NIGERIA DEMOCRACY AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT; WE DEMAND CHANGE OF STRATEGIES AND COMPENSATION FOR COLOSSAL DAMAGESSep 082018
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]