NELSON M46664 HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
Mr Donald Tusk
President of the European Council. 1st October 2018
Ms Federica Mogherini
European Union Headquarter, Brussels Belgium.
The European Union must not wait for Nigeria to implode!
We are writing to you today as a body of deeply aggrieved Nigerians in diaspora. We travelled from various countries in Europe and physically came to your office to deliver this letter.
The role that the European Union has played towards enhancing the development of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. There is no gain stating the fact that Nigeria is one of the most endowed country in the world in terms of natural resources. Sadly, the international community has not done enough to assist in finding answers to the question of why we have become the poverty capital of the world and the 10th least secured country in Africa.
Though we are aware that we, Nigerians have greater roles to play towards the development of our country, it is pertinent to write to you owing to the fact that the world has become a global space. This is further connected to the fact that the insecurity of Nigeria will, undoubtedly, translate into the insecurity of her neighbouring countries and the international market.
The seeming silence by the European Union and other international bodies to the various political, economic and security issues in Nigeria calls for grave concern. The world must not wait for Nigeria to implode.
- Over 2,000 Nigerians have been killed since January 2018. We know that this report by Amnesty International is an under-estimation.
- It took Switzerland 20 years of litigation and foot-dragging before they reluctantly repatriated the 1.4 billion dollars stolen by the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha which was hidden in Swiss banks. Report shows that around One trillion euro is stolen annually by African leaders and their accomplices. Such illicit funds are mostly hidden in European and American banks. Most of the financial aids given to developing countries are further stolen because the donors do not tie specific projects to the funds.
- Today Nigerian Senators earn far more than any European President because the Senators ingeniously appropriate emoluments and earnings to themselves against national and international laws. This is in transgression of paragraph 2 of article 8 of the UN Convention against corruption, which forbids Public officers from engaging in self dealing with emoluments that are unacceptable under international law. Nigeria is a signatory to that convention. Kindly recall that in its Resolution on Aid Effectiveness and Corruption in Developing Countries, adopted in 2006, the European Parliament called on the European Commission to design mechanisms for accountability and transparency. We are yet to feel the impact of this mechanism in EU supports to Nigeria. The EU has donated various sums of money to develop our infrastructures but what Nigerian Senators earn within the four years of their tenures is enough to build 18 hospitals in each of the 36 states of Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari has spent at least 107 days in hospitals located in the United Kingdom from national treasury without accounting to Nigerians, the financial cost of his medical expenses sponsored from the national treasury. Our President is purportedly fighting corruption! Our current pathetic rating by Transparency International in terms of corruption is an undeniable pointer. The desperation by many Nigerians to escape from the harsh economic situation has led to risky journeys through the Mediterranean We refuse to continue like this.
- The EU, UK, US and other bodies observed our elections and they have categorically condemned the procedures and outcomes – especially the recent Osun state elections where security agencies where mandated to shoot sporadically to scare away voters from exercising their rights to vote. That is institutionalized terrorism. Though strong statements were made against the elections by the observers, it must be followed with stricter sanctions. The EU cannot continue to support a country that violently disenfranchises her citizens, demeans democratic standards and exercises poor respect for the rule of law.
In the light of the above, our association, in conjunction with the European Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, wish to humbly recommend as follows.
- Nigeria need urgent help in terms of security. Joint and practical EU efforts could put an end to the many slaughters by militias disguised as the so-called herdsmen. There is an orchestrated genocide going on in Nigeria especially around the middle belt of the country. The world kept quiet for too long when similar genocide began in Rwanda in 1994. Recall that the late UN Secretary General Kofi Annan verbally regretted that the UN did not act timeously and appropriately. An estimate of 800,000 persons died in that massacre. The international community must not wait for Nigeria to get to that stage before taking quick actions. If the calamity is allowed to continue, it will be a global challenge with consequences and huge humanitarian implications on all the countries that are neighbours to Nigeria and beyond. It will be cheaper and safer to act now than to act later.
- The murderous militias/herdsmen should be declared as a terrorist group by the European Union. President Buhari has said that they are trained foreign militias loyal to the late Muammar Gaddafi. How else can we describe a group that consistently slaughter Nigerians, burn their houses and forcefully occupy their land? The European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (Strasbourg, January 1977) and the OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, 1999 categorizes the deadly actions of the herdsmen as terrorism.
- That the EU and other countries must design definite and concrete laws against accepting and banking stolen funds from Nigeria.
- That the EU should seriously consider and adopt mechanisms that will place travel bans on some Nigerian politicians especially Nigerian Senators and their families since they continue to blatantly break the laws which they swore to protect.
- All financial aids to Nigeria must be critically reviewed and where applicable, stopped. Your projects in Nigeria must be executed under your direct supervision. We receive financial assistance; we borrow; we receive astonishing revenue and we have unmatched natural resources. Sadly and ironically, we have suddenly become the poverty capital of the world as recently reported. It is sickening to know that six Nigerians now slide into the poverty index every minute. We are deeply pained. Our country could do better with your cooperation.
We know that much lies in the hands of Nigerians to address some of the issues, but it is sad to note that, like other African countries, our people have been silenced by fear due to the intimidating use of security agencies and the artificial hunger caused by governance.
We trust in your capacity to act. The contents of this letter is verifiable. It is not a baseless petition. Nigeria desperately need help. A stitch in time saves nine.
Frederick Omoyoma Odorige
President of the Association and
Global Coordinator of the European Coalition
for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, ECSDN.