Friday, 25 May 2007
Nigerians Lobbyists: To Support! (or Condemn)? Nigeria
By Paul I. Adujie
It is great news to me that Diaspora Nigerians are emerging as lobbyists! It is overdue!
Diaspora Nigerians are emerging in large numbers as lobbyists or potential lobbyists!
These confluences and convergences of interest groups in post general elections period in Nigeria is quite interesting indeed!
First, Nigerians were inundated with a letter written by a saber rattling group, a self-styled, 100 Concerned Nigerians Abroad” And soon after that, Nigerians found another group pestering us! Another rabble rousing group, apparently nudged into its public whining by their Nigerian friends, no doubt, these Nigerians made up of obviously disgruntled and defeated partisans, some of them at least, some are clearly friends of these bunch of foreigners, who wrote under the aegis of “48 Nobel Laureates”
Furthermore, another letter-writing followed on the heels of the others above; This time, the Nigerians called themselves Alliance for Credible Elections or the ACE, their letter was directed at Chancellor Angela Merkel the current political head or leader of Germany, urging her to revoke the invite issued to President-Elect Yar’Adua to attend the forthcoming Conference of Group of 8 Industrialized/developed nations scheduled to hold in Germany. Thereby taking a swipe at Nigeria by slighting our president? ACE, is in essence, demanding and urging Germany to disrespect Nigeria, in the name of ACE!
This attempt at taking international public swipe at President YarAdua led Dr. Ola Kassim in Canada to say, “I am so amazed at how supposedly mature, sophisticated and highly educated Nigerians, could demonstrate this profound degree of naiveté about world affairs?” He further asked a follow-up question, “how naïve and sickeningly naïve can some Nigerians get?”
There are clearly, many Diaspora Nigerians who are desirous of new avocations and vocations! Lobbying is certainly a very green and virgin field for Nigerians
It is perhaps a good thing that Nigerian voices are being heard in Nigeria as well as in America, Britain, Canada and in Germany etc!
After all, debates, occasional dissents, and even protests, all form parts of some of the essential elements, and ingredients of vibrant and vigorous democracy. This is welcome in Nigeria. Nigerians want and deserve a vibrant and robust democracy.
Additionally, it bears repeating, even for another billion times, that the best cure for imperfect democracy is more democracy!
In furtherance and in pursuits of these ideals and tenets of democracy therefore, it is hoped that Diaspora Nigerians would put Nigeria’s national interests first and foremost, in all activities, efforts and dealings. Nothing must be done to manipulate the current or future Nigerian leadership from within Nigeria or from afar, in foreign capitals. Nothing!
Nothing must be done that may be anathema to Nigeria’s national interests overall, and nothing must be done to damage Nigeria image and esteem, on the world stage.
Diaspora Nigerians must ensure that they and their supporters are accountable, transparent and honest in all their activities, dealings and efforts pertaining to Nigeria. They must make sure to make full and complete disclosures, and assiduously avoid conflicts of interests. They must be seen to demonstrate meticulous transparency.
Diaspora Nigerians making private and public pronouncements and proclamations in the name of Nigerians and Nigeria, must ensure that they are not rabid partisans lacking in integrity, credibility, fair and balanced transactions in matters Nigeria. As they may lose credibility and respect, if they are seen as vindictive partisan elections losers, who have resorted to chicaneries and shenanigans in campaigns of calumnies!
There is this added concern that I must express. I certainly cannot help but wonder right now, why Diaspora Nigerians, who are among the most educated, most enlightened, the most sophisticated and the most savvy, in America, Britain and Canada etc, now seem, all of a sudden, to be exhibiting some sorts of herd mentalities? Why does it appear as if, some Diaspora Nigerians are suddenly paying attention to the crucially important arts and science of lobbying? And for what, one may ask?
It is equally important to ask why, every current lobby activity, must be to castigate?
Why these recent upsurge and spates of lobbying in most acerbic, bellicose and corrosive in tones and outlooks, an outlooks that are so offensively caustic and sulfuric!
Why does it appear as if these Diaspora Nigerians are lobbying for short termed and shortsighted goals and clearly partisan purposes? Why is it that the same individuals are driving these petitions?
Curiously for instance, Professor Bolaji Aluko has been broadcasting e-mails to many Nigerian politics internet websites and groups, Professor Aluko is a partisan, a well known member of the Action Congress political party of Atiku Abubakar, I have observed his distributions and commentaries on all the letter writings and petitions that I have mentioned above in this article. “100 Concerned Nigerians Abroad”, “48 Nobel Laureates” as well as the one written to the German leader Chancellor Angela Merkel, by a so-called Alliance for Credible Elections or the ACE. Whatever these letter writing and petitions were supposed to be worth, if at all, such have been clearly rubbished by the coloration of them, by vapid Atiku Abubakar partisans like Bolaji Aluko! Aluko resorted filthy and unprintable gutter language due to my criticism of his partisan and offensive campaigns against Nigeria! Talk about Internet Area Boys!
These letter writing and petitioning must therefore be seen for what they are! They taking sides with persons, agents and political parties defeated at the just concluded general elections in Nigeria. These are not objective, neutral or dispassionate efforts. These are persons who are knowingly fomenting unsettling conditions, and if unknowing persons, persons who are unwittingly being used by persons, agents and defeated political partisans
AND, this is these activities are suspect. Why else does every efforts so far, at least, appear as attacks? Attacks! Aggressive and vindictive attacks! Attacks it appears, merely intended to frustrate and intimidate the political opponents of those who were out-voted and outmaneuvered at the just concluded general elections?
These are these same partisans and their agents, who did not have any core values or core philosophy for public good? Are these agents of those crying over spilled milk, politically speaking? Are these agents of political parties which presented no manifestoes to the Nigerian electorate? Are these agents of those who did not care to present or debate alternatives for Nigeria? Are these agents of those who did not demonstrate any chance that they actually could be “better”?
Shall we not, in all fairness, ask why all these lobbying to spite and take swipes at political opponents? Shall we not question these apparent vindictive actions of vendettas by elections losers, directed against political opponents, who were declared winner at the last elections?
How about, Diaspora Nigerians lobbying instead, for Nigerians and Nigeria’s common and greater good? How about lobbying for better trade and foreign policy by America, Britain and Canada etc towards Nigeria? They lobbied against Nigeria for appointment to International Criminal Court of the United Nations. They lobbied against Nigeria over Charles Taylor, they always seem to lobby against Nigeria how about lobbying FOR her? Edifices are so easy to destroy, but how about building super-structures for Nigeria?
How effective anyways, do these sudden lobbyists Diaspora Nigerians think they might be with their “48 Nobel Laureates” American friends, if they were to ask their Americans friends, say, to write letters or petition, to the American Senate or the entire United States Congress, demanding that the US bestow better trade and foreign policies toward Nigeria? Or that the US Congress remove American subsidies and trade tricks to benefit Nigeria? And award Nigeria most favorite trading nation status yearly? How effective do these newly minted Diaspora Nigerian lobbyists think they would be, in garnering the attention of the British Parliament, Canadian Parliament and a bunch of 48 Nobel Laureates to advance Nigeria’s national interests? Particularly so, if such interests conflicts with American, British and or Canadian national interests?
Would these 48 Nobel Laureates, American friends of these Diaspora Nigerians write to Halliburton Company, to demand that Halliburton pay taxes as and when due, to Nigeria?
Nigeria Lobbyists will do well to lobby foreign individuals, institutions and governments for Nigeria’s development, advancement and greatness!