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]
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
TIME TO SUPPORT PRIVATE FUNERAL FOR DEATH OF “COMMON SENSE” IN NIGERIA.Jan 102017
Every patriotic Nigerians are bound to be concerned about the future of the nation as well as its people; when everything goes well it becomes a thing of joy. When it is otherwise it becomes a thing of worry and concern. Sadly what makes Nigeria respectable in the committee of Nation has been continually threatened and thus call for concern and intervention to wrong the rights.
Few days ago, the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka had vowed to hold a private funeral on January 20th, the day the United States President Elect, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of USA.
Donald Trump campaign rhetoric had been very demeaning to blacks, especially Nigerian, whom he severally insulted along with their Head of state.
While many Africans reacted to the demeaning insults of Donald Trump, the Nobel laureate was not excluded. He was vehemently against Donald Trumps emergence, knowing fully well the implications for Africans. His reactions were terse and far reaching. The Nobel laureate threaten to destroy his American Green card following the election of Mr. Trump, vowing that he will have nothing to do with his politics, but would instead be to the death of common sense among Nigeria, considering the controversy and criticism that arose from Soyinka’s threat.
Since that pronouncement, we saw different and regrettably unwarranted attacks on the person and reputation of the Nobel Laureate, which say the least is non warranted.
Most of the Nigerians who attacked him on the social media, still went ahead to urge him not to renege on his pledge to discard his green card.
Before proceeding further, it is pertinent to note here that Prof. Wole Soyinka never asked for a green card in the first place, as it was given to him by President Jimmy Carter, to provide asylum to him during the struggle against the military dictatorship in Nigeria and the fight for the realization of the June 12th mandate that lead to his exile in the 1990s.
The green card was not given as a result of his desire for pleasure or businesses, but as a product of his struggle to snatch the soul of the nation from rapacious military forces that was bent on destroying the nation then.
It is a clear fact that Nigeria Nation has been under the degradation of rampaging military dictatorship in the 1990s and much earlier, forces of division, corruption, ethnicity and nepotism.
Some of these factors have been responsible for the challenges the nation went through in the past and even in the present. One of such was the case of civil war in the past and Boko Haram and corruption in the present.
While these were on, Professor Wole Soyinka was an active change agent to address these myriads of problems that confronted the nation then. The professor has no doubt earned his honour and stripes in the service of the nation. He it was who risked his life at a very young age to prevent the outbreak of the civil war in Nigeria, it will therefore be wrong to continue to attack, degrade the Nobel Laureate for his present stance. The question is, where were these critics when he stood against several cases of injustices in the past? Where were the critics when Soyinka’s struggles contributed to the emergence of the present democratic order and further cry for restructuring and true federalism? Where were them when the Nobel Laureate risked his life and comfort to ensure Nigerians enjoys freedom of Association and expression. His literary impacts to Africa has been tremendous, his solid contributions to national and African pride has been second to none.
Despite his desires to see Nigeria great, the reverse has been the case, retrogression, suffering, under-development; corruption has become the nation’s badge of honour and symbol of identification and loathsomeness all over the world. Insecurity, religious intolerance, Nepotism continue to threaten the nation’s march to progress and greatness, pushing us far behind nations like Dubai, Brazil, Singapore, China; some of the nations we were ahead of before and who looks up to us.
Much as nations partner for development, it is only good that such partnership be positively reciprocal, Nigeria got that bargain with China and many other nation, but can not be said of America.
Any patriotic Nigerians will be concerned about disrespect for Nigeria by any country, no matter how powerful, and each one shows the concern in different ways - including the threat to discard the green card of America.
Even as the Nobel laureate is angry with the voting of Donald Trump, a hater of Africans, he expected solidarity from Nigerians towards his patriotic decision, in expression of his reservation over certain issues.
In the past, he had destroyed his national medal during a protest at the Race Course (also known as Tafawa Balewa Square) in Lagos during a protest he undertook with late Tai Solarin.
The Nobel Laureate reactions was certainly inform by the rhetoric against the integrity of the Nigeria’s abroad and at home, pointing us in a demeaning light.
Any people or nation worth their integrity will certainly not take such an unwarranted insults on Nigeria by Trump lightly. Nigerians certainly does not deserve such an assault, considering many honest and hardworking Nigerians contributing their quota to the development of America. The insult of Donald Trump on Muslims and Islam is equally non deserving and we strongly object to it.
Thus, one can understand the pains and reactions of Soyinka who had vowed to mourn the death of Nigeria Common Sense.
Sadly, there had indeed been a death of common sense in Nigeria; consequently many Nigerians are comfortable with injustices, bad governance, Nepotism of government, without any desire to raise a revolt or protest.
There is certainly a death of common sense in Nigeria as the conscience of the youth of the nations is at peace with materialism and the rat race or get rick quick syndrome in the polity.
If Donald Trump can so insult Nigerians without an atom of protest or response from any sector of the once vibrant civil society organization then the common sense is completely dead in Nigeria.
The common sense here is a sense of responsibility to governance and the governed. The death of common sense is to feign docility in the face of an assault verbal or physical. It is a death that has given Nigerians a bad reputations and source of taunt internationally.
When the majority of the society decides to keep mute in the face of impunity and tyranny, indeed, there is death of common sense.
This must not be allowed to continue endlessly. Corruption in the polity has been the main cause of insecurity, terrorism and Boko Haran phenomenon in the polity. It is also as a result of the debasement of our family and national values-keeping asides what united us together as a people for what divide us apart.
Instead of Nigerians truly celebrating a theater of the absurd by acidic and acerbic criticism of Nobel laureate, we ought to be mourning how far we have derailed as a nation and people.
If an octogenarian can be much concern about the future of Nigeria than the youths ho are the future of tomorrow, it speaks sad volume of how far we as a people have got it wrong and railroad from the desirables.
We must not continue to trivialize everything for sensationalism, there must be a strict response to this level of sloppy waywardness to which the abuse of common sense has been subjected to. When he takes such an action, one expected an avalanche of support from Nigerians not vulgar expressions of frustrations occasion by poverty inflicted by bad leadership.
Common sense is not selling our responsibility, honour and identity for America; it is not sacrificing our core values for assault of an intemperate president Trump.
If we must gain our respectability in the committee of nation, then is time to reawaken our sense of common sense.
By so doing, we would evolve a new and positive reputation and branding that will prompt massive global respectability and investment flow into Nigeria.
By so doing, we will deepen our democracy, strengthen our human right commitment, promote transparency in governance, and sustain free, fair and credible election and national stability.
We must be concern about the absence of common sense in Nigeria and work hard to restore our dignity, unity, sense of future. To refuse to do that is to succumb to second colonization; is to acknowledge the inferiority of the black race to the white and is to indeed say Wole Soyinka may go blazes for daring to make a move that intends to protect our dignity.
I therefore urge you for a collective forum or platform to celebrate the death of “common sense” in Nigeria and to advocate for it reawakening and resurgence-for national interest.
Comrade Bature Johnson.
CITIZEN-SETTLER CHALLENGES: IMPLICATION FOR NIGERIA DEVELOPMENT
The utmost desire and aspiration of Nigerians is to see that their beloved country grows and develop in leaps and bounds. Regrettably, this desire is hampered by series of challenges; one of which is the issue of citizen-settler syndrome. Today, one of the most disturbing trends in the polity today is the issue of indigene-settler syndrome, a sad situation where places of origin are designed to give strategic advantage to those who wield this weapon of mischief.
If Nigeria is to achieve the so much desirous integration, it must properly deemphasize the issue of indigene/citizen-settler syndrome.
It is needed to understand and appreciate the issue of citizen with respect to settler situation.
The term “citizen” typically refers to any person who owes allegiance to a sovereign state and there by receives certain afforded legal status and certain rights. No connection to the area or land is required and those born outside of the country can often apply to become citizen.
Some nations even allow people to become dual citizen, where they are considered legal citizen of more than one nation. Indigene ship also means a person is indigenous to the area and shears an ancestral links to the land. In some nation, those with indigene ship get preferential treatment over the citizen, including the extensive rights to run for office and to participate in certain ceremonies.
The word “Indigene” has no place in the nations constitutions. There is no explicit or implicit definition of indigene. The word ‘indigene ‘use to qualify a citizen of Nigeria whose tribes is “native” to a given territory, cannot be referred to as an “Indigene” as widely abused and distorted in Nigerians to segregate and discriminate the other Nigerians living in state or local Government where their lives are not “Indigenous” to that given area.
In a sense, an “indigene” is only an “older settler” of a particular sociocultural space, while a “settler” is a more recent occupier of the same space.
The word “settler” referred to a citizen whose tribe is regarded as alien to a particular state or local government and for which no matter how long the people or their protégé have lived there in, cannot be regarded as indigene to a particular state or local government.
Today, Nigeria is one of the few nations that had series of controversies regarding citizenship status. Local and state government within a nation requires a person be indigenous to a particular area before he can run for office in that locality, leading to a series of division. The issues of citizen -settlers have been on in Nigeria, exacerbated by struggle for limited space, couple with nepotism, favourism, tribalism, and selfishness.
The British colonialism in northern Nigeria through its infamous indirect rule system, merely consolidated and systematized approach of the
Minority was further enhanced by feudalism.
As long as the struggle for resources of the nation continues, the issue will continue to be engage for the advantage of those who wield it, regrettably this is a recourse to primordial and senseless perpetuation of rent-seeking behavior that retards nation progress.
The syndrome competes in diametrical opposition to our constitutional right as Nigerians and remains a big cankerworm that not only denies our institution high caliber leaders, but also militates against the collective development arising from individual competitiveness in the polity.
There are series of cases of abuse of citizen-settler that had undermine degree of patriotism in Nigerians. This issues affected late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in political participation in the predominantly Yoruba south west. The citizen indigenes issue led to unexpected controversies that trailed the nomination of Mr. Olusegun Agaga, the former minister of Finance as a ministerial nominee to represent Lagos state in the federal executive council (before his eventual confirmation on July 6th by the senate).
President Goodluck Jonathan had asked each state of the federation to submit the names of minister to represent them after his reelection into office.
While that was done, issues of marginalization of Lagos state in the ministerial portfolio was raised by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila(ACN), Lagos state who kicked against the nomination of Aganga because he reportedly hailed from Ora in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo state, while he is married to Abiodun Awobokun, a Yoruba woman.
Fred Agbaje, a constitutional lawyer also described his nomination as marginalization of Lagos and advised him to “simply step down and allow the people to choose a representative of their choice”.
This is not the first time such an issue of citizen-settler is raising its ugly head in Lagos or Nigeria.
During the 2007/2008 gubernatorial election in Lagos state, some elements rose up against the candidature of Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, saying that he was not a Lagosian, the matter was not resolved until the election was concluded.
The 1999 Nigeria constitution which is the exact ground norm of the land, contains various aspects with regards to citizenship.
Under section 25,26 and 27, thus constitution consist of three different root for the acquisition of Nigerian citizenship, Namely through birth, by registration and by naturalization.
By whatever way the Nigerian citizenship is acquired, once declared a Nigerian person, a person automatically enjoys constitutional rights guaranteed by the constitution. Why then must we continue to refer to the discriminatory tendencies of the citizen -settler syndrome?
Nigeria needs to borrow a leaf from other nations regarding the issue ofcitizen- settler, for instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger originally came from Austria as an immigrant into the United States of America, in the early nineties, yet he became the governor of California.
Obama originated from Kenya, but there was no campaign to prevent his presidency in America. Nicholas Sarkozy has Scottish roots, yet nobody in France denied him the presidency because of that during those years.
In Nigeria case, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Kano state traced his origin to Borno state, yet the Kano people never discriminated against his political emergence, this equally applies to many other prominent Nigerians in authority now or in the past.
The issue of citizen-settler has generated too much bad blood in the nation’s political history thereby undermining the oneness and development of the nation.
In the nations economy and infrastructural development, such an issue has prevented the emergence of the best brain to help solve our economic challenges, giving room to mediocrity. The abuse of the word “indigenes” has led to conflict and crisis as seen in Jos pogrom of 2001,2004,2009, Bauchi in 2009,2007,1999, Kano in 1991,2001 and Zango Kataf in 1991, in Ife Modekeke in 2001, in Aguleri- Umuleri in 2002 and in Kuteb/Jukun and Tiv conflict of 2001/2002.
This said manipulations must not be allowed to continue; for instance, Olusegun Aganga who was born and has stayed for over 40years in Lagos, cannot be said to be a settler again, if not for mischief and self-preservation.
If this is allowed to persist, then our desire for peaceful coexistence will be truncated.
The 1999 constitution of Nigeria provides, inter alia, in 42(11), a citizen of Nigeria of a particular communities, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not be by reason only that he or she or practical application of any law in Nigeria over any executive or administrative action of the government, to restriction to which citizen of Nigeria or other communities, ethnic groups, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion are made subject.
If a particular person lived in an area before Nigeria attained independence in 1960, it is only right that he or she should be considered an indigene and not be reduced or segregated into “visitor” or “settler” status as obtained in some parts of the country.
The relevance of primordial identities becomes timelier whenever the state or government fails to meet its basic responsibilities for the provision of the economic and social wellbeing and security of life and properties of the citizens, where tribe or religious groups pretend to take over some of the responsibilities thereby stealing the loyalty of the state.
Instead of placing premium of citizenship on place of origin or birth, it should have been placed on issues such as property ownership, tax value for one year or the number of years one has lived in the area.
The manipulation of the citizen-indigenes syndrome is against the spirit of Pan-Africanism and readily kills productivity and patriotism. It breeds suspicion, mistrust and conflict. They are crude tools mostly engage by those who are lazy and have nothing to offer the society.
Citizenship ought a voluntary choice borne out of a genuine and passionate desire to choose where to be called ones state or local government of origin. We must shun nepotism, ethnicism and favoritism. we must all strive together to find a lasting solution to the issue of citizen-settler in the nation so that we can make speedy progress.
We need to establish a specialized court to try offenders who violates our constitutional rights as a citizen anywhere in Nigeria. Political and traditional rulers must stop unnecessary promotion of issues that divides us rather than those that binds us together. We must strive to remove any identity or affiliation to tribe, state of origin or religion in our official documents. In nation building, issues of indigene must be done away with for Nigeria to make meaningful progress.
It is the only panacea or antidote to our social, economic and political challenges to develop as a nation.
We must commit ourselves to democracy, respect for the rule of law and conduct of public affairs in accordance with legality, propriety and due process. Unless and until this is done, we may not be able to mitigate the negative impact of manipulating the issue of citizen-settler in our nation.
Comrade Bature Johnson