The Igbo Youth Movement, IYM, has taken a Kaduna based civil rights activist, Malam Shehu Sani, to the cleaners over his recent statement on Second Republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
Sani had in a statement on Wednesday accused Ekwueme of fueling sectional attacks against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, following the commission’s delineation of constituencies.
In a statement signed by the IYM’s founder and president, Evang. Elliot Ukoh on Friday, the group advised Sani, who is the president of Civil Rights Congress, to limit himself to his purported relationship with the Boko Haram sect, describing his verbal attacks on Ekwueme as irresponsible and an unsuccessful attempt at rubbishing a national icon.
The statement reads:
“Nigerians from all works of life are shocked at Malam Shehu Sani’s irresponsible and unsuccessful attempt to rubbish a national icon and former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
“APC chieftain, Malam Shehu Sani’s description of the SNPA revelation on the strange new polling booths that favored the North over the South as ‘vendors of unsubstantiated allegations’ is not only insulting but outright stupid. Didn’t INEC announce new polling units? Didn’t these new polling units undeservedly favor the North against the South?” the group asked.
IYM pointed out that Jega is not being targeted as erroneously believed but voiced concern over the creation of the new polling units. “Their actions are not only suspicious but frightening; why change the goal post at this time?”
“The mountain challenge of armed insurrection Sani alluded to is man-made and deliberately sponsored. Nobody is ‘whipping up unnecessary sectional sentiment’ against anybody. Jega’s actions are clearly suspicious and illogical”, the group insisted.
According to the statement, “Sani’s selective attack on the revered former VP is only designed to appease northerners even as Sani attempts to launch a political career in the same North he has consistently abused in his early days, when he was obsessively desperate for media attention and relevance.
“Using the noble Ekwueme as a punching bag in his weak attempt to endear himself to the North, quite belatedly though, is both mischievous and quite annoying. Malam Shehu Sani should be told that there are other ways once could re-launch himself within his constituency without abusing national icons”.
IYM said singling out the former VP for attack speaks volumes about Sani’s real motive.
It went further to state that “When desperate Boko Haram consultants like Malam Sani engages in such hustling activities, they only confirm to the public that they deserve pity”, adding that “Sani should look for other ways to endear himself to the North he constantly abused and attacked in the past”.
Ukoh said now that the rights activist has suddenly realized how ‘unpopular’ he is amongst his own people due to his past desperation to align himself with a section of the media in the hope of gaining cheap popularity, he should not use Dr. Ekwueme as the “detergent with which he hopes to clean and shine up his image amongst his own people at this time. It is too late in the day for that”, he stressed.
IYM urged Sani to concern himself with his relationship with the “notorious Boko Haram” as it is too late for him to become a “northern voice”.