Thursday, February 26, 2015

Buhari's Chatham House Silences

By Biko Agozino

'Let me assure you that if I am elected president, the world will have no cause to worry about Nigeria as it has had to recently; that Nigeria will return to its stabilising role in West Africa; and that no inch of Nigerian territory will ever be lost to the enemy because we will pay special attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service, we will give them adequate and modern arms and ammunitions to work with, we will improve intelligence gathering and border controls to choke Boko Haram’s financial and equipment channels, we will be tough on terrorism and tough on its root causes by initiating a comprehensive economic development plan promoting infrastructural development, job creation, agriculture and industry in the affected areas. We will always act on time and not allow problems to irresponsibly fester, and I, Muhammadu Buhari, will always lead from the front and return Nigeria to its leadership role in regional and international efforts to combat terrorism.'…/full-text-of-buhari-speech-at-chatha…/
This sounds like a speech written by Tony Blair with emphasis on militarism as the solution to insecurity and to its 'causes', without acknowledging that militarism is a big part of the problem. Nowhere in Buhari's Chatham House speech today is there a single recognition of the importance of education even though Boko Haram poses its challenge primarily as an educational one! This contrasts with the speech of Azikiwe, Nigeria's first president, to the colonial Legislative Council sitting in Kaduna in 1948 in which he disagreed with those who spoke out against education on the assumption that educated children tend to be disobedient. And by education, is not meant only text-book education, important as that is in a country with mass illiteracy, 80% failure in high school exams and no university ranked among the top 1000 in the world. Buhari also said that Nigeria has never been as insecure as it is today except during the civil war. So the question arises, which candidate for president has the courage in leadership to apologize to Nigerians for the atrocities committed by the Nigerian state during the civil war and commit to pay reparations to the survivors of the war that cost us 3.1 million of some of our most industrious, creative and intellectual youth in 30 months of carnage supported by Britain and the Soviet Union and led by soldiers like Buhari? Without admitting the wrongs done against the Igbo and making amends, Nigeria will continue to send the message to groups like Boko Haram that the mass killing of our people and mass abduction of our young girls are heroic acts to be rewarded with ill-gotten gains. Making atonement and allowing the history to be taught in schools, building monuments to the victimized, allowing the flag of Biafra to be flown on private property without the risk of extra judicial killings that go on with impunity unabated, authorization of commemorative car license plates and holding re-enactments of the war to re-educate the people and to attract tourists (one of the things that Buhari promises to stimulate), will be part of the necessary political education to emphasize to Nigerians that never again will any government wake up and slap the buttocks of soldiers, then send them into a genocidal rampage against fellow Nigerians. The cooperation of the neighboring countries' armies in fighting Boko Haram should also have been acknowledged by Buhari and a visionary leadership should seek to rebuild the larger polity that Nnamdi Azikiwe attempted to build with his National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons.
Despite controversy over his health, the All Progressives Congress flag bearer, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was at Chatham House on Thursday morning where h

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