This letter was first published in February this year. We have decided to republish it in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the referendum that approved Brexit. And since the situation in Nigeria is not getting better but worse.
Dear Prime Minister,
We rejoiced with you and your Conservative Party of the Great Britain for your remarkable victory at the general elections on December 13, 2019. Such victory did not come the way of the Tories for the past 32 years.
Your Party worked hard to achieve that historic victory which gave you clear mandate to exit from European Union. Britain was one of the official signatories of the twelve communities that founded European Union in 1993. Great Britain loved the union and nurtured it with confidence till it became clear to her that the union had become dysfunctional. To remain in the union with unqualified docility and steadfastness that turns blind eye on reality will be counterproductive to the British people.
Based on long time of observation and practical evidence, British leaders decided it was time to exit the union. The decision of this magnitude is hard to make and its implementation is harder. Thereupon, the British leaders worked very hard to implement their decision – exiting the union.
There were series of public debates and referenda. People lost their leadership roles in both Conservative and Labour Parties as a consequence of their ideological positions. The result was not positive till you took over the leadership of the Conservative Party. Then, you were able to convince the British public on the need to exit European Union. The credit of that political feat remains in your name forever.
By conscience, you should extend this idea of exiting a union when it’s no longer sweet and functional. Many of the former British colonies are suffocating in their unions, Nigeria #1. It will be a culpable mistake to allow them to continue in their forced marriage and suffocating unity. Nigerian leaders both civilians and the military have demonstrated gross incompetence to manage the unity of the country. The saying that, “The unity of the country is non-negotiable” has become an anachronistic cliché. There is a clear master servant relationship in Nigeria. This lopsided arrangement will not sustain peace in the country.
Any community that is deeply rooted in religious bigotry and ethnic chauvinism will find it difficult to move ahead. These outmoded concepts do not promote merit but enthrone mediocrity and corruption. One thing has been constant in Nigeria for the past fifty years; indeed, since the end of the civil war in 1970. That the last government was better than this one.
Public office is not based on merit and the holders do not practice transparency and accountability. The worst affected is the electoral body. It is a shameful office; an agency of disservice to the nation. Anti-graph structures are there but made powerless and caged by the political leaders. They are organizations of vendetta against political opponents.
Most of the current British Parliamentarians were young during the Nigeria civil war of 1967 – 1970. A repeat of that belligerent experience will be catastrophic. Acrimony and ethnic disharmony are so strong in Nigeria that any side that has access to nuclear weapon in a situation of another civil war would not hastate to use it against the other side. Those who committed war crimes during the civil war are yet to be brought to justice fifty years after. Some of them are no longer alive. Nigerian experience is always horrible and disgusting.
Mr. Prime Minister, the argument that it takes time to build democracy is a weak line of thought. My people have a saying that, a chicken that would be a cockerel starts in the egg. In other words, it will be difficult to mend an old building with faulty foundation. The best solution will be to bring it down and start afresh.
Yes, it may take time to build democracy but strong foundation is indispensable. I think this is why some countries in Latin America and South East Asia are still on the march to nationhood after two hundred years of independence while their counterparts in north America within the same corresponding time and still some in the far East in less than fifty years have become global leaders in every sphere of life. Nigerian people are better and should not be in this catalogue of failures.
The current global index of the most terrorized countries in the world has proved that Nigeria descended to the third position from where it was before. It shows lack of progress. The country is only better than Syria and Iraq. This may not be a thorough and an in-depth study. Nigeria is not at war unlike those two countries. Nigeria has no-go areas within its territory; Syria and Iraq don’t have that. Sambisa Forest which has been sincerely described as the size of Scotland is only accessible to Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP.
Besides Boko Haram and ISWAP, Nigeria has other notorious terrorist groups – Fulani Herdsmen and Bandits. Fulani Herdsmen have become the most dreaded terrorist group in Nigeria because they are allowed by the federal government to roam the country with AK-47. They kidnap for ransom, kidnap and kill even when ransom was paid. They rape women with reckless abandon, maim people, destroy houses, and farms without mercy.
They go by two names; Fulani Herdsmen and Bandits. The kagara high school abduction on Wednesday, February 17 is their trademark. That particular campaign during which they abducted forty-two people, including twenty-seven students, fifteen staff members and their families even babies has been in their plan for some time but government refused to pay attention and nip the problem in the bud. For weeks and months, there have been series of kidnappings in the same area. Travelers were kidnaped including a Catholic priest who was eventually killed by the terrorists.
A day before the Kagara school incident, a delegation of politicians and leaders of thought from Borno and Yobe States, the epicenter of terrorism in Nigeria, visited the President and thanked him for the good job he had been doing in their areas. A country built on fraud and managed by hypocrites will surely have a disastrous fall.
Both federal and state governments lack political will to fight terrorism in the country. You may recall that similar incident occurred at Kankara Government Science Secondary School, Katsina State in December, 2020 where the school was ransacked and almost the whole students abducted by the same Bandits. Ransom was paid to rescue some of the students. The idea of negotiating with the terrorists, paying them ransom, and denying it publicly, emboldens the terrorists. This idea is going on unabated in the country. Right now, governments have negotiators but will always deny it. Some of the terrorists are used during political campaigns to kidnap opponents and on election days to snatch ballot boxes.
The governor of the state, Abubakar Sani-Bello, asked people to pray that God would return the kidnapped students and staff safely and forestall the occurrence of such incident again! Such statement can only come from the mouth of a corrupt politician. God has no hand in the incident.
For God and humanity, trigger an article of referendum allowing the citizens to decide how they want to continue. Even if it is not in the federal constitution, the constitution could be amended with immediate effect to avoid human catastrophe. Peaceful exit will enable friendships across boundaries to remain. It will equally enable the new republics that will emerge to be stable unlike the ongoing situation now. Violent exit will create crisis in the emerging republics like the ugly scenarios in South Sudan and Central African Republic. These are smaller communities. Such instability in the Nigerian space will definitely affect the whole sub-Saharan region.
Finally, why is Nigeria not in the global list of state sponsors of terrorism?
- Joe Biden, President, United States of America.
- Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations.
- Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, President, European Commission.