PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI [GCFR]
PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,
NIGERIA PRESIDENTIAL COMPLEX,
ASO ROCK VILLA,
RE- OUR ADVISE LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON SHITTE CONFLICTS ON PROSCRIPTION OF THE SHIITES//IMN;AND THE NEED FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXERCISE CAUTIONS FOR THE AFFORDANCE OF GURILLA WAR FARE IN THE NIGERIAN NATIONS
We are patriotically Buharism /Yemism and from our diligent responsive of intelligent’ we believe in the Nigerian project for Nigerians, we are using these medium to express our resolutions towards addressing the myriads of the security challenges bedeviling the nation vis-a-vis the on-going crisis foisted by the confrontations between the members of the Islamic Movements of Nigeria, IMN and the security agents, leading to loss of lives and national apprehension, prior to their proscription.
We are no doubt convinces that your government will subscribe to our suggestions, applying it to address the current security challenges in Nigeria to prevent dangerous degeneration to precipice.
To remain aloof to the need for urgent mediations has dire effects on national security, more when the nation is already over burdened, its security over-taxed and its dwindling resources, unnecessarily wasted in needless prosecutions of war against self-inflicted insurgency.
Your Excellency, the security fragility may be further worsened if restraint, utmost cautions is not exhibited in the handling of every attempts to put the ravaging Shiites under collective control, particularly, on the issues of its proscriptions. Few days ago, specifically, Friday 26, 2019, The Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the proscription of the Shiites’. The judge gave the order following an ex parte application by the Federal Government marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019 which was filed in the name of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Thursday, July 25, 2019, barely 72 hours after a protest by members of the group in Abuja led to a bloody clash between them and the Police.
Justice Nkeonye Maha issued the order in a ruling in which she designated the activities of the Shiite organization in any part of Nigeria “as acts of terrorism and illegality. The court consequently restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the IMN “under any name or platform” in Nigeria.
The Shiite group was accused of “nefarious activities”, murder, attacks on security agents, provocative preaching and hate speeches while working towards an agenda of creating an Islamic State in Nigeria. The Federal Government had earlier obtained a court order to proscribe the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly known as Shiite.
The court also ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation “to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies” to complete the process of proscribing the group.
The Shiites have for over two years been regularly taking to the streets, particularly in Abuja, to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zenab, arising from court pronouncement to the effect, yet they were held by the state.
Since proscription, several reactions have trailed the actions of the Federal government, most of it angrily expresses in expletives, and derogatory terms. The clear verdict of most respondent is that the proscription of the Shiite movement was unconstitutional, illegal, discriminatory, and hypocritical, under an administration that had refused to take such step in dealing with killer herdsmen who had murdered thousands of Nigerians.
The action it was noted negate and undermine the fundamental right of the Shiites to freedom of religion as constitutionally guaranteed, under sections 38, 40 and 41 of the constitution.
The justifications of your government decision to ban the group, it was reported is based on attendant violent protest that lead to the death of over a dozen people as well as its threats to national security.
No doubt, the confrontations between members of the sect and security operatives have been perennial, often resulting in violence of massive proportions, the most devastating of which arguably occurred in December 2015 when over three hundred members of the sect—including three of the Sheikh’s children—were murdered by the military during a brutal crackdown in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Yet its dismay the way and manner in which the past as well as the present conflicts had been managed give much cause for concerns, more rooms for suspicious of a calculated state inspired attacks to decimate the groups.
There is a well laid down laws or conditions for groups or movements threatening the corporate existence of the nation to be proscribed, one doubts if such had been adhered to in this instance.
Since proscriptions several reactions have trailed the actions of the federal government, most of it angrily expresses expletives and derogatory terms.
The response is worrisome in view of past similar approach in the case of the ravaging Boko Haram insurgency. With the court order proscribing the IMN, the military ought not to have been given a green light to take every step necessary to stop the violence being unleashed by the group on defenseless Nigerians.
To do this, is an invitation to an unending anarchy, guerilla warfare, and a further complication of the already worsened security situation in the country. Aside the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, little other organization, such as IPOB, MASSOB was proscribed, government in its own wisdom realizing the security threats, they allegedly posed.
With the need to subscribe to the rule of law, Federal government should be guided in policy, particularly relating to proscription of any organization in Nigeria, by the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria. This remains the antidote to anarchy within the state.
The implications of the proscription of the Shiites and others is no doubt, far-reaching, the government’s latest action could lead to the emergence of another violent sect. It may lead to an amorphous metastizing of the sect to a faceless threats group, more potent than the Boko Haram, and very difficult to identify for control or future negotiation, as presently experience with the faceless Boko Haram. Your Excellency, we urge your government to exercise great cautions in handling the issues relating to the group, realizing the fact that there presence and consequent actions is a symbolic representation of Iran-the foremost promoter of Shish globally.
The root of the present quagmire in Nigeria cannot be divorce from the overarching influence of Foreign nation on Nigeria, particularly, the import of religious ideology of extremism fuelled by radicalization-the growth of religion to the point of threats to national security, The influence of Iran, Saudi-Arabia and Israel USA on Nigeria has been enormous to the point of threats and concerns.
Yet, the recent action of your government must find a delicate balance, in the recent proscription of the Shiite, which its followers say was neither an association nor a political party that could be proscribed by fiat, but a mass movement and could not be made to abandon its religion just like that your Excellency.
The lessons we would like the Nigerian government to note is the need for the reform of the nations foreign policy as well as our bilateral relationship with nations with reputation of radical religious ideological export. The policies must restrict such, not the present proscription as in the case of medicine after death. With this not adhered to, the nation may witness the sprouting up of many anti-state religious groups.
We noted the recalcitrant pose of the Iran leadership, and its unwavering backing of the groups, irrespective of the threats they posed or May posed to our nation. This call for caution and renewed diplomatic engagements devoid of confrontations. No doubt, several nations are looking to expand bilateral ties and increase cooperation on regional and international issues; this must not be at a security cost to our country. Nigeria must not be a wiling pawn in the Iran’s expansionist strategy in Africa. To do so is to make Nigeria the battlefield of proxy ideological wars between Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Tehran is trying to gain control of strategic waterways along the African coasts, recruit loyal proxies, and cause problems for the West by eliminating traditional Western allies, Nigeria's leadership must realize this. If it is positive, it is welcome, anything contrary should be resisted.
There is no question that Saudi Arabia had significant influence over the development of Salafism in northern Nigeria and also some such in the western region of Nigeria. Much as it does not impinge on our national security, it should be welcome.
Sadly, Iran’s bid to further its hegemonic desires over Nigeria, has translated to the actions of all groups loyal or with religious affinity to it in Nigeria.
Iran’s interference in Morocco led it to cut diplomatic relations with Tehran, over the so-called Iranian diplomat’s support for the Polisario Front, the group that is fighting for control of the Western Sahara, an area where Morocco controls about 90 per cent of the territory. This informed the reasons why we urge for caution in the present case, realizing the reported population of over 21 millions of Shiites in Nigeria and their conflict values.
The fact is that ,through its interferences in Syria war Iran has gained access to the Mediterranean sea where through its dominance of the sahara region ,it will be able to gain access to the Atlantic ocean , and through this gain a firm foothold in the area ,from which to pursue its interest in west Africa ,this ought to be uppermost in the mind of Nigeria leaders as its.
With increasing challenges in the nation, its agents could easily recruit thousands of Shiite youths from impoverished areas in the country, who can be used by the Iranian regime to destabilize the country and create a monster bigger than Boko haram
Today, Iran is constantly on the lookout for allies in Africa, and particularly, Nigeria. The mullah regime is desperately trying to get its claws into Africa, and has used its usual method of buying friends, and arming and training Shiite rebel groups in places like Senegal and Nigeria, to allow it to gain a solid foothold in the region. The leadership response to Shiite must take the form of ideological dialogue moderated by diplomacy and if need be isolations in the national interest. The nation cannot afford the past mistake as it did with Boko Haram .by then leadership of their administrative failure to yield to our cogent responsive thought of advice, on boko haram cause us Nigerians the colotial damage to our existing as a nation.
By our diligent responsive intelligent The Shiite has come to stay with us, we can do little to eliminate them or proscribe them, and rather, we must work to accommodate them within the framework of national interest without tolerating any threats whatsoever.
To forcefully proscribe them and use of the military on them is to risk the underground sabotage of critical assets and infrastructure, the cost of which may be too high to comprehend, particularly as all indices of failed state confronts us in face.
We are critical stakeholders in the Nigerian projects. We are patriotically desirous of a better and great Nigeria. We frown at everything that will undermine our sovereignty or common humanity. There is never a good or justified war; neither is there a profit in conflicts and confrontations.
The present ban or proscription of the Shiite by the federal government will only further influence the interests of foreign radicalism element to infiltrate the nation security more, to sympathize with Shiites, whom they see as being persecuted and in the process may conspired to kill innocent citizen of Nigerians and inflicts incalculable damages on our hard or soft targets.
One of the far reaching ways by which the lingering issues and other related ones should be addressed is for the government to as a matter of urgency improve its human rights protections to an unquestionable level of international acceptance, by strictly observing the rule of law or internationally ratified protocols and conventions.
Your Excellency sir, initiate the place of dialogue or establishing a common ground to find lasting solutions to the crisis should be promptly explored now to avoid second foisting the worst manifestations of Boko Haram, as guerilla warfare that can ravage Nigerians nation, signaling a descent to a failed state. We must therefore dialogue.
We must put in place, through legislations, clear cut stipulations to define the process or parameters leading to proscription of an organization or declaring individuals or group to have been fouled of treasonable felony. To do otherwise is to risk revolts motivated by government’s irrationality.
Your Excellency as the presidency of federal republic of Nigeria is a product of the constitution, and thus behoove on it to adhere to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Government should be more tact in the handling of the conflicts to avoid it snowballing to a larger uncontrollable conflict in the magnitude of Boko Haram .We can only secure the unity of the country through impartial enforcements of laws and order in line with the rule of law by simply obeying court orders.
Government refusal to obey Justice Gabriel Kolawole’s order on the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzakky, because it appealed the ruling, further complicates the issues on ground and exposes the government as arbitrary.
The continued detention of the revered Sheikh El-zakzaky despite his deteriorating health condition is only an act of torture and waiting for his death which can instigate widespread of violence in the country using the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
The Federal Government should therefore comply with the orders of the Federal High Court and the ECOWAS Court of Justice for the release of all detainees in the country.
It should without delay immediately and unconditionally release of Sheikh Ibraheem and Hajia Elzakzaky zenab. However, if the Federal Government has evidence that they have committed any criminal offence whatsoever, they should be arraigned to court.
In the interim, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky access to health care and not to allow the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) die in their custody due to deteriorating health conditions, as part of his right to life provided by the law
The government must work to shed the toga of impunity and the consistent violations of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens particularly the rights to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty but also infringed on the Constitution in several ways.
There is lack of accountability for human rights violations by security agencies and other militant elements including armed herdsmen must be revisited with a view to addressing it and the only solution is RANCHES; it must avoid heavy-handed violent responses to peaceful protests across the country.
The police must exercise restraint at all times and use force only when strictly necessary as the nation cannot afford to complicate the already challenged security. While the porous borders of our nation must be guided and secured Banning or proscribing the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is not the solution and will never be as it is ideologically motivated, and can only be moderated to operate within the scope of the nation's laws and constitutionality.
A protest is a formal objection by subjects of international law, usually a State, against a conduct or a claim purported to be contrary to or unfounded in international law. This exactly is what the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria subscribe to in defending their rights, while been out daily. The right of peaceful protest is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in GENEVA of December 1948. Today, this right is recognized in the constitutions of 182 countries, Nigeria inclusive, in spite of the present postures by the state. However, we are still far away from universal acceptance of this right in practice.
Without allowing latitude of freedom to protests there may not be effective development of an engaged and informed citizenry nor strengthen representative democracy by enabling direct participation in public affairs. At the same time, we are using this medium to call on the federal government to enter into dialogue with the group so as to find lasting solutions to the lingering problems. In a democratic and pluralistic society as our, government need to put in place policies and programs that will promotes inclusiveness, patriotism and sense of belonging, such as the Bill of rights.
A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private citizens. Much as the government is determined to protect the rights of all Nigerians, we urge Mr. President to without delay send a bill on Nigerian Citizenship Commission bill to National Assembly for passage so as to douse tensions that threatens our national unity. We urge Mr. President to without delay Appoint an Attorney General of the Federation that isn’t inept that will be more proactive in using his office to deepen the rules of law and unwavering subscription to all relevant of the international norms of laws, for the overall development of our dear nation.
Every policy should be geared towards the promotion of good governance and over all prosperity of the people. That’s the only surest security against foreign ideology. Government should be very decisive in taking decision to address these issues, just as it had done in the recent case of renewed contract with Siemens of Germany.
We urge government to put in place robust mechanism and laws to promote patriotic citizenship that will readily comply with the rules of laws of the nation. The realization of the emergence of foreign-backed ideological organization, government should periodically review its foreign policies to make the interest of the nation, the centre piece of its actions and objectives.
We call on government to further train the security agents on adherence to the rules of engagements in conflicts, to minimize casualties. We call on government to put in place policies and programs to eliminate all factors that promotes insecurity or radicalization of groups or movement making them amenable to strange anti-nation ideology, so as to starve the adventure of foreign terrorist groups in Nigeria.
The record of the human rights of your government in the first term of your administration, gives much for concerns, it also has a great impacts on your international engagements, this realization, and thus imposed a great responsibility to carefully choose an Attorney General of the federation that is fully committed to defend human rights while complying with the laws of the nation.We urge government to put in place robust mechanism and laws to promote patriotic citizenship that will readily comply with the rules of laws of the nation. The realization of the emergence of foreign-backed ideological organization, government should periodically review its foreign policies to make the interest of the nation, the centre piece of its actions and objectives. We call on government to further train the security agents on adherence to the rules of engagements in conflicts, to minimize casualties.
We call on government to put in place policies and programs to eliminate all factors that promotes insecurity or radicalization of groups or movement making them amenable to strange anti-nation ideology, so as to starve the adventure of foreign terrorist groups in Nigeria The implications on your leadership will be undesirable with its accompanied backlash of killing weekly around the nations, Government must do everything within its powers to manage the present challenges relating to the security, particularly restructuring our security architecture. Government must review its foreign policies to mitigate the impacts of importations of threatening religious or political ideologies to the country. Government must review its human rights responses in line with global best practices. Government must de-proscribe the group and set laws to regulate funding links between religious groups in countries with potentials threats to our national sovereignty.IA/AD/HR/ 08/05/019
The Nigerian security forces should be trained or indoctrinated to abide by the United Nations Officials. The leadership needs to promote equity, rule of laws and patriotism, to make every Nigerian have a sense of belonging. With these, the myriad cases of security challenges beveling the nations will be addressed.Feb 212019
Yours in support of diligent responsive leadership.
COMRADE, BATURE JOHNSON T.
PRESIDENT [I.A.A.D.H.R] International Association for Advancement and Defense of Human Rights.
We, the members of [I.A.A.D.H.R.] international association for advancement and defense of human rights, by this press release declare our firm supports for the continuation in office of our president, His Excellency president MUHAMMADU BUHARI and able Vice president Professor YEMI OSINBAJO SAN, and by that their success in the forthcoming election scheduled for 23rd February 2019, Our unalloyed support is anchored on the followings;
1, the single act of recognizing the hero of our democracy is a landmark achievement.
2, president BUHARI has waged a largely successful war against corruption in the past three and half years since the administration commenced,
3, the administration of president Buhari has provided for massive infrastructural developments in the country which in turn will lay a good foundation for the transformation of Nigeria into economics power brokers in the world,
4,president Buhari had ensured that Nigeria’s security is restored by defeating the book haram terrorists and ensured that other critical sections of the country are well protected and secured ,
5, the giant strides of the president in other areas of the country cannot be over emphasized.
6, today, sanity and discipline have been restored in the country entrepreneurship is encouraged through the country,
For the forgoing reason and many more, we have resolved to offer ourselves for services and collaboration with other facilitators to enhance the chance of our dear president at the poll, coming February 16/ 2019, Feb 182019
God bless the peoples of Nigeria and federal republic of Nigeria,
COMRADE-BATURE JOHNSON, T.
President [IAADHR] international association for advancement and defense of human rights.
ONNOGHEN ASSET DECLARATION SCANDALS; BUHARI IS RIGHT.
Gentlemen of the Press,
We find it appropriate to promptly react to the recent stance of the Federal Government, relating the temporary suspension of the Chief Justice of the Federation, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, over breach of law pending the conclusion of his trial.
The CJN was brought before the CCT because of a serious breach of law regarding his assets declaration, wherein he reportedly owned and operated several secret bank accounts peculiar with rapid and equal daily deposits in an attempt to evade banking reporting laws and regulations.
In a swift response as a patriot and a believer in the rule of law, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the CJN and in his place appointed Mr. Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as acting CJN.
Since then diverse reactions trailed the Federal Government's actions on the CJN, particularly from some opposition, and UK, US and EU, who ignorantly expressed concerns about the timing in view of the forthcoming elections in the nation.
The clear fact is that the needless crisis would have not occurred in the first instance, if in his own wisdom the CJN had not stooped the constitutions head-on by deliberately breaching the law of the nation and further attempt to abuse his office and manipulate the law in his favor.
His position is one of utmost public trust, not to be abuse to shield or protect him from the fair consequence of his own actions. To have such a person preside over any case, would call into question the impartiality of any decision rendered and undermine the rule of law, which the presidency is aware of its implications.
We note with regrets and out rightly condemned the stance and roles of some foreign nations and organizations like the United Kingdom, United States and European Union, whose diplomatic tones gave credence to some activists to support the deliberate breech of the CJN.
Since amalgamation, both Britain and America had demonstrably worked against Nigerians national interest while the Portuguese supported Nigerians before their advent. This was demonstrated by series of events, such as the1200 invasion and destruction of the old Benin Empire by a British, Admiral Harry Robinson-led Troops; the political crisis before the Clifford constitution, the 1954/59 election manipulations. The damages and human rights violations done by America against sovereign nation, their citizens, particularly through arms sales have led to the destruction of hopes and humanity.
The United Kingdom in particular had been major factors behind our nation's underdevelopment and corruption, since amalgation period, even till date. The British colonialist fraudulently cooked and manipulated the nation's population in 1960 and the first republic election, thus legitimizing illegality in the nation. Britain has remained a hiding place for corrupt Nigerians. British banks are harboring stolen funds from Nigeria and using same to develop their economy. When the Nigeria's Senate President undermines efforts to undermine democracy in the upper chamber, it was the British High commission in Nigeria that paid him a courtesy call to legitimize his position. This to an extent applies to America policy in Nigeria. We had on several occasions warned of the British destruction of our nation, as exemplify by the massacres and conquest of the old Benin Empire.
The impact of their actions and policies is increased underdevelopment, corruption, poverty, poor leadership and impunity in the land. British policies promote impunity, and stashing of the nations fund in the banks, without effort to repatriates it back to Nigeria. This is condemnable.
The decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, from office, and the planned arraignment of Justice Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal is no doubt a rare act of courage and breakthrough in the fight against corruption in the country.
Nigeria reserves the right to take action on internal affairs without interference or bending the rules to acknowledge the undermining of its sovereignty by those who do not meant well for it.
The administration's adherence to the rule of law prompted it to exit the former minister of finance Kemi Adeosun from office, thus nobody is above the law of the land. President Muhammadu Buhari is not paving way for the rigging of the forthcoming general elections, with the suspension but trying to sanitize the judiciary.
The CJN has neither been removed from office nor, permanently replaced, but only suspended pending the final determination of the substantive issues in his matter. These actions had no in any way undermine the nation’s judiciary, or subvert the constitution, but rather will deepen it.
Corruption promotes anarchy and killings in the nation, hence the need for the EU, UK and the US help Nigeria to weed out corruption rather than establishing, supporting, encouraging corruption or abetting corruption in Nigeria or other forms of international conspiracy.
We call on the international community, particularly, UK, US, EU to remain cautious and minimize its unsolicited and undue interference in the internal affairs of the nation and our sovereignty as a nation as their actions and utterances contributes to overheat the polity.
The haste with which they threatens to sanction the nations is very unbecoming and unjustified, in spite of the inability of our nation to recover from the massive and strategic damages done to our resolve to develop, by the infection of the people and the nation's psyche with impunity, corruption, crooked manipulations and the seed of ethno religious intolerance. The EU, UK and the US should please back off, and stop interfering in our internal matters, as they would certainly not allow anyone with image crisis like Onnoghen to preside over their own judiciary.
In view of the negative impacts of their policy on Nigeria, we hereby urge that they review their foreign engagements and other diplomatic instrument that is draconian, antipope to reduce the resistance to America and British incursion and their self-assigned roles as the police of the world.
We commend the courage and resilience of Mr President in promoting the reform of the judiciary, rule of law and due process.
We urge him not to bend rules nor allow interference, of those who do not meant well for the nation.
We call on all Nigerians to support the need to deepen our democratic tenets through the enthronement of judges with high probity and unblemished integrity and character as related to the ongoing process.
The election is by the corner, we must ensure that it is conducted in an atmosphere of trust, impartiality and confidence of fidelity of the umpire, the INEC. We also urge the impartiality of the judiciary, much of which cannot be assured under the questionable leadership of Walter Onnoghen.
We call on the federal government to ensure the speedy trial, taking into considerations the adherence to the rule of law, due process and constitutionality to assure national security and confidence in the present government.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON
President [[IAADHR]international association for advancement and defense of human rightsp.
THE AMBASSADOR, UNITED STATE OF AMERICA,
UNITED STATE OF AMERICA EMBASSY,
PLOT, 1075, DIPLOMATIC, DRIVE, CENTRAL,
BUSSINESS DISTRICT ABUJA,
AMERICA'S HYPOCRISY AND NIGERIA’S SECURITY WE DEMAND CHANGE OF STRATEGIES,
Nigeria as a nation cannot leave in isolation as,-it needs other country to grow, develop from strength to strength-one of such nation it need is United State of America.
Sadly as Nigeria continue to depend on America in many areas of her development; it has indeed come with a high price-of deceit and hypocrisies. The need to point out and correct Americas' increased hypocrisy in the affairs of Nigeria state, and the urgent response to desist from such prompted this letter.
Since the assumption of diplomatic relations between America and Nigeria, in 1960, Nigeria, more than bargained for, have been at the receiving end of unfavorable America's foreign policy.
It suffered policy reversals on account of the strong arm tactics of the America. It suffered complicated insecurity, underdevelopment, on accounts of America’s government. These realizations prompted the sustained call for the review of Nigeria-American relationship for sustainable mutual development.
It thus became clear to us that if our nation sincerely wants to grow, must reduce the dependence on any other country-including America. It must also explore deep relations with other world economic super power.
Today ,our dear country is passing through series of threatening challenges, some of which include insecurity, corruption, human rights abuses, infrastructure decays, not until many of these challenges are addressed we may not make headway as a nation, hence the series of policy initiative and reforms, embarked upon by successive government.
According to the ex-chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (I.C.P.C), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola; while lamenting the nation’s monumental losses to corruption since independence, said that Nigeria has lost the sum of $300 billion to corruption. In terms of insecurity, report says Nigeria, lost over 18,000 lives, only to insecurity scourge in the north east of the country. Yet, America's input is nowhere to impact the tide.
Much as reforms are ongoing, international cooperation's will further speed up its attainments-herein lies the relevance of American government-who will be patriotic enough to meaningfully partner with Nigerian government to ensure credible national development.
The key issues affecting the nation are insecurity, human rights abuses, corruption, poverty, illiteracy, and moral decay-gays issues. Its 87 million people live in extreme poverty, with over 65 per cent illiterate population.
The combined impacts of corruption, insecurity, illiteracy, poverty, influence of westernization has been very devastating to say the least. It remains a major motivator of terrorism, violent conflicts across the nation. Nigeria Terrorism Index is projected to be 9.26 in 2018 according to a Trading Economics poll; it is projected to increase further, on account of poverty.
Much as we as a people have made effort to address this, albeit, with minimal successes, we still require the inputs and expertise of the Americans-but America has continue to disappoint Nigeria in so many attempt at promoting a symbiotic diplomatic relations.
If not in many areas ,we noted how between 2014 and 2015, the United States refuse to sell highly needed weaponry to Nigeria in her war against terror and insurgency in the North East of the country, on a flimsy excuse that that the Nigerian military is notoriously known for human rights abuses. Yet America supply arms to Syria, Egypt, Algeria, with records of human rights violations.
Sadly also, it has become the hallmark of American envoys in Nigeria to utilize various public platform provided by unsuspecting Nigerians to lecture and disparage the country, its leaders and institutions.
While Nigeria needed America’s support, sadly, the support gotten so far, particularly in our efforts to fight corruption and insecurity has been feebly disappointing, dimming the prospects and hope of continued relation with America.
Our appropriate perceptions of America is that of a nation that is particular about the benefits that she can get from Nigeria, rather than how she can help better the lots of our dear nation.
Your country will rather pursue over $5.87 trillion dollars nuclear weapons race, in the past four decades, rather than help to feed the starved wrinkled-stomach children in African continent. Your country will rather manipulate NATO, to do her biddings, rather than, working to help check abuses of human rights or deepened democratic tenets in several of this nations.
America’s attempt at defending abuse and neglect of human rights is selective, biased and non-inspiring; this ought not to be so. As the custodian of democracy, it ought not to promote policies that will undermine democracy in Nigeria. That is the case of America, so far in Nigeria. America cannot be said to have contributed enough to democratic stability in Nigeria, nor can it said to have been robustly involved in checking corruption, abuse of human rights, insecurity. Today, looters of public treasury in Nigeria, found safe lodging haven in America. Efforts to retrieve this stashed funds has yielded little dividends.
The volumes and levels of democratic instability and insecurity in the nation cannot be divorced from the long years of corruptions and looting of the public treasury. We believe the earlier America limits her unwanted intrusions in the affairs of nations, the better for it and the concerned nation.
The destructions wrought by America, on African continent, led to the lost of hundreds of thousands of lives, destructions of properties worth billions of dollars, and the high level of the numbers of camps, bearing the[IDPS] internally displaced persons around the globe.
Serving as the policeman of the world has led to more sorrow, and pains to humanity. The roles of America in Libya, and the eventual toppling of its leader, Mohamar Ghaddafi, remain sore points in America's role towards fostering global instability in efforts to protect her national interest or to put America's first. And cause colossal damages to Africans
American needs Nigeria as much as Nigeria needs America. Reason!, while America has an abundance of capital; Nigeria has an abundance of human and natural resources. This should inform a positive mutual diplomatic reciprocity and not an assault..
There are credible evidence, from available official us records, indicating that the united states has, over the years, executed some of the biggest arms shipments, running into several billions of dollars, to countries with abysmal human rights records, including brutal suppression of democratic dissents, yet it deplore arsenals to crush any developing countries, accused of human right abuses.
Also, America military and security agencies had their own share of abysmal records human rights abuses in almost all their operations outside the United States.
In some cases, she actually mobilized global support and spent billions of tax payers’ money in humanitarian and military support to prevent the total disintegration of a region it helped to destabilize.
Several of Nigerians had been trafficked to America, mostly residing in Houston. Many are subjected to all forms of exploitations and abuses. Many lives in degrading subhuman conditions. Human trafficking is an estimated $150 billion global industry annually (ILO: International Labor Organization). In the US alone, it is an estimated $9.8 billion industry, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The harsh economic and diplomatic sanctions on Nigeria, led to increase poverty and deprivations that drove millions of her youth out of the country in search of greener pastures.
Nigerian government needs to be more strategic in its engagement of the United States, The destabilizations caused by policy manipulations, must not be tolerated for long. Nigerian should demonstrate and make it clear to the Americans and their local collaborators that the country will survive and develop..
Billions of dollars had been looted or laundered out of Nigeria to the United States of America. We had thought that America will in the spirit of transparency repatriate the money back
Sadly it continued to warehouse stolen funds from Nigeria, and also conspired with other unpatriotic people to imposed stringent conditions for the repatriations of the stolen funds.
Earlier in August 2014, the sum of $480 million was forfeited to the United States following court judgments. Again, the United State was reluctant to release over $550 million to Nigeria, being proceeds from identified official loot in the country.
It is a big deceit to continue to keep Nigeria's money in your vault, while you pledge and support Nigeria, with the proceeds from the accrued interests from our stolen funds.
We must enact policies and pursue reforms that will lessen our much dependence on other countries. The country leadership must based its diplomatic interfaces with America on extracting concrete commitments and supports to be able to frontally address the issues of terrorism and insurgency in the north east, and other forms of insecurity bedeviling the nation.
We as a people need to rise up and challenge the hypocrisy as well as the massive damages of America to our nations Africans. We need to appreciate the facts that America is never our ally, as regards issues close to protecting and defending our national interests.
We need to form bulwarks of pressure groups that will patriotically work to resist the imperialist tendencies of America in Nigeria. Enough of the enslavement of our people!
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON.T,
President [IAADHR] International Association for Advancement and Defense of Human Rights
DANKAZEEM VICTORIA [MRS]
OPEN LETTER TO BRITISH CONSULAR IN NGERIA
PAUL THOMAS ARKWRIGHT.
BRITISH CONSULAR GENERAL TO NIGERIA.
British High Commission
NO,19,torrens close, off.mississipi,street,
Shehu shagari way, maitama.
NIGERIAN DEMOCRACY AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT; WE DEMAND CHANGE OF STRATEGIES AND COMPENSATION FOR COLOSSAL DAMAGES.
Unfolding security and political events in Nigeria in the past and of recent and the need to find a lasting solution, perhaps, more than any other issues prompted this letter.
Few days ago, the whole civilized world woke up to an embarrassing and sordid assault on Nigeria's democracy, when security agents and men of the department of state security, DSS, took over and barricaded all the gates and other entrances into the National Assembly, denying lawmakers entrance. In an apparent move to oust the senate President, Bukola Saraki.
This anti democratic tendencies was roundly and robustly condemned, by all well meaning citizens, as well as your mission.
This is certainly not the first time; crisis of the magnitude that has the ability to truncate our democratic governance is taking place under the present democratic dispensation.
Your Excellency will recall that the Nigerian Senate was embroiled in crisis of leadership at the inception of the present government, on account of ascension of the present Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki. The crisis of legitimacy, generated by such an ascension was so rancorous and destabilizing, to necessitate diplomatic neutrality, from most of the diplomatic missions in Nigeria and beyond.
They knew better; to intercede at that point in time clearly undermines neutrality of which is against all diplomatic etiquettes and protocols.
Sadly and regrettably so, the British High Commission, under the former British Consular, sir Andrew Pocock, help to legitimize such a brazen democratic assaults of the Senate President, when on 9th of June,2015,he paid a courtesy/solidarity visit to the embattled Senate President, in a typical case of diplomatic corruption, Peculiar to your Commission.
The essence of diplomatic relationship is to promote mutual interests of the nations involved regarding trade, security, democracy, culture and territorial integrity. Anything short of this amount to and constitute security threats.
This actually had been the hallmark of Nigeria-British relationship as far back as 1922 in Nigeria, and their manipulative roles in the nation’s democratic evolution in the 1954 and 1958/59 elections in Nigeria.
Your Excellency, you will no doubt that the British forceful and brutal incursion into Nigeria has all along been peculiar with pains, sorrow, Slavery and a sustained orchestration of political instability in Nigeria till date and no doubt in the future.
The Punitive military expedition and excursion of 1896/1897 by a British force of 1,200 under Admiral Sir Harry Rawson captured, burned, and looted the Benin kingdom, of its valuable artifacts, deposing and, exiling the reigning Oba’ bringing to an end the kingdom. This by all standards the most devastating of all events of violence that have happened in the history of Benin kingdom. It destroys the culture/traditional and civilization of the people. The people are yet to recover today from the devastating invasion of the British on Nigerian soil.
Today, the British are the architect of the major problems that bedevil us as a nation, starting from the point of your amalgamation of both the northern and southern protectorate to form the present Nigeria, in 1914, and the introduction of the Clifford constitution of 1922, which signaled limited franchise and subsequent restriction of election to certain class of Nigerians.
Today, your roles-and excesses- in the interference in Nigeria's democracy and our internal affairs, and subsequent exploitations of our human and natural resources, has immensely contributed to an incalculable damage and resulted in the level of miseries which Nigerians are presently subjected to.
As the colonizer of Nigeria, your government failed to solve the divisive tendencies you met with our people, but instead further compounded it. The British High Commission has been acting a script handed down to them by Lord Lugard, who in his report to the British parliament in 1901 and 1902 stated that they must work and support a section of Nigeria-the North to continue to rule-against the spirit of equity and true democracy.
Consequently, despite the fact that there was no single party that won enough seats to be able to control the federal parliament, then, but the Brutish British organized and manipulated to make it easier for NPC to make use of either the action Group of NCNC as partner in the Federal Government, so before the counting in the election was concluded, the British Governor General had corruptly declared NPC winner.
While the counting was over, it was discovered that the position accorded NPC, under British-supervised rigging was not due to it. Also, the delimitation commission set up unfavorably worked to support the NPC. Women, who were yet to be democratically enfranchised in the north, were counted and their numbers used to allocate seats in the country. In essence, even before women in the Northern Nigeria, were officially allowed to participate in election, the British had perfected ways to use them to manipulate and rig elections.
These are ways by which the British manipulated and destroyed our electoral system. Not only was that, effort by opposition to emerge robustly resisted. The Sir Foster Sutton Commission of inquiry was used to harass and silences Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. These were the machinations, intrigues and conspiracy done by the British against Nigeria people. I must confess, we are yet to recover from it.
Sir, how ?’ needless do we need to add the massive massacres which the British expeditionary forces wrought across the nation in your efforts to forcefully colonize our people-the Baro massacres, the Satirru massacres, the Kazuare massacres, the Hadejia conquest, the Abeokuta invasion and several of them. The truth of the matter remains clear. While we caution your commission to mitigate policy and programmed that exploit and destabilize the nation, time seems right to press for and demand billion-pounds as reparations for the massive and incalculable damages done by the British people in the past and the British high commission in the present. With every intervention on our nation’s domestic affairs, the British seems not to ever get it right. It is high time that the British completely hand off the nation's problems, as they are the architect of the same problems and the economic woes that bedevil the nation and makes life meaningless in the nation.
The national assemblies, through the law makers are suppose to enact bills that will make life meaningful to Nigerian and enhance national development. Sadly, it has established reputation for greed, insensitivity and gross disregard for national interests. Bills that could have been passed to positively impact the life of ordinary Nigerians are neglected, but bill that interest them are given speedy passage.
The consequence of the insensitivity and aloofness of our lawmakers is the high rate of poverty, insecurity, hopelessness and underdevelopment that has enveloped the nation. And snuffing life out of ordinary citizens Nigerians.
The British High commission in Nigeria has certainly not done enough to restrict the excesses of the law makers much as it had done to give verve and legitimize political brigandage and instability in Nigeria.
So far, the diplomatic strategy of the British towards Nigeria state revolves around economic diplomacy and sending foreign aid to the nation, with little policy cooperation towards strengthening the rule of law and building enduring institutions.
The British colonial rule in Nigeria and its impact on national development to say the least has been devastating to our collective vision to grow as a nation. With booby traps of structural imbalances created by them and nepotistic leadership, that today characterizes Nigeria’s democratic trajectory, we will need to do more to evolve our own home grown leadership system and democracy.
The delegation of the British High Commission then, led by the High Commissioner, sir Andrew Pocock, the envoy visited the embattled Bukola Saraki,to legitimize illegality assuring him that the UK will work closely with the Nigerian government in ensuring good governance at all levels.
Most of these crop of lawmakers are the part of the problem of the nation, how ironic for them to be reporting the invasion of the National Assembly to the United Kingdom and American government, who are also part of the problems in Nigeria. No doubt, there had been series of such intervention, since the country’s independence in 1960-vis-à-vis, 30 month old civil war of the 70s, military intervention (coups) in polity, Foreign aids, recovery of stolen commonwealth Terrorism, insurgency, and several others. These and many more were clearly guided by definite protocol and international convention which must continuously be respected and adhere to.
Nigeria is faced with myriads of challenges that daily undermines her security and threatening to break the resilience of her ever hardworking and dynamic citizen. There are cases of Terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping corruption, poverty, underdevelopment, and several others These challenges have dire consequences on the nation, her people and their psyche. Its translate effect is seen in, high security threat level, high corruption index, high unemployment rate, high capital and investor’s flight, restricted foreign direct investment, diminishing GDP, and negative balance of trade with many of her trading counterpart nations.
This unfolding development has greater tendency to drive it to a precipices of a failed state.
Consequently, every efforts is being put in place to address those challenges, particularly through policy reform, program stratification, public opinion mobilization, collective protest, ethical reformation, legal intervention and diplomatic intervention.
Diplomatic intervention usually doubles the level and potency of resolution of such internal national challenges. This is one aspect where the British consular in Nigeria should established a worth common ground with Nigeria not joining gangster politicians to legalize illegalities and undermine the nation's democratic gains.
Diplomatic relationship should be premised on symbiotic reciprocity; this much the British interests in Nigeria must serve. We frown at the complicity to undermine our nationhood and national interest. Enough of such manipulation.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON, T,
President [I.A.A.D.H.R] International association for advancement and defense of human rights.
DANKAZEEM VICTORIA [MRS]
HANDS ON HANDS; THE FAILURES OF NIGERIA'S RELIGIOUS LEADERS TO REPOSITION THE NATION.
Nigeria as a nations would have been better than what it is today, if every stakeholders in the polity had risen to their responsibility. Sadly, leadership engagements of many clearly indicate a self serving leadership whose interests are diametrically opposite to patriotic national aspirations. If the nation totters to a brink, it is because the critical voices have remained inertia and feigned indifference to happenings in the nation. The same applies to our religious leaders, either the imams or the pastors and Bishops.
The nations had been passing through series of challenges, bordering on insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Much as the government of the day tries to address these challenges, such efforts are dampened by the actions or inactions of our religious leaders, who in some cases have become an accomplice in fostering more hardship on Nigerians.
Today, one of the basic and key issues that had contributed to undermine the nation’s collective aspirations to grow is the crass debasement of our moral and ethical values, which remain a key factor in helping to build the resilience of the society against the encroachment of the corruptions, greed and manipulations of the people, by these religious leaders. Because of these, every efforts and steps to move forward remain fruitless and daunting. Thus, much as the religious leaders remain a cog in the wheel of progress of the nation, their further engagements continue to pose a threat, bordering on security to our collective existence. Today, by the influence of our religious leaders, the quest for materialism had overridden the need for hard work and dignity of labor, leading to the fragility of the society and the debasement of the fabric of our family values.
Today, the motor convoy of our religious leaders, accompanied by stern-looking security agents, is longer and more expensive than many governors, yet, many of their innocent and gullible followers, defend their collective assaults on our sense of modesty and decency.
Religious leaders must be forthright and be the truest defender of the downtrodden and the oppressed in the society, and not the other way round. He, who must come to equity, must come with clean hands, the continuous criticism of ELECTED OFFICIALS and the government, by many of these religious leaders who put us in these problems in the first place is hypocritical and regrettable, and must be totally condemned, by every patriotic citizens.
Today, no one is an ardent of the proponent of hate speech as many of our religious leaders. No leaders make inciting statements as our religious leader, even at a trying time like now, almost akin to a war situation, this is rather unfortunate and uncalled for. Today, many of our religious leaders are politicians and a card carrying members of a political party, and as a result had been a beneficiary of the largesse of bribery and corruption by the militantly corrupt politicians. Religious leaders need to desist from being manipulated by unscrupulous politicians, to forment trouble and disunity for selfish gains. None of the holy book preaches intolerance and shedding innocent blood. Despite the massive proliferation of house of worship in the nation, almost competing against residential buildings, crimes such as corruption, human trafficking, ritual killings, fraud, greed, kidnapping and rape is still on the upswing. We remain very religious yet ungodly, because, the religious leaders have failed the society.
We must resist the manipulative antics of the so called religious leaders. We must not continue to fall to their political manipulations under the influence of one politician or the other. We must prevail on the to be gainfully engage in farming or other business ventures that will not limit their ability to minister, yet enable them to work to provide sustenance for their family, ensuring the dignity of labor in the process. For as many of them, that had contributed to undermine our moral integrity, the lack authority to accuse elected government officials of corruption as they have fallen below their standard of integrity and therefore lack basis to attack or criticize leaders irrespective of their religious affiliations. They must rise up to reject and condemned those who steal government money and give them to build a place of worship. They must make restitution, by returning all the money they collected from politicians as prayers money. How much is their conscience pricked, when they see those who gave them money in the past being hounded into prisons or the EFCC detention camps?.
It is time for the religious leaders to go into manufacturing, so as to contributes, meaningfully to the dwindling economy. If the moral fiber of the nation must be strengthened, then our religious leader need to do a lot of soul-searching, asking themselves, the pertinent questions of where they got it wrong, that led the nation to the present sad level of moral decadence, until this is done, the nation will remain a laughing stock in the committee of other nation.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSONJun 092018
PMB DECLARATION ON JUNE 12 AS DEMOCRACY DAY; MATTER ARISING.
Few days ago, Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari announced that Democracy Day will henceforth be celebrated on June 12 of each year.
The President said after due consultations, the Federal Government decided that henceforth, June 12 would be celebrated as Democracy Day. In demonstration of its deep and good gestures, the government went further to award posthumously the highest honor of the land, GCFR, to late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12th, 1993 cancelled elections.
His running mate as Vice President, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, was invested with a GCON. Furthermore, the tireless fighter for human rights and the actualization of the June 12th elections and indeed for democracy in general, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, was awarded posthumously a GCON.
For 18 years, Nigerians had been celebrating May 29 as Democracy Day, by this solemn decision; the date will be changed to June 12, yearly.
June 12th, 1993 was the day when Nigerians in millions in their bid to choose a new president, expressed their democratic will in what was undisputedly the freest, fairest and most peaceful elections since our independence.
It was the first since the 1983 military coup. The result was a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party, who defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention.
On the Election Day, Abiola waited patiently under the sun to vote. Unknown to him, the powerful forces within and outside the military who were not comfortable with the idea of him becoming President would annul the election. The exercise was peaceful nationwide without any hitches or disturbances. While the vote count was on, with Abiola comfortably leading, the self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, struck. He ordered the electoral body — National Electoral Commission (NEC) — to stop further announcement of the results and on June 23, 1993, he annulled the election.
This announcement was followed by spontaneous protests, mostly in the Southwest. To justify the annulment, Babangida in a nationwide broadcast claimed “there were allegations of irregularities and other acts of bad conduct leveled against the presidential candidates. But, the Prof. Humphrey Nwosu-led NEC went ahead to clear them.
However, the elections were later annulled by military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, leading to a crisis that ended with Sani Abacha leading a coup later in the year.
Many Nigerian protesters were killed, maimed or incarcerated. With the annulment, several Nigerians rose up in unison to condemn the acts and to protest against it. The protest rituals thus became annual events.
One of the prominent voice against the injustices of the June 12 is Chief Gani Fawehinmi, through the instrument of legal activism,he stood up for his conviction by tirelessly offering the public ideas to solve socio-economic and political problems, one of which was the knotty issue of June 12. He isn’t only spoke out loudly against injustice and, he also acted in the courtrooms and on the streets.
Gani Fawehinmi fought tirelessly for June 12 mandate revalidation and the restoration of MKO mandate, before he died in the course of the struggle, yet the hope and dream was forlorn, until the recent declaration by president Muahhamadu Buhari..
Fawehinmi devoted his life to the advancement of human progress; For daring to challenge the corrupt establishment he was severally arrested and detained him without trial for several months. Instead of cowing him into submission the brutal experience strengthened him as Gani resolved to wage a decisive battle against injustice in all its ramifications.
Gani’s unrelenting courage and unwavering doggedness, his sheer audacity and perseverance, his deep reverence for the rule of just law and passion for nonviolent revolution placed him in the class of heroes for humanity, of which he is.
The greatest contribution Gani made to legal development in Nigeria was the promotion of public interest litigation. Apart from representing the poor and the underprivileged, he challenged executive lawlessness and subversion of the rule of law. Gani’s contribution to the political emancipation of the masses and the entrenchment of democratic freedom in the country goes beyond the ordinary. June 12 democracy day declaration is no doubt a demonstration of uncommon courage by the Buhari's administration. By this declaration, President Muhammadu Buhari has put an end to the hypocrisy of former President Olusegun Obasanjo,Ibrahim Babangida. What a good news for democracy and a our collective sense of justice. What a big relief to the children and other family members of the late Abiola and all patriotic Nigerians. It is no doubt a clear demonstration that the sacrifice of patriotic Nigerians and the labors of our heroes past shall never be in vain again as well as a renewed hope to comrades who have been at the forefront of the June 12 struggle. A deep healing of past injustices has begun under President Muhammadu Buhari's leadership. We need further reconciliations in all cases of violations of human rights of citizens. We call on president Muhammadu Buhari in the spirit of justice and equity to citizenship disparity the country to further demonstrate his statesmanship, to compensate our democratic heroes, as many that can be identified, to Name The National Assembly Complex After Abiola, to implement some of MKO Abiola's proposed policies and to strip all manner of undeserving past national awardees dead or alive off their awards so that these new entrants can be in good company.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON .T.
PRESIDENT [WWW.IAADHR ]
WE SAY NO TO MONEY POLITICS
Gentlemen of the press, we as patriotic Nigerians, concerned by her future are worried by the increasing threats to our electoral processes as well as our evolving democracy. Much as the nation is gradually inching toward another election year, it is needful and rightfully so, to have helped reposition and enhance the nations democratic resilience against challenges that had continues to undermine and slow it down.
Elections remain a key part of the whole process. Electoral processes offer a gateway to democratic consolidation. Election is the hallmark of a democratic society, as our elections and electoral process are key and fundamental to the working of every democratic setting in modern state. Thus, realizing this very important import of credible election, means that we as a people must continue to do our very best to ensure that our electoral process are never compromised nor the electoral laws abused and enfeebled.
It is a common but sad knowledge that Nigeria's electoral process has continue to betray and fallen short of what the electoral process should mean or ought to be for a democratic society. Since its attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria has been inundated and tormented by series of political instability. Violence-fuelled largely by an electoral process that is accompanied with political thuggery and violence, electoral malpractices both at the general elections are at the political levels.
The first post independence national elections of 1964 and 1965 in western region were characterized by widespread rigging, arson, intimidation, chaos, that led to mass boycott and subsequent military take over.
The 1978 general election, which saw the emergence of Alhaji Shehu Shagari,as civilian president, according to international observers, was characterized by massive rigging. The same with the 1983 reelection of Shagari. the political violence and polling irregularities were also witnessed in the subsequent general elections of 1999,2003, and 2007.thus,regretably so, political violence, thuggery, intimidation, assault, corruption and money politics has become a recurring decimating decimals of our democratic journey so far, and it gives us much cause for concerns and remains the critical threats posed to our evolving democracy and nationhood.
We as a people must strive to make our democracy what it ought to be. The failure or infidelity of our democratic journey so far is being clearly manifested by the lack of an established and stable institutions to hold leadership accountable, to enforce social justice and to deepened constitutionality in the nation, hence the increased centrifugal tendencies of the many separatists groups that had evolved in the nations space of governance and also the hue and cry for restructuring, power devolution by its marginalized and aggrieved stakeholders.
Monetized political system in Nigeria is a great anathema to deepening of the nations democratic ethics. Money politics in the nations electoral cum democratic process has done more harm and continue to pose security threats in the nation. It is a process whereby politicians contending for elective position deploy money to sway or undermine the genuine wish and patriotic convictions of electorates to vote for them or pawn to their interest and agenda.
In the post colonial Nigeria, of past relative to the present era, political actors of the era played selfless and patriotic politics with sole aim geared towards an altruistic national development. Politics of such an era was predicated on service and value....it was almost an abomination to try to influence voters with money, sadly, today, the opposite is the situation. The Nigerian political process is business-intensive and merchantilistic cash and carries kind of. It comes in the form of money for campaign, settlements' and outrageous nominations form fees, which usually run into millions of naira, and this has etched a deep gully of guilt in the psyche of many Nigerians.
Many big time drug barons, smugglers, fraudsters, criminals, and very few honest persons who have large sum of money to throw around to manipulate election and buy the conscience of the people, continue to enjoy an undue head start and strategic advantage of their accessibility to slush funds and stolen money. They are therefore willing to be a major sponsor, donor who bankrolled the installations of presidents, governors, senators, reps-to the detriment of the sense of equality desired incredible democratic settings. It is therefore no wonder why the same sets of people are poised to be the first and major beneficiary of government patronage in terms of contracts and appointments..
We must continue to advocate and mobilize to resist and work together to mitigate or eliminate the impacts of money in the nation's political system, particularly having realized its negative tendency towards concerted attempts at deepening the nation’s democracy.
Monetizing the political process and system in the nation creates youths unemployment, infrastructural underdevelopment, insecurity, culture of impunity, create class stratification by widening the gaps between the poor and the rich, scare patriotic people from coming into politics, create more opportunistic political class, led to the mismanagement of tax payers fund, buying of delegates to political party convention-all these negates the true ethics and essence of democratic governance as well as affecting public policies and spending priorities of government.
The long military rule in the nation, coupled with persistent brazen rigging of election under successive democratic governance in Nigeria had wrongly psyched Nigerians to the state of resignation of powerless. This ought not to be so.
It is not good for politicians to share money or rice, stockfish, salt, sugar, cloth, wheel barrow to potential voters with the hope of compromising their choices. To do so is to demonstrate a lack of faith in their ability to freely campaign and win elections without financial inducement as well as faith in the credibility of a freely conducted free and fair election.
The citizen has critical roles to play in stemming the tide of money politics in Nigeria and in sustaining our democracy.
Sovereignty resides in and flows from the people of a country, Nigeria cannot be an exception, government must truly belong to the people and be used for the benefits of the people. There is no democracy without the engagement of the citizen-to ensue it delivers.
The people must demonstrate this further by holding their leader accountable and responsible of stewardship by truly establishing and living to the fact that they have vote sovereignty and constitutional rights in that aspects.
When people allow unscrupulous politicians to buy their conscience and manipulate the whole electoral process with ill-gotten wealth, political equality is being put at risk. Vote sovereignty is being threatened and power of individual choice is being criminally suspended.
Nigerian citizen must stop collecting money from politicians who wants to buy their vote and fundamental rights, which are priceless and invaluable. to sell your vote is to sell your future and constitutional rights. To sell your votes is to bargain the future of unborn generation on the altar of greed, ignorance, carelessness, poverty and underdevelopment.
The greatest threats to the existence and continual survival of our democracy stems from its political class, particularly the legislators, who appropriated a large chunk of the nations revenue, without any sense of remorse of the depravity of their demand/entitlement as well as some sections of the nation's security elites (in police),who have not demonstrated enough resilience against the pervasive influence of money manipulation of the electoral process and compromising some security agencies.
We urge Nigerians to continue to strive so as to sustainable divorce the marriage of money and politics or completely shrink its influences.
In the spirit of anticorruption initiative and campaigns, the citizens must be up and doing, standing up to be counted amongst those who will resist continuous manipulations of the electoral process by politicians.
To courageously reject money gift or donations from politicians intending to sway your votes to his advantage is the key message of demonstration of your resilience.
We call on government to be the major source of funding for all political parties in the country as well as work with all citizen and all arms of government to reform all defective electoral laws and to enforce all relevant laws hitherto neglected. It must ensure it levels the political playing field to ensure that it is an all comer affairs; this will lead to the emergence of the best and preferred candidate.
We call on government to put a premium on educating the electorates and creating awareness and consciousness that will not tolerate political compromise and take gifts from politicians in whatever form-this will go a long way in changing the vote-behavior or psyche of the people.
We call on government to fully enforce the provisions of the electoral Acts so as to drastically cut down the cost of electioneering campaign thereby promoting low entry points to political contest in the nation. This will go a long way to positively impacting on the ongoing anticorruption war in the nation.
We realize that as long as there are weak legislations and low political will to address these scourges, the deeper the challenges arising from the engagement of money in politics will continue to undermine national development. We there call for further global partnership and declaration of a state of emergency regarding issues relating to negative influence of money in the nation's political system.
COMRADE BATURE JOHNSON