Following the perceived genocidal tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari and the subsequent suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria, a human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, has written the US President Joe Biden urging him to halt the delivery to Nigeria of TUCANO warplanes scheduled for next month, July.
President Buhari had threatened on his Twitter handle to deal with people who are destroying INEC facilities in the South East the way federal forces dealt with Biafrans during the Civil War.
That tweet was perceived as a direct threat of genocide against a particular section of the country, and was flagged and eventually deleted by Twitter.
The federal government, in response, suspended Twitter operations in the country, and threatened, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, to prosecute anyone who flouts the order.
Ogebe thanked the US, United Kingdom and other nations who have decried the ban by Buhari as a violation of the human right of free expression, but insisted that more needs to be done in view of the underlying threat that Buhari made against Nigerians.
The letter reads: “We urge the United States to halt the delivery to Nigeria of TUCANO warplanes scheduled for next month – July! Here’s why: General Buhari was an officer during the 60s Biafran genocide that claimed over one million lives, so his threat must not be taken lightly given his past participation therein.
“Secondly, General Buhari as military dictator in the 80s imprisoned journalists and shut down newspapers in a massive press repression. He has simply graduated from repressing print media to social media in 2021.
“Thirdly, General Buhari’s misguided attacks on Twitter happened while his government failed to protect over 200 Nigerians killed in the past two weeks by militia from his Fulani herdsmen tribe.
“Reports say over 60 were killed in two parts of Benue State, 93 killed in Kebbi and Kaduna states and 58 killed in Niger and Plateau states.
“In Plateau State, the Fulani militia rampaged for a whole week right next to a military cantonment where General Buhari once served without the army protecting the helpless women and children being slaughtered. Three US-affiliated schools/orphanages had to be evacuated.
“Fourthly, Nigeria’s Air Force has experienced three deadly plane crashes in three months, some under suspicious circumstances, in addition to accidentally bombing innocent citizens.
“Please, don’t deliver more weapons for Buhari to misuse against his people.”