To: Ambassador Mark Green, Head, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Ambassador Mark Green,
Head, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
On behalf of all Nigerians, we welcome you to Nigeria as you undertake your official visit to the country, to assess USAID’s performance and review its accountability standards in Nigeria. Your visit to a beleaguered Nigeria could not have come at a more opportune time.
Unfortunately, we the ordinary Nigerians, will not be privileged (by protocol) to meet and discuss our concerns with you, hence we are compelled to write you this open letter.
Nigerians appreciate the existing longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship between our two great countries: Much more importantly, however, is the outstanding Global leadership and commitment of the United States of America to Freedom, Liberty and Justice. Unfortunately, Nigeria today suffers from the rapid extermination of these same great emblematic values and principles of the USA.
1. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Governance:
In describing the scope and complexity of Nigeria’s endemic corruption, please permit us to refer to a July 2018 publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace titled “A New Taxonomy for Corruption in Nigeria” by Matthew T. Page. https://carnegieendowment.org/files/CP_338_Page_Nigeria_FINAL.pdf
We agree with the publication in every regard. Furthermore, we boldly emphasize that although the current Buhari Government’s administration came into power under the deceptive mantra of personal integrity and a false intention to zero tolerance for corruption, Buhari’s government activities, since 2015 point in the opposite direction: Corruption in Nigeria has and is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds, to the absolute mistrust of government by
Moreover, using instruments of government to witch-haunt, hack down and illegally detain political opponents, the Buhari administration drums up unsubstantiated accusation of corruption against them.
What is even more disturbing and disgusting is that corrupt government officials within the Buhari Administration are neither investigated nor prosecuted: Instead, they are shielded andcompensated with even more lucrative positions: A good example is the “grass cutter” scam misappropriation of USAID funds: Funds meant for improving the living conditions of Internally Displace Persons at IDP camps. Indicted politicians in the scam, were neither prosecuted nor made to refund embezzled money. Rather, they continue to enjoy the President’s patronage.
Buhari’s cognitive and mental incapacitation, being shielded from Nigeria by the ruling cabal, headed by his Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, adds another dimension to Buhari Government’s corruption and lack of transparency.
Sir despite all these misgivings, permit us to still express our gratitude to the US government for invoking the Global Magnitsky Act against corrupt Nigerians and their families. Additional assistance in exposing and sanctioning corruption (at every level) in Nigeria will be much appreciated.
2. Fading Democracy, with the Rise of Dictatorial and Anarchical Tendencies:
According to the European Union’s Independent International Observation Mission to Nigeria’s 2019 General Election, the Final Report lamented that Nigeria’s 2019 elections were (among others) marked by severe operational and transparency shortcomings, as well as electoral security problems. This is attested to by the several outstanding legal challenges, to numerous questionable results declared by INEC, at various Election Petition Tribunal Petitions.
Nigerians are currently very pensive, over the probable ominous miscarriage of justice by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
As you are most likely aware, the USAID contributed significantly to financing Nigeria’s 2019 Election. Some of the funds were probably to refurbish and procure technology, including servers for the Independent National Election Commission (INEC). However, to remove itself from every culpability of data mismanagement during the 2019 Presidential election, INEC has introduced damning controversy into the existence, or not of its servers. By virtue of its financial input, we hereby implore the USAID to interrogate this controversy.
3. Nigeria’s Security Agencies as Instrument of Oppression and Coercion
More horrendous to the alarming spate of decadence in the country is that security to lives and properties in Nigeria is being upended by the “supposed” law enforcement personnel of the Military and the Nigerian Police.
For instance, in order to set him free from police custody, some solders recently attacked and killed three policemen, who had apprehended a notorious Taraba State “kidnapping-forransom” kingpin criminal, named Wadume. https://punchng.com/soldiers-attacked-cops-freedme-wadume-confesses/ Also, a Fulani bandit recently openly confessed of how Nigerian Air Force choppers dropped weapons for his gang, inside Dinya Forest in Kankara Local
Government Area of Katsina State.
Twice, the Buhari’s government used the military to unleash mayhem (in an ethno-genocidal proportion on unarmed Ibos and Minority Ethnicities in the Niger-Delta regions of Nigeria, in operations “Python Dance” and “Crocodile Tears” respectively.
4. Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing:
We refer to the European Union Resolution on Nigeria titled “European Parliament resolution on Nigeria (2018/2513(RSP) which was passed pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure of the EU Parliament. Many different groups seeking urgent intervention to end violent bloodshed by “Herdsmen” across Nigeria brought this concern to the attention of the EU Parliament.
According to 2019 Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Support for Persecuted Christians, the most serious existential threat to Sub-Saharan Africa’s Christian communities is from the militant Islamist group of Boko Haram and its related Islamist Fulani Militia (Herdsmen and Bandits) in Nigeria. These Islamist Jihadist groups directlytarget Christian believers on a comprehensive scale set out to “eliminate Christianity and pave the way for the total Islamization of the country”: https://christianpersecutionreview.org.uk/storage/2019/07/final-report-andrecommendations.pdf Section 4.b.II. Nigeria: pages 60-66 of the Report
Similarly, the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of Freedom of Religion and Belief. The Commission therefore affirmed that Nigeria doubtlessly merits its designation in 2019, as a Tier -1 “Country of Particular Concern” CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/Tier1_NIGERIA_2019.pdf
5. Government Approved Extrajudicial Killings and AssassinationsWhile this may not come under the direct official purview of the USAID, we hereby request that you please encourage your colleagues in the Executive branch of the US Government to assist us in seriously pursuing investigations into the recent allegations of the secretive midnight mass burial (in Maiduguri) of about 1,000 soldiers, mostly Christians of Southern Ethnicities. Some of these soldiers’ deaths were believed to have resulted from the direct attacks by Boko Haramterrorists, while others were believed to have been due to extrajudicially assassination ordered by kangaroo military court-marshal, in refusing to engage in combat operations against Boko
Haram on grounds of being saddled with poor and inferior military hardware. Additionally, the reluctant (mutiny) soldiers pointed to high level collusion with Boko Haram, by their superior officers, and the elaborate scheme of sabotage in Nigeria’s counter terrorism efforts.
The Nigeria Working Group, USA