERAP has announced on repeated occasions – each time via a well-funded media campaign – that it is suing the government or President over a range of issues from alleged human rights abuses to alleged corruption.

“To date, SERAP has not taken their retinue of legal actions to a logical conclusion. They don’t follow through.

“Yet these headline-grabbing publicity stunts, however baseless, succeed in painting an inaccurate picture of life and governance in Nigeria and – more seriously – in sowing division amongst the Nigerian people during a time of heightened global economic volatility and hardship.

“Nigeria is comfortable that its record as Africa’s leading democracy and largest economy speaks for itself. Nigeria is amongst the top five countries in Africa for quality of life, and our ranking in the Human Development Index has steadily risen for a decade.

“This success is testament to the rights, rule of law and strong, independent institutions enjoyed by all Nigerian citizens and others who live there. Indeed, it is a fact that independent, non-governmental organizations can thrive there – especially those that seek accountability from the government.

“Put simply, here lies SERAP’s paradox: in a country without human rights, no rule of law, limited freedom of expression, and weak democratic institutions the cases and cacophony that SERAP causes – even the organisation itself – simply would not be permitted.

“It is, unfortunately, the case that our progressive, modern, and liberal legal system is open to manipulation by cynical actors who seek nothing but to sow division amongst Nigerians and secure publicity for themselves.

“With the global pandemic exacerbating poverty across the continent, those who have always sought to divide Nigerians along cultural, racial and political lines for political or financial gain are more dangerous than before.

“We call on SERAP to cease its divisive, irresponsible, and bare-faced publicity stunts and instead to follow through on its latest spurious legal claim in a Nigerian court of law.

“Let them challenge the government publicly, legally and transparently. And while they do so, let them reveal in full view of the nation who they are, and who is funding them.”

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Presidency attacks SERAP over ‘spurious’ suits against Buhari

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