HURIWA condemns APC Akida’s smear campaign

  • Calls for end to attacks on minister Matawalle

In response to the orchestrated smear campaign by the APC Akida Forum against Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has strongly condemned the perpetrators and called for an immediate halt to the dissemination of baseless allegations tarnishing the minister’s reputation.

HURIWA, known for its unwavering commitment to justice and human rights advocacy, issued a scathing rebuke in a press statement, advising Matawalle to explore litigation to silence those spreading defamatory falsehoods against him.

The association emphasized that the attacks on Minister Matawalle, led by the APC Akida Forum, represent a troubling trend of politically motivated calumny aimed at undermining the integrity of public officials. HURIWA expressed concern over the tactics employed by the APC Akida Forum, cautioning against the proliferation of unsubstantiated allegations for political gain.

HURIWA particularly condemned the recent protest staged by the APC Akida Forum at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), demanding the prosecution of Minister Matawalle over alleged financial mismanagement during his tenure as Governor of Zamfara State. The association denounced the protest as an attempt to subvert the rule of law and undermine principles of justice.

“The attacks on Minister Matawalle, orchestrated by vested interests with apparent political motives, follow a pattern of pure hatred for the person of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the total commitment of Matawalle to his administration. These attacks, veiled under the guise of activism or political dissent, are nothing but calculated attempts to undermine the integrity and effectiveness of a public servant dedicated to the betterment of Nigeria”, HURIWA expressed.

Emphasizing the need for impartiality and due process in addressing allegations against public officials, HURIWA called for evidence-based investigations and cautioned against the weaponization of law enforcement agencies for political purposes. The association urged the EFCC to refrain from being manipulated by political interests and uphold its mandate impartially.

“The EFCC’s high-profile addressing of these politically procured protesters against Matawalle appears to give credence to their unfounded allegations and encourages further acts of political rascality, We caution the EFCC against embarking on or encouraging frivolous protests against public office holders under the guise of issuing public assurances.

“The EFCC must uphold its mandate impartially and refrain from being manipulated by political interests seeking to settle scores or undermine legitimate government officials”, HURIWA emphasized

Furthermore, HURIWA highlighted Minister Matawalle’s accomplishments as Minister of State for Defence, citing his strategic leadership in navigating geopolitical terrains, fostering regional collaboration, and spearheading peacekeeping endeavors. Additionally, the association underscored that, under Matawalle’s guidance, the Ministry of Defence has made remarkable progress in modernization endeavors and bilateral relations with international partners.

“In the realm of strategic leadership, Minister Matawalle has demonstrated unparalleled prowess in navigating intricate geopolitical terrains, fostering regional collaboration, and spearheading peacekeeping endeavors, thus fortifying Nigeria’s security framework.

“Under Matawalle’s guidance, the Ministry of Defence has experienced remarkable progress in modernization endeavors, aimed at bolstering the nation’s military capabilities and preparedness to counter evolving security threats. Matawalle’s diplomatic finesse has yielded substantial enhancements in bilateral relations with crucial international partners, facilitating intelligence-sharing initiatives and collaborative counterterrorism efforts.

“Recognizing the paramount importance of human capital development, Matawalle has prioritized comprehensive training and capacity-building initiatives within the armed forces, ensuring their adeptness in addressing emerging security challenges.

“Therefore, we call for a resolute stance against baseless accusations and stand ready to provide unwavering support in affirming Minister Matawalle’s exemplary service and contributions to national security and conflict resolution”, HURIWA defended.

In view of Matawalle’s leadership style for its emphasis on humility, integrity, and genuine commitment to public service, HURIWA commended him as a valuable asset to the administration of President Bola Tinubu. The association urged against any attempts to undermine his contributions to national security and governance.

HURIWA urged the public to reject the baseless allegations propagated by the APC Akida Forum and called for an end to the smear campaign against Minister Matawalle, emphasizing the importance of upholding principles of justice, fairness, and accountability in addressing allegations against public officials.

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