Highlights

A CANDID ADVICE TO MR. PRESIDENT

His Excellency,                                                                                                  27/4/16
Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Commander in chief of the Armed Forces.
C/o Mallam Garba Shehu
Special Assistant to the President on media.

Dear Mr. President,
A CANDID ADVICE TO PRESIDENT BUHARI
For the first time since I began talking politics, I could not find the right words to counter agitators for Biafra. This was because I could not understand why a militia Fulani group, snuck into an Enugu State village and slaughtered about forty eight people without any provocation. Worse still, I have found your silence on the issue unacceptable because I campaigned for you. Indeed, I am not sure that I understand your posture on this rising spate of killings all over the ecountry being perpetrated by so called Fulani herdsmen. They are clearly terrorists.
While the nation has been reeling under the brutal weight of these killings, your administration’s bill for a grazing commission came as a very terrible blow; if I may say so, a blow below the belt. I find it difficult to accept that you have given your support to such a bill which oppresses indigenous Nigerians, a bill which threatens to take away people’s family lands to provide for the Fulani herdsmen; a bill which would unjustly claim large swathes of lands in Southern Nigeria for the sole benefit of the Fulani herdsman, a bill which would spark ethno-religious crisis in the predominantly christian South, a bill that is framing you as a Fulani conqueror instead of the anti-corruption, civil rights upholding Nigerian president that you want to be. It would be an act of nepotism. You would be pouring scarce fuel on the fire of Nigerian disunity. You would be unwittingly establishing staging grounds for Boko Haram activities in the South. Those of us from the South who campaigned for you will feel betrayed and oppressed. We did not give you our votes so that you would take away our lands and give to Fulani herdsmen who are your tribesmen. That would be an act of occupation and not an act of Nigerian statesmanship. You would be tearing up the sense of Nigerian unity, equity and justice with your own presidential hands. You would be demonstrating that all Nigerians are not equal under the law. It would be an act of corruption; using presidential influence to take away people’s lands just like those who use presidential influence for tenure elongation or misappropriation of funds. You would be destroying all you are building. If your stalwarts from the South have not told you that then you really need better advicers.
At a time when the fuel crisis is still wallopping your administration, at a time when you can not seem to tie down the dollar to a favorable rate, at a time of inflation and a grim battle with the most dangerous terrorist group in the world, I can not understand why you would at once seem impassive in the face of the slaughter of Nigerian communities by so called herdsmen and be pushing through a bill to give them other people’s territories as far as the deep South, even making it mandatory on state governments. This is so clearly a disastrous direction that one is shocked to see things heading that way. Please pull back, sir.
I hope this letter gets to you, Mr. President. I thank you for your attention.
Your compatriot,
Andy Briggs

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