Unite Against Deportation and Social Exclusion

Nationwide Activists Meeting in Refugee Cities in Germany
Break Deportation Prepar-Tainment Refugees Platform

The VOICE Refugee Forum – A Network of Refugee Community Initiatives in Germany

Break the Deportation DNA Chain: "Refugee Black Box – The irrepressible voice and power of the afflicted" - Beyond the Court rooms!

Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jawaid: The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption

The violent role of religion, nepotism and state corruption: Human rights abuses and persecutions in Pakistan

Greetings and Solidarity from Refugee Political Community Germany to Refugee Protest March in Bavaria

English/French/Deutsch:
Sei realistisch, versuch das Unmögliche! Be realist, look for the impossible! Soyez réaliste, chercher l'impossible! Power to the people - Solidarity meeting from Hamburg by Refugee-Migrants Political community

French/English/Deutsch:
"Nous venons chez vous" - La communauté des réfugiés a besoin de vous!
„Wir kommen zu euch“ - Die Flüchtlings-Community braucht euch!
"We are are coming to you" - The refugee community needs you!
Review on Break Deportation Culture – Deportation is criminal and we fight to stop it!

Hamburg: "We are coming to you" – The refugee community needs you!

The Political MOVEMENT - Appeal to Refugee Communities for Solidarity Network in Germany and Europe
Please join us for a life decided by our quest for a free society, equality and human dignity.

No Refugee is Criminal - Deportation is Collective Crime and Corruption

In Solidarity with North African Deportees and Victims of Deportation from Germany.

Appeal for Refugee Community Network from: Konradsreuth – Bayern

Moneer and Nadja's Struggles and Solidirity with the refugee community in Thuringia: - Statements by Moneer Alkadri und Nadia Ghnim from Syria: Demand for official transfer to Jena and payment of social allowance by State of Thuringia and Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Zu Moneers und Nadias Kämpfen und zur Solidarität mit der Flüchtlingscommunity in Thüringen:
- Statements von Moneer Al Kadri und Nadia Ghnim aus Syrien: Forderung nach offizieller Umverteilung nach Jena und nach Zahlung von Sozialleistungen durch den Staat Thüringen und zur Flüchtlinge aus dem Camp-Streik untersuchen die Zustände in Suhl

Miloud Lahmar Cherif von Beleidigungsvorwurf gegen rassistisch kontrollierende Bundespolizisten freigesprochen

Meine Stellungnahme zu den Anschuldigungen der Bundespolizei
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif, The VOICE Refugee Forum

My statement on the federal police's charges against me on racist control
- Miloud Lahmar Cherif

Petition gegen den Abschiebeterror an der Familie Arsič - Breitenworbis Flüchtlingslager in Thueringen

Erfurt Declaration of Radmila Anić concerning her menace in Serbia
Erfurt: Erklärung von Radmila Anić zu ihrer Bedrohung in Serbien

The VOICE Refugee Forum Germany:
The Refugee: Base on Our History 1994 to 2014
Call for a Coordinated Regional Community Assembly
Reward 2015: The refugee political resources in Germany

O-platz Berlin Bus Tour 2015

English German French
Refugee Manifestation For Freedom and Liberty in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 16.04.2015
Stop Abuse! Legalize the so Called “tolerated refugees in Germany! Stop Destroying Refugees' Perspectives! With Guests Speakers from Schwäebish Gmünd

Civil Disobedience - Protest Tour Against Residenzplcht
Grassroots movement and resistance of refugee activists from Schwaebisch Gmuend against residenzpflicht imprisonment

Residenzpflicht bedeutet weiterhin Apartheid”
Weiter Protest gegen Erzwingungshaft für Flüchtlingsaktiviste
Ziviler Ungehorsam gegen Strafverfolgung bzgl Residenzpflicht
27.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum zur Flüchtlingsdemonstration gegen Residenzpflicht in Schwäbisch Gmünd
07.03.2015: Erklärung
English:
“Residenzpflicht still means Apartheid” - “Lager still means elimination”
25.02.2015: Staement
02.03.2015: The VOICE Refugee Forum on The Refugee Demonstration against Residenzpflicht in Schwaebisch Gmünd - Campaign for Freedom and liberty
07.03.2015: Declaration by Schwäbisch Gmünd Refugee Activists

Videos:
-Keeping Resistance Against Oppression!
-1/3
-2/3
-3/3

Refugee Tour
Solidarity Call for Civil Disobedience from Refugee Initiative Schwäbisch Gmünd
Wuppertal 23.03., Hamburg und Erfurt 24.03., Kiel 25.03., Bremen 26.03., Berlin 27.03.15,. Konstanz 01.04., Schwäbisch Gmd 06.04.15, Lutherstadt Wittenberg 16.04.2015

Breaking the isolation culture – We are isolated from the refugee communities!

Keep On - Close down Breitenworbis refugee isolation camp in Thüringen


Here is the .Radio report and Interview of Mbolo Yufanyi on the 20yrs. The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deportation is the Last Ring of Slavery Chain - Break the Culture of Deportaion, Isolation, Elimination.
Refugee Political Worshops and Media: 20years of Refugee Resistance in Anniversary of 20years.The VOICE Refugee Forum in Germany

20yrs.The VOICE Refugee Forum:
Faltblatt - Flyers in English / Deutsch / French / Arabic
The Call for Donation:
Everyone 20€ --- Dein Geburtstagsgeschenk für 20 Jahre The VOICE Refugee Forum


Review and invitation: Preparatory meetings on of The VOICE Refugee 20yrs. Anniversary in Jena

Deutsch:
Rückblick und Einladung: Die Vorbereitungstreffen zum 20. Jahrestag von The VOICE Refugee Forum in Jena
20. Jubiläum von The VOICE Refugee Forum - 20 Jahre Widerstand von Flüchtlingen in Deutschland

Brutal Police Murder in Germany
Oury Jalloh -Das War Mord / He Was Murdered in Police Cell 5 Dessau:
Innenansichten vor BGH Urteil - Statement Moctar Bah

Revisionsentscheidung des BGH im Fall Oury Jalloh vom 17.08.2014:
Conakry (Guinea): Visum für Bruder des toten Oury Jallohs trotz Einladung durch den BGH verweigert
:

Text in Deutsch:
Pressemitteilung GBA zum Todesfall Oury Jalloh - Gegenvorstellung von Thomas Ndindah gegen den OStA beim BGH Dr. Matthias Krauß
Im Todesfall Oury Jalloh: Thomas Ndindah vs GBA am BGH - Bezug: Ihr Antwortschreiben vom 11. Februar 2014 – AZ 2 APR 308/13-5

Spread the Solidarity - United we speak out for freedom of movement
The VOICE Refugee Forum on Archives of our 10years Anniversary in October, 2004 in Berlin:
As we approach the 20th Anniversary of Refugee Resistance this year in October, we will be spreading the documented texts and impressions from our Archives on Residenzpflicht campaign and the struggles to speak out for freedom of movement

Deportation is Torture and Murder - Stop Police Brutality against Refugees and Activists: - PM The VOICE Refugee Forum - First anniversary of our protest inside and outside of the Nigerian Embassy in 2012

STOP COLONIAL INJUSTICE – STOP DESTROYING OUR COUNTRIES
STOP KILLING REFUGEES – ABOLISH FRONTEX:

FOR THE RIGHTS OF REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE

We stand together to reclaim the power of human dignity and solidarity against the state repression of refugees in Germany

Refugee Protest Actions - United Against Colonial Injustice

Mass murder in Lampedusa: Shame on EU! Refugee Protest in Rome, 10.October, 2013

The VOICE Refugee Forum - Guideline to Refugee Protest Strike in Eisenberg Reception Camp

Roma Initiative Thüringen: Report of Action Days July 25th – 27th in Jena and Eisenberg

Panel Roma ( Refugee Tribunal )

Streik der Flüchtlinge in der Thüringer Landesaufnahmestelle in Eisenberg für u.a. Flüchtlinge vom 30.07.2013.
VideoDoc: Erste Streik der Flüchtlinge in der LAST Eisenberg

25 - 27. 07 in Jena: ROMENGO DROM – The WAY OF ROMA PEOPLE
Demonstration in Jena - Stop the Deportation of Roma

Bad Mergentheim and Külsheim Refugees Protest in Stuttgart


Liberation Bus Tour in Bad Mergentheim - Refugee Strike in Stuttgart The VOICE Refugee Forum Network Video Channel

The Lager Watch Group on Eisenhüttenstadt - Stop Deportation Factory!

BREAK ISOLATION!
pdf: ABOLISH ALL LAGERS! - STOP DEPORTATION! Refugees of Eisenhüttenstadt!

LIBERATION BUS TOUR – FINALER AKTIONSTAG IN STUTTGART

08.6. Demo for Lampedusa in HH. District Office Hamburg-Mitte prevents the construction of tents with the help of police force

Bundesweite Kampagne und Netzwerk Bericht über Aktivitäten und Unterstützungsaufruf

Refugees gestoppt auf dem Weg zu Blockupy / Refugees stopped on their way to Blockupy.

Everywhere in these isolation-camps people lack their basic human rights - Break Isolation Strike Tour in Niedersachsen

"Lampedusa in Hamburg":
Bezirksamt Hamburg Mitte verhindert mit Polizeikräften Zeltaufbau für obdachlose Flüchtlinge

Video Refugee Testimony: More than 20 years in Isolation Camp Brandenburg - Germany

Miloud L. Cherif - Video Collection on Campaign for Civil disobedience against "Residenzpflicht" Refugee Movement Restriction
English: Take Urgent Action! FAX- Campaign against Residenzpflicht and political persecution of Miloud L. Cherif
Deutsch: Fax-Kampagne gegen Residenzpflicht und die politische Verfolgung von Miloud L. Cherif

Aktion am Hauptbahnhof Erfurt; 22.5. um 15 Uhr Residenzpflicht abschaffen – Rassistische Polizeikontrollen stoppen! Freiheit für Miloud L Cherif und alle anderen!

Video Collection of Refugee Testimony and Appeals from Liberation Bus

Break Isolation - Refugee Strike in Germany
26.April till 08.June 2013
New Videos and Reports on Refugee Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern 26th of April till 8th of June in Stuttgart.

Niedersachsen Refugee Liberation Bus Tour (16 – 22 of May 2013) Break Isolation Refugee Strike

Aufruf zur öffentlichen Prozessbeobachtung im Asylverfahren von Salomon Wantchoucou

2nd Declaration and Call for serious conversations "Lampedusa in Hamburg"
„Lampedusa in Berlin, Hamburg and Bielefeld”

The Criminality of the European Authorities - Interview with Affo Tchassei
„Wir sind hier und gehen nicht zurück“
Protest im UNCHR Berlin
„We are here and we don’t go back!” - “Nous somme ici et nous ne retournerons pas!”

Break Isolation Strike in Refugee Lagers - camps

PRENZLAU: Protest against racist attacks of Refugees

Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden Württemberg and Schwaben Bayern
Schließt euch uns an und unterstützt die Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg und Bayern!

Join us to support the Refugee Liberation Bus Tour in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern

Update News:
Polizei schikaniert die Refugees Liberation Bus Tour: Offene Protestnote an die Grün-Rote Landesregierung von Baden-Württemberg

Demonstration - Samstag, 18. Mai 2013, 16 Uhr, Willy Brandt-Platz:
für ein Ende rassistischer Polizeigewalt und gegen institutionellen Rassismus
In Erinnerung an Christy Schwundeck – Getötet durch die Polizei in Frankfurt/Main

OUR RIGHTS TO EXIST AS FREE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CRIMINALIZED BEFORE OUR NAMES ARE KNOWN: WE WILL FIGHT BACK UNTIL WHEN WE TAKE BACK THE POWER OF SOLIDARITY TO BREAK OPEN THE PRISON GATES FOR THE VICTIMS OF RACIST PERSECUTION IN GERMANY.

Action in Thüringen

On the Move! “Break Isolation Strike”
Refugee liberation strike action in Heidenheim Baden Württemberg 29th April 2013
Refugee Demonstration and liberation Bus Tour 2013 Refugees Liberation Bus Tour Video reports by Crosspoint

"Enough is enough" - refugees in Wolfsburg raise their voice
Bericht vom Demonstration am 27.04.2013 in Wolfsburg Break Isolation Solidarity Act - “Genug ist genug”

Polizei kriminalisiert Treffen in Thüringer Flüchtlingsheimen und belagert das Grünowski

BREAK ISOLATION and Solidarity Act in Thueringen: Jena, Greiz, Gerstungen, Waltershausen und Erfurt

Unterstützt die Faxkampagne - Offener Brief der Frauen aus dem Isolationslager Breitenworbis

Thousands of balloons - World Wide Roma Day

Am 8. April war der internationale Tag der Roma, um für die Rechte der Roma zu kämpfen und auf die Situation der Roma aufmerksam zu machen! - Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Pressemitteilung von Miloud Lahmar Cherif zur Situation seiner Familie in Deutschland

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013
*April 2013 in 7 Regionen Deutschlands – Göttingen 08-09.04., Essen - NRW 09.04., Berlin and Prenzlau 08-13.04., Frankfurt 10-11.04. (Kundgebung im Containerlager Oberursel 11.04.), Hamburg 13.04., Bielefeld 16.04., Trier 20.40 Jena / Thueringen , 22-26.04.

English:
We are at a crucial turning point to make refugee isolation lager HISTORY in Germany.

Break Isolation Conference and Solidarity Act 2013 - Input by The VOICE Refugee Forum

Deutsch:
Break Isolation Conference und Solidarity Act 2013 - Input von The VOICE Refugee Forum

Thousands of balloons - 8. April 2013 for World Wide Roma Movement
Gegen die Ausgrenzung und Isolation von Flüchtlingen in Lagern - Solidarität mit der "Break Isolation" Bewegung!

Refugee Workshop in Berlin Protestcamp

Choucha Camp Refugee Protest in Tunisia - Sit-in migrants de Choucha Tunis - Break the isolation! Solidarity with Fighting Refugees Camp in Choucha / Tunisia

Interviews in English and French:

Break Isolation of Refugees - Karawane Festival Speech by Osaren in Jena: Chant down the babylon Germany

We are protesting to close down all Refugee Isolation Lagers in Thueringen:
Refugee lager Camp Protest
Join the ongoing Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Breitenworbis
Greiz
Gerstungen isolation
Successfully Closed down refugee lagers in recent years
2012 Isolationslager Zella Mehlis
2011 Ghetto Sömmerda/Gangloffsömmern
2010 Isolationslager Katzhütte!
2009 Isolationslager Gehlberg
2009 Ghetto: Flüchtlingsunterkunft in Apolda - Stobraer straße in Thüringen
2007 Flüchtlingsheims Freienbessingen

Sachsen-Anhalt
Campaign to Close down:
Isolationslager Bitterfeld
Flüchtlingsisolationsheim Marke
Vockerode
Successfully Closed down refugee lager in Sachsen-Anhalt
2012 Isolationslager Möhlau

2011 Ein Überblick: Isolation der Flüchtlingslager in der Nachbarschaft zu brechen - Die Agenda von The VOICE Refugee Forum
An Overview of „The VOICE“ Agenda – Break the Refugee Isolation Camps in the Neighbourhoods
2003 Stop all deportations! Close all detention and deportation centers for refugees and migrants!

Asylbewerber Asylbewerber
Abschiebung Abschiebung
Residenzpflicht Residenzpflicht
Frontex Frontex
Refugee Embassy Refugee Embassy
Colonial Injustice Colonial Injustice
Police Brutality Police Brutality
Isolationslager Isolationslager
BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge

* * * * * * * *

Dossier zu den Morden an Sakine, Fidan und Leyla Morde an den kurdischen Frauenrechtsaktivistinnen Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan und Leyla Şaylemez, die sich am 9. Januar 2013 im Zentrum von Paris ereigneten

Video: Dessau 7.01.2013 - Oury Jalloh Demonstration

Verbrannt in Polizeizelle Nummer fünf Busse nach Dessau (7.1.) zur Erinnerungsdemo für Oury Jalloh

: Abschiebung und Pressekonferenz - Refugee Camp Vienna
Refugee Protest Camps:
Vienna Austria
Berlin Germany

Break Isolation Berlin – Statement of the Refugee Protest Camp at Oranienplatz Berlin
Enough is enough. It's time for resistance!

New Videos Refugee Protest camps: Solidarity from Vienna and Berlin
Endorse the International Statement of Solidaritya from Refugee Protest in Vienn
Wien Press: Votiv-Lager war angemeldet - War Räumung des Protest-Camps illegal? Flüchtlingscamp vor der Votivkirche

Video: Police Vandalism in Wien - Refugee Protest Camp evicted! Polizeiliche Räumung des Refugee Protest Camp in Wien
Video:Refugees on Hunger Strike / Refugees im Hungerstreik

Reboot FM about the : Refugee Tribunal in Berlin (June 13-16.2013)

PM The VOICE Refugee Forum on Oury Jalloh: Magdeburger Strafgerichtskammer verhindert Aufklärung - (k)ein Ende einer Farce

Austine and the Residenzpflicht

"October 12. 2012. On the way from Schwäbisch Gmund (Baden Württenberg) to Berlin, to take part to the Refugee Protest March Demonstration of October 13, Austine, Charles, Chima, Egbo, Henry and Obinna are target of a police racial profiling control in Hof's Station.

Rex Osa’s Testimony by Affidavit for The INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS TRIBUNAL IN MANILA Quezon City, Philippines
The VOICE- Protocol 11.11.12 in Berlin: O&A with Alassane Dicko and Rex Osa on Beyond the borders Conference in Berlin

CARAVAN for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants
Strengthening the unity of refugee struggles against colonial injustice in Germany

Stärkt die Einheit der Flüchtlingskämpfe gegen koloniales Unrecht in Deutschland - Abschlusserklärung des Break Isolation Camp

3Sat mediathek Report: Für mehr Menschenwürde
Flüchtlingsproteste in Deutschland: Die Proteste von Asylbewerbern in Deutschland nehmen zu, insbesondere seit sich ein Asylbewerber in Würzburg Anfang 2012 das Leben genommen hat und zwei iranische Flüchtlinge sich die Münder zugenäht hatten und in Hungerstreik getreten waren. Inzwischen hat sich in acht deutschen Städten eine Protestbewegung von Flüchtlingen...?
Break Isolation Protestmarsch und Protest der Flüchtlinge für die unverzügliche Schließung des Isolationslagers in Breitenworbis, Mühlhauser Straße 35 am 29.08.2012 auf 3Sat mediathek

You are here

Team Nigeria: A Perspective by Paul I. Adujie

Texts below:
-Our Mission to Spain about Osamuyia Aikpitanhi---Hon Samson Osagie.
http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/our-mission-...
-The growing international war of violence against Nigeria and Nigerians (Part 1)
By Danboyi Gomsuk
http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/the-growing-...

****

Team Nigeria: A Perspective
Written by Paul I. Adujie

"Many Nigerians and other Africans have been murdered in Europe in circumstances, similar to that of the brutal murder of Osamuyi Aikpitanyi by agents of the government of Spain. And such murders in the past have been without as much as a whimper of protests.

The difference between the past murders of Nigerians in the Diaspora, and the current one under discussion, is simply that a Nigerian in Padova, Italy, Mr. J.J Oguzie bothered at all to alert the rest of us. He alerted the world and Nigeria in particular, through his public comments there were published at www.nigeriavillagesquare.com " .....

Events of the recent past, have demonstrated the immutable fact that Nigerians need national unity, and for that purpose, Nigerians urgently, must jettison petty family squabbles that arises from, what is at once, familial proximity and distance. And in this instance, familiarity clearly trumps insularity.

A simultaneous worldwide reaction by Nigerians on June 29th 2007 to the murder of Osamuyi Aikpitanhi, by the agents of the government of Spain, have removed every known and imagined obstacles or impediments to Nigeria’s national unity. Those who were ambivalent in the past, now have sufficient reasons to quit sitting on the fence in matters Nigerian. It is now clear, that a majority of Nigerians have no conundrum about our Nigerian-ness.

The cohesiveness by Nigerians, that was brought to bear on the Aikpitanyi murder by Spain, belie a great national issue. Leadership. When there is good leadership that marshals important national issues, with acute sense of purpose, and direction, with vision and foresight, a majority of Nigerians would rally to worthy Nigerians causes. This is what the responses to the call to arms, on June 29th 2007 exemplifies. It was catalytic!

The only confusion that I had, if at all, was whether, I should be happy or sad. I was happy, for the unity of action brought about, even though a very mournful and sorrowful event had caused our commonalities to shine from Abuja to Lagos, New York to London, Madrid and Dublin etc It was exciting to be part of an international efforts for a national cause. There was a sour-sweet feel, it was a painful sour-sweetness in the circumstances.

It was as if we had an itch, in an open wound, which needed to be scratched so badly, in order to assuage the itch, while at the same time, quite mindful and careful in the inexorable urge to scratch this itching irritation, without, at the same time, aggravating the wound. Nigerians mourned a compatriot, on June 29, 2007; the unity that arose from that, is worth every celebration, a celebration, without appearing to dance and clap at our compatriot’s funeral. A delicate celebration in the midst of a dirge.

And so it was, that on June 29th 2007, Nigerians worldwide and friends of Nigerians-Nigeria, together, rallied, demonstrated and participated, with incredible support for the protest that was staged to keep in public view, the tortured, brutal and horrific murder of a Nigerian citizen, Osamuyi Aikpitanyi by Spaniards, who were forcefully deporting him out of Spain to Nigeria.

Our collective outrage and grief, wrought upon us, an unfathomable cohesion across the usual and assumed negative common denominators of disagreements, mutual suspicions among regions, religions and ethnicities.

Many Nigerians and other Africans have been murdered in Europe in circumstances, similar to that of the brutal murder of Osamuyi Aikpitanyi by agents of the government of Spain. And such murders in the past have been without as much as a whimper of protests.

The difference between the past murders of Nigerians in the Diaspora, and the current one under discussion, is simply that a Nigerian in Padova, Italy, Mr. J.J Oguzie bothered at all to alert the rest of us. He alerted the world and Nigeria in particular, through his public comments there were published at www.nigeriavillagesquare.com

And a welter of support worldwide followed, with expression of deep outrage which flowed from subsequent comments. Suggestions from debates, which eventually culminated in what turned out to be a groundbreaking event; A first of its kind, epoch making, in the new global village, which is made possible for Nigerians by internet technology coordination, it was a virtual village square, it was certainly a surreal world, global communications and all.

All these occurred against the backdrop and near auto-response of apathy and distinctive nonchalance by some Nigerians to matters Nigerian or issues affecting Nigeria.

All these took place against the unique background of a near scientific belief, by some Nigerians, a belief in the absence or lack of a feeling of unity of purpose among Nigerians.

All these transpired, and by all accounts, with endearing proofs, in very successfully executed audio, video and still-pictures, testament to these momentous undertakings in the name of Nigeria.

Nigerians were united on June 29th 2007, for a common purpose. And, suddenly, we Nigerians, could mention each other, in the same sentence and in the hot-pursuit of a common national goal. We Nigerians were pursuing an interest together, and in unison. And with that, we inevitably drew a line in the sands, to the effect that an attack on one of our compatriots, as it was in Spain, is an attack on all of us!

Suddenly, we could say coalition and cohesiveness by all stripes and strata of Nigerians worldwide, and with unflinching support of our non-Nigerian friends, we acted as Nigerians seeking justice for Nigerians in the name of Nigeria!

Nigerians of all strata worldwide, were awakened as full blooded and red-hot blooded Nigerians. There were bells and whistles, and a no-holds-barred outpourings.
Nigerians and our friends rallied, in response to one clarion call. Nigerians with bells and whistles, with supports and encouragements from far and near, from friends and well-wishers, trotted out under a global umbrella, interlaced in two bright and vibrant colors.

Our national flag of deep green bordering a white center, was hoisted and raised worldwide. Our deep forest-hunter green which is parsed proportionally, in the middle, with dazzling white of fresh snow, was raised in a majority of world capitals and wherever Nigerians lived. The Nigerian flag of green and white, as white as the open inside crevice of a mature coconut, was proudly raised for the dignity of Nigerians. We marched and marched under this huge virtual worldwide umbrella, replete with our glowingly beautiful national colors.

Nigerians made a point by rising to this occasion. By engaging in a hugely symbolically meaningful act, in the defense of one of our dead, and invariably, in the defense of ourselves, yes, our very selves! This amounted to the defense of one, and the defense of all.

Our faith in our clout, our abilities and the wherewithal, to do more, thus, have
been, established and without question!

We must now harness our "new" found voice, albeit, a voice was there, all the time, our new found coalition, cohesiveness and unity of purpose, for national good, for all Nigerians and for Nigeria.

Prior to these rallies, protests, and what now seems like a rediscovery of ourselves as Nigerians, irrevocably linked, entwined, and intertwined, even if in a surprisingly accidental find of self-confidence; It was, and it is, the case that, the absence of national unity of purpose, to coalesce into fruitful endeavors have, in the past prevented our country from achieving greater heights nationally and globally. This new unstated agreement amongst Nigerians, to act think globally and act locally for Nigeria, is profoundly, exciting!

This unstated agreements, that has turned in favor of Nigeria, will, hereafter, correct the absence of national purpose, which bedevils every issue and every Nigerians endeavors, which bedevils every efforts geared toward addressing them.

This lack of national purpose, and a sense of belonging or possessing stakes in the outcome of what becomes of our national interests, is perennial, it has become rather pervasive and all permeating and endemic; An affliction, which is suffered by political leaders, business leaders and even many of Nigeria’s average citizens, Adamu, Bola and Chime.

This aloofness and detachments, allows public officials to engage in selfishly egregious pillage and plunder of our public wealth or patrimony. This leads to disenchantment, in the citizenry, which in turn, have led some Nigerian soccer players, who are star strikers for foreign teams, to treat playing for Nigeria with levity. Haven’t we all?

Playing soccer on behalf of Nigeria, during important matches between Nigeria and other competing nations, is treated, for the most parts, as if unworthy of full efforts and full throttle stamina, by some Nigerian top soccer players. It is as if it is nothing worthy of full attention or priority. The result is that, such Nigerian athlete grudgingly, report to training camps and report often very late, and then, they are quick to resort to flouting reasonable rules intended for team unity, cohesion and achievement. Such athlete are frequently insubordinate, only observing rules in the breach.

Such athlete have been known to play games without focus, or play while willfully distracted. Some play, as if to exhibit or advertise the self, instead of the exhibition of a superior winning skill and spirit. A team spirit.

In real terms, and in metaphorical soccer terms, there are qualified and competent Nigerians in every field of human endeavors. There are Nigerian teams that are superbly equipped to make Nigeria a power-house! To make Nigeria win at every Olympics and World Cup soccer.

AND, oh! There are Nigerians, in "teams" in every field of non-sports human competition; be it in the field of medicine, science, business or legal fields etc; They are ready, willing and able.

Nigerians need clarion calls and a corralling of energies for Nigeria’s national purpose. We should be advised, that national call to arms, could be issued by you, a political leader or a business leader, or anyone for that matter, as did J. J. Oguzie in June 2007. A journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first steps!

Nigerians can from now on, play as a team in every field, and exhibit team spirit, harness our "new" found unity, coalition and cohesiveness for our national purpose.
What may depend on all these, and on us? the development, advancement and greatness of Nigeria!

Team Nigeria: A Perspective
Written by Paul I. Adujie
Lawcareer2007@aol.com
New York, United States
+++

Our Mission to Spain about Osamuyia Aikpitanhi
Contributed by Ahaoma Kanu
Sunday, 12 August 2007

You were part of the Nigerian delegation that went to Spain recently over the death of the Nigerian deportee, Osamuyia Aikpitanhi, what exactly happened during your trip there?

Osagie: Well, we met with the Foreign Affairs ministry and a couple of top government functionaries in the government of Spain and we conveyed the Nigeria’s government utter disapproval of the way and manner Osamuyia Aikpitanhi was murdered in the hands of Spanish security operatives. We told them in strong terms that the government of Nigeria demands explanation and we expect that they would bring about justice in the matter. And of course, we also discovered that the Spanish authorities were quite embarrassed with the whole situation; naturally they did not expect a deportee to die in the course of deportation especially with the outcome of the autopsy report which they (Spanish authorities) discovered that he died of suffocation as a result of serious maltreatment he received so they appealed very seriously that they were going to allow the course of justice to prevail with a promise that all those who are concerned in the matter will be brought to book. We were also informed that two investigations are going on; the police investigation and the judicial inquiry into the death and under Spanish law, it would take some time before the verdict comes up and once that is delivered, the appropriate measures would be taken in terms of giving responsibility to whoever was culpable because they are taking steps to persuade the family. We also told the Spanish authorities that Nigeria takes exception to the way and manner our people are being treated and discriminated against especially against the backdrop of so many bilateral agreements entered into by Nigeria and Spain. Hopes were given and promises made that in no distant time, all these will stop. Another meeting will be scheduled between the president of Spain and that of Nigeria because President Umaru Musa Yar Adua showed serious concern over the issue and our visit to Spain was at his own instance

Can you be more specific with the Spanish officials your delegation met with?

We met with the authorities of the Foreign Affairs Ministry we met their minister and had a long session with them and in his team was an official in the Interior Ministry which comprises their immigration agency and all that. It was a delegation on their own part and was a representation of their government on one side and our government on the other side. I went with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Hakeem Baba Ahmed and two directors in that ministry.

Will your team be working hand –in-hand with the investigations being conducted by the Spanish government or is your investigation independent of what they are doing?

Osagie: The way it is what we are doing is a fact-finding investigation to unravel the causes and of course to find out those responsible for the death of the young man. You know that this incident happened in Spain and their law(s) must take its course. Our own investigation is to a fact-finding inquiry to raise the tempo of the agitation of the disapproval from the Nigeria government. In terms of meting out punishment, it is not within our powers and it is even not within the powers of the Nigeria’s government because the people involved in the criminal acts are not Nigerians. So our interaction with the Spanish government leaves us with the possibility of either waiting for the outcome of what they are doing in Spain to be in position to be able decide the next step to take because when the verdict of guilt is pronounced by the judiciary, then the family of the deceased can take up legal action against the Spanish government for compensation. We are also looking at the family who have a direct right in the matter and the possibility of exploring remedy at the International courts and of course, that is where the Nigeria government comes in. We cannot do all these until the preliminary investigations are concluded and the report of the judicial commission of inquiry is made known, which is the basis on which we can be able to all these. The Spanish authorities even advised the family to get a lawyer and sue for compensation. The matter will be heard in court on the 20th of August this year and in the course of time, if after the report of the investigation is known and we have doubt over the report, we will inform the Nigeria government to order for the corpse to be brought back to Nigeria so that fresh autopsy can be carried out. But so far so good, what the Spanish authorities have done shows that he died of suffocation which indicates what happened. For now, we need to have faith in what they are doing and be patient for them to finish.

Were you able to talk with the other two deportees who were being deported along with the late Osamuyia and what is their fate right now?

Osagie: Yes, the two other deportees are right now in detention, this is what our investigation reveals. They are alleged to have committed some offences which was the reason why they were being deported but we were also told that they are likely to be witnesses in the entire affair during the course of the investigation. They are still in detention and we could not see them.

Were you able to confirm the allegations heaped on the late Osamuyia of being wanted for murder and rape while there in Spain?

Osagie: It was raised at the session but the permanent secretary, Mr Ahmed, did not waste time to dismiss it because the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs found out from the police that the young man had no record with the police. So we dismissed it and it didn’t wait for anybody to tell us anything about the allegations. There is no such record here with the Nigeria Police and I believe it to be tales being saddled by some people and the Spanish authorities picked it up from the dustbin.

But it was reported that during the visit of the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Angel Losada to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, he made the allegation that Osamuyia died in a hospital as well as maintain that he (Osamuyia) had criminal records and was a wanted man in Nigeria?

We also told him than and there, because I was present that day, that those allegations were not correct and seriously false. We let him know that though we were not present inside the aircraft, we have the benefits of eye witnesses who have since given their testimony to our committee and we also have our facts that the guy didn’t die in a hospital as he claimed but was certified dead inside the aircraft at Alicante by the doctor brought in. We dismissed the insinuations by the ambassador and made him understand that assuming but not conceding that Osamuyia was wanted for murder and rape, those offences could not have been committed in Spain and the punishment for it should not have been meted out to him in Spain. So there is no justification to probably show that the character of the young man was in doubt. We dismissed with a wave of hand all those allegations when they tried to raise it in Spain. The ambassador’s allegations do not hold water.

The president of the Nigerian community in Spain, Mr Joe Illoh, revealed that the government policy on the acquisition of police reports and the inability of the Nigerian Embassy in Spain to issue passports to Nigerian citizens for the past eight years is among the major factors leading Nigerians to get involved in the falsification of their documents. Is your committee likely to take this matter up to ensure that something is done about the development?

Osagie: Very well, myself and the permanent secretary agreed that we will pick up the matter because the Spanish authorities has alleged that there is a letter before them written from the Nigerian government to the effect that Nigeria citizens living in Spain who wants to obtain police reports must return to Nigeria to get the reports…

Were you shown the letter?

Osagie: No! And the permanent secretary said he has no knowledge of such a letter and said that as far as he is concerned, the letter does not exist. So we have promised that we are going to take the matter up as soon as possible. I am working hand-in-hand with Mr Ahmed who has shown serious concern on the plight of Nigerian citizens in Spain, it is one of the problems we are having and at the end of the day, we are going to write back to the Spanish government that no such action was taken in the past that informed their demands. In any case, this is going to form part of my reports to the committee that we are going to report to and I hope that by the end of the day, that would form part of the decision of the House of Representatives by way of recommendation and prosecution of this matter. You see, the good thing about my inclusion in the delegation is that I went there in dual capacity; as a member of the committee and as a representative of the man who died. So all these problems and all the issues leading to the way most Nigerians are treated must form part of the decision we are going to put before the House of Representatives for adoption and subsequently for the government to implement.

How do you feel learning that for the past eight years the Nigerian Embassy in Spain has not been able to issue out passports to Nigerians there?

Osagie: Well, I think the problem was explained that the machine for the issuance of passports which are normally given to foreign missions are quite few; I think we have 12 in the whole world and for Christ’s sake, how many embassies do we have in the whole world that these few number will service Nigerians? And again, these machines are not serviceable; somebody went to buy it from the Far East and the only place it can be repaired is in Israel. So the problem is that these machines are not serviceable. We have one in France which is what many of our embassies in Germany, Holland, Spain are using. It is going to form part of the reform process going on in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the introduction of the e-passports now, these machines have become obsolete and so new ones are going to be acquired so that each embassy will have one. It is very embarrassing that an embassy like that of Nigeria cannot issue its citizens passports abroad. We condemn this irresponsible act and will work towards its remedy. And we saw things for ourselves; the embassy in Spain is nothing to write home about, that is the truth of the matter. It is in deep decay; what we call our embassies is quite unfortunate, even the house our ambassador lives in Spain needs rehabilitation. That non-maintenance culture that we have is not only here in Nigeria but follows us abroad. Our officers in Foreign Service are not working under good conditions because if you see their offices, you will be surprised. It is not only in Spain; I have visited the Nigeria embassy in the United States and it as the same, showing the neglect it is suffering. That is the position; our embassies don’t have the necessary facilities to issue passports and they cannot do otherwise. I think there should be a change in position and condition of these our embassies.

The House of Representatives have set up committees and you are now the Deputy Chairman, Committee on Human Rights, what should Nigerians expect from you?

Osagie: Just as the name implies defense of human rights and issues regarding human rights are issues of justice, of equal rights and equality in generally. As far as I am concerned being a member of that committee and its deputy chairman, I will ensure that within this period issues bothering on human rights and human right abuses record in this country is shored up so that our image within our people specifically and international community in general, with respect to human rights protection will be appreciated. I will also ensure that we launch a campaign against human rights violation and anywhere it occurs, we shall try and take it head-long whether here or outside this country either against our people or bring perpetrated by our people. I shall try as an individual and as a member of this committee to make our committee take proactive steps in this direction. It is such a wide subject that we will have a lot to do especially in the time we just came out from, an era where human right abuses have been rampant. We will try and do our best and require the cooperation of all and sundry, even the establishment must also expect the fact that in doing our job, we may run into conflicts with the authorities but it is important that we speak the truth at all time so that this society of ours will be a better place to live.
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The growing international war of violence against Nigeria and Nigerians (Part 1)
By Danboyi Gomsuk
Sunday, 12 August 2007

When one wants to transport some rice from one town to another one needs some bags to fully effect that transportation and this is applicable in all countries of the world. That is an accepted practice. But if one would want to transport some live animals, like dogs, cats, or even animals as small as mice, would one use bags to do this transportation? I am yet to see any country in the world where someone would do this without incurring the wrath of both discerning and non-discerning members of the society! But when a human being transports another human being in a bag then such an act should be viewed critically and with the utmost seriousness it deserves. And no amount of explanations from whatever quarters would attempt to mitigate this grossest act of barbarity and inhumanity. No amount of explanations can change the view that the perpetrator of this act is none other than a person steeped deep in the infernal waters of satanic, demonic and devilish wickedness directed at certain people of the world.

The Homo sapiens has, through the passage of time, carved out various laws, principles and injunctions all aimed at upholding the sanctity of the human being as the highest of God’s creation, a belief shared by both believers and non-believers in God. Even the execution of the provisions of any nation’s criminal laws, the most serious of all the branches of laws, is always guided by the principles, ethos and conventions set aside in that much-talked-about general guidance called the Principles of Human Rights. So much are these principles valued that they are metaphorically said to be jointly accommodated with the laws in the same fluvial channel that supplies the various courts the fountain of judicial wisdom that sees them through each case trial and judgment. Going furthermore, Europe has placed immense values on the enforcement of human rights that today there is the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), an institution in the Council of Europe that arose from the ashes of a devastated Europe, following the fratricidal and overly genocidal World War II. The brazen human rights abuse perpetrated in that war led to Europe coming together in 1949 to declare a proclamation for the protection of human rights and this was documented as the famous European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950). This was not before the United Nations came with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. Still, in pursuance of this, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was declared in December 1966. A look at any nation’s constitution will instantly make the reader to see the protection of human rights as the framework structure around which all other flowery statements of declaration find support.

My last mention, which is by no means the least of all these, is the European Union, which initially started in a very modest form as the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1957, on the backs of six European nations. Again, like the European Convention on Human Rights, it arose from the need to stamp out all forms of human rights deprivation that was prevalent in the Second World War. This Community’s main goal was to pursue European integration in the area of economic freedom and growth. However, from the very moment of its formation the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights were implicit and so were not explicit in the charter of this Community. But with time the upholding of human rights became explicit and paramount in the entire European Community, thanks to the judicial ingenuity brought in by the European Court of Justice. And as more European nations joined this Community there was an agreement that all members must uphold the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and this applied irrespective of whether that member of the European Economic Community was a signatory of the European Convention or not. To cut a long story short, the history of the European Economic Community and its gradual transformation to the European Union in 1993 was influenced by the European Convention on Human Rights enunciated by the Council of Europe, though the latter and the European Union have been and still are distinct institutions.

This is the background along which the Kingdom of Spain, which joined the European Community in 1986, should be looked at in relation to the recent happenings in which its authorities killed a Nigerian aboard an Iberian airline. The sordid details of this death are tales that could be reserved and consigned to happenings related to those of the Dark Ages or even predating this period when the Homo sapiens was still a spectre of a being in raw animal skin for clothing and sharpened stones as weapons for hunting. Try as much as one can to disbelieve this event, the gnawing and whacking truth of it all makes one to shudder in consciousness that this could be happening in the twenty-first century!

Come to think of it, what did the authorities of Spain think when they placed this Nigerian in a secured bag, after they had gagged him with a tape and handcuffed him? Were the authorities of Spain transporting this Nigerian as a cargo or as a human being? Were their minds telling them that a person placed in such a condition for over five hours flight would get to the destination alive? Lots and lots of excuses have been given for this sordid act. Some of these excuses bordered on the ridiculous, others were mere watery defences that would tickle even a toddler, while others were couched provocative statements that dared the Nigerian authorities, the average Nigerian and the family of this Nigerian to get lost or do their worst!

I hope the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria would listen to himself when he condemned the dastardly death of this Nigerian and the events that led to it. However, he surreptitiously bared his actual state of mind, his conviction and stand when he condemned this Nigerian victim of misanthropy by saying that the dead Nigerian was not a typical Nigerian since he had committed many offences and had resisted deportation attempts at various times. I cannot think of anything more contradicting than these two statements! Yes, according to this ambassador, death was not the punishment for the deceased’s wrong acts but the deceased had committed some forms of heinous offences! The cogent extraction from these contradictory and beguiling statements is that the ambassador was only dribbling the Nigerian authorities and taking them for fools. I hope the Nigerian authorities saw the annoying flippancy in these statements.

It was an encouraging development that Nigerians had begun to react to these bounce-backs to the dark ages of African slavery as perpetrated by the likes of Spain and other European powers of the time. I say this because this is not the first time this kind of misanthropic behaviour was visited on Nigerians. There was a case when a Nigerian passenger in an Air France airline was seriously manhandled in the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris for failing to produce a hotel reservation. Even when this Nigerian passenger eventually produced one the French police beat him black and blue in the full view of other passengers in an open and public place as the Charles De Gaulle Airport! Even the intervention of other Nigerians, some well-informed Caucasians and a Nigerian diplomat did not help matters. These hooligans in police uniforms continued their brutal and shameful acts against this Nigerian. They eventually bundled him into that same plane with the aim of deporting him to Nigeria of course. This was public news, but what did the Nigerian authorities do about this? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! I wouldn’t want to belabour your reading by continuing a catalogue of these heartrending, pitiable and tears-evoking events all visited against Nigerians in faraway lands. But what makes this situation even more pitiable is the fact that this bestiality is overly seen right in the heartland of Nigeria!

The disgrace Nigerians of all social levels meet in the hands of security officials detailed in front of many foreign embassies in Nigeria is now a household story that has become an accepted norm by the entirety of the Nigerian populace. This is not to talk of events thin-line short of violence visited on Nigerians by the embassy officials themselves during the processing of visa applications. There have been cases when these irascible and sometimes power-drunk visa officials even went as far as manhandling the Nigerian passports and hurling them off their desks! An observer of these spectres would think the visa officials had gone berserk to the point of near dementia. Prior to these events I had always regarded the Caucasians as people with class and decency but all these have since changed. I had hardly seen a Caucasian lose his/her temper and should that happen, it must have been with a genuine reason. But if you would want to see an angry Caucasian then you better go to any of the foreign embassies in Nigeria. The red-face and standing hair of the scalp, as described in most fiction stories, are even inadequate imagery, compared to what you see live in most of these embassies! And what is the reason for these puerile outbursts of anger? The reason is simple: Nigerians have come to apply for visas to travel to the home countries of these embassies. And most of the time, these Nigerians have genuine reasons for wanting to travel!

But leave the precincts of these hellish foreign embassies and come over to any town or city in Nigeria where these Caucasians and other foreigners live and you’d destroy your sight with a new Gorgon Medusa. We shouldn’t forget that these foreigners did not just drop from the skies; they came into Nigeria, courtesy of the various Nigerian embassies scattered all over the world. Would any of these foreigners raise his/her hand and assert that he/she had been manhandled by the Nigerian embassy officials when they had gone to ask for a Nigerian visa? We all know the obvious answer. And when they got to the Nigerian borders were they manhandled by the immigration, police or customs officers for no reason? Were they even subjected to indiscriminate and disgraceful searches by these officials? Never! And once in Nigeria they are treated like kings and queens, including those smuggled in by their Nigerian-based principals as ‘expert engineers, doctors, architects’, and so on. These are people who would not stand any chance against any Nigerian trained in the same field. There have been cases where medical technologists claimed to be doctors and were so employed; only Heavens know how many Nigerians had died from their obvious inadequacies and incompetence.

And this subjugation of Nigerians started as far back as the 1970s in small proportions until they have built up to this sordid level. It was a common sight in those days to see Nigerian workers of these foreign construction companies being transported in trucks only comparable to the Black Maria of the Kirikiri Prisons. The only subtle difference is that these transportation trucks had more vents than the Black Maria. This sight made a lasting impression on me, and so, during my sojourn in many different parts of the world, I had sought to see whether this was the norm. However, I must confess that I have never seen such transportation trucks for construction workers in these places. So why must such a debasing means of transportation be used in Nigeria for carrying Nigerian construction workers? It could be argued that the available means of transport in Nigeria, like the ‘molue’ and ‘bolekaja’, could have set the pace and formed the template for the construction of this means of transport for construction workers. But the counter argument to this is that these foreign construction companies are the beneficiaries of Nigeria’s goodwill in all its ramifications and so must have to reciprocate this goodwill by treating Nigerian workers in their employment with some level of comfort and decency. Even if the series of Nigerian governments had shirked their responsibility in checkmating this indecent act the sense of decency and a bid to plough back some of the bogus profits they make to the society should have made them to see reason for making their Nigerian workers more comfortable than has been otherwise.

Talking about ploughing back their bogus profits brings me to this vexed issue of the Niger Delta. This is a part of Nigeria that has been destroyed by international oil companies in the name of oil exploration and production. These oil companies are supposed to take instructions from the Nigerian government at any point in time regarding the environmental safety of their place of operation and the welfare of the immediate community these companies operate. I ask two questions here. Firstly, would these oil companies cause in their native countries the type of criminal damage they have wrought on that part of Nigeria? And how do successive governments of Nigeria feel about the criminal neglect they have visited on that part of Nigeria? When Chevron caused an accidental oil spillage in the waters of Alaska I remember the colossal amount of money this company spent in repairing this damage. If Chevron could do this in the United States why can’t it and other foreign oil companies do the same in Nigeria? Or is Nigeria destined to be a place where everybody from any part of the world would come and pour shit and excreta and go away unscathed while many of them outside Nigeria would not give many a Nigerian any respite, even when the Nigerian is seen to obey the laws of the host nation they reside in? No doubt what is happening in the Niger Delta is a joint criminal activity between the Nigerian governments and these oil companies but the latter should not hide under the hood of the crass and ignoble acts of the Nigerian government to do in Nigeria what they (the oil companies) would not dare do in their home countries. It is really a sin crying to Heaven for vengeance.

And events in the distant past and the present with respect to the Nigerian government have not mitigated all these sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance. It is normally said in one of Nigerian languages that if you called your beautiful china dish a trash can then the neighbours would throw garbage and other human refuse into it. Among the successive governments Nigeria has had I should venture to state here that the Obasanjo government has been the worst that had the interest of the nation and its nationals, vis-à-vis, the international community at heart. Even the Abacha government that had been berated in other aspects of governance did not tolerate as much the kind of disgrace meted to Nigerians resident abroad. Starting from the Balewa administration Nigeria had had Africa as the centrepiece of its foreign policy but extended hands of fellowship to other parts of the world provided Nigerians were treated with respect both in Nigeria and outside it. Anything short of this was remedied in the usual tit-for-tat response and applied proportionately in accordance with the laws of Nigeria and international law. There have been cases where a foreigner called a Nigerian a ‘Black Monkey’. The government of the day did not waste any time in giving this foreigner the marching order and this defaulting foreigner left the country within 48 hours. If the Nigerian government had reacted this way in this relatively small matter then one can conclude the type of reaction Nigeria visited on any foreigner who ventured into something more serious against Nigeria and Nigerians. And these periods were when Nigerians enjoyed immense respect all over the world, in spite of the fact that Nigeria had not fully begun to make a lot of money from petroleum resources.

CONTINUED FROM PART 1

Some of our so-called African brothers who are now enjoying the much vaunted majority rule, especially in Southern Africa, have turned against Nigeria and have forgotten so quickly the role, whether direct or tangential, Nigeria played in seeing that this majority rule came to pass. It was the military government of this same Obasanjo who, without batting the eyelid, nationalised British companies in Nigeria as a way of twisting the hands of Britain to grant Zimbabwe majority rule. And it was said that, following this action by Obasanjo’s military government, Margaret Thatcher cried. And Nigeria’s diplomatic whiplash did not fail in seeing the emergence of a South Africa where majority rule became a legal and political order. I remember when the government of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, at the heat of the 1993 transition to civil rule, ordered the American Ambassador to Nigeria to leave Nigeria within 48 hours for commenting on the internal affairs of Nigeria. Did this cause America to retaliate? No! Did this cause any change in policy between Nigeria and the United States? No! This is how a government should behave when it feels that its citizens and the nation are being infringed upon or violated by foreigners or foreign nations and it is a standard practice anywhere.

But what has been happening of recent? Now Nigerians in Nigeria are being vilified, ridiculed and tortured by foreigners; tortured by foreigners in Nigeria! And the Nigerian government would not do a thing. Even the police that were supposed to take up these kinds of criminal investigations seem to have been hamstrung. Even as of now if a dispute exists between a Nigerian and a foreigner living in Nigeria, the standard approach by the police is to look at this Nigerian guilty until he proves himself innocent! There have been many reports where foreigners, some of them without a single current immigration paper, have beaten their Nigerian employees black and blue, with or without provocation. And the Nigerian government of the day did nothing! There are many foreigners residing in Nigeria without the adequate immigration papers and the Nigerian authorities have never stopped any of them on the street to demand their identification. This is the kind of ordeal many a Nigerian resident overseas, in fact all over the world, face in the hands of police and immigration authorities; and even when these Nigerians’ papers are in order these uniformed hooligans will go to any length to provoke these Nigerians in order to have justifications for sticking charges against them! Asking the appropriate Nigerian missions in these foreign countries for help would be like attempting to squeeze water out of granite.

The lackadaisical attitude of the Nigerian government of the day, especially that of Obasanjo of late, has grown to the extent that even other African countries have been thumbing their noses at Nigeria and its government to a stage that a Zimbabwean newspaper cartoonist once cartooned Obasanjo stooping down to shine George Bush’s shoes! That cartoon, just like a picture that speaks more than a thousand words, captured Obasanjo’s ‘shaky-shaky’, jelly-like and cowardly attitude before the international community. And, needless to say, that explains why other African countries have decided to be treating Nigerians with contempt, in spite of the fact that Nigeria has always been the largest financial contributor to most of the African institutions of the continent. And this contempt has been without exception for, when people like Wole Soyinka and Father Matthew Kuka had tasted such ugly and embarrassing ridicule, then one can extrapolate what lesser mortals could have faced in the hands of these fellow Africans. Yes, Nigeria has always decided to tolerate these shoddy treatments by fellow Africans in the name of African unity. Where in the law, international or local, has it been stated that Nigeria should and must continue to turn the other cheek when other African countries decide to subject Nigerian citizens to ridicule? If there is a law to that effect then it is my humble submission here that it should be abrogated forthwith! If other African countries think that Nigeria is a country in Africa then they must treat Nigeria with the respect it deserves as a member of the African community for the reason that, in spite of the nation’s internal problems, Nigeria still has greater clout than many an African country in any international forum. But if other African countries must insist on ridiculing Nigeria then it would be foolhardy for Nigeria to continue to take such insults. I bet that Nigeria can, in spite of its internal problems, still do without most of these African countries. In fact I’m looking forward to a situation where Nigeria should develop a policy where it should centre on Nigeria and Nigeria only and let’s see how it would fare with the rest of these African countries. In fact focusing on Nigeria and Nigeria only could begin to make the nation’s policy makers to realise the immense potential present in this country. The recent situation whereby Nigerians have begun to run to South Africa for medical treatment or even for other technical consultations is something that galls the stomach. Are we saying that South Africa has better brains than Nigeria? Even the Whites that still dominate the strategic areas in South Africa would not dare say that Nigerians are not brains to be reckoned with.

The versatility and ingenuity of Nigerians have never been in doubt in Western countries and, in fact, round the world. But the problem these Nigerians face all over the world is the act of hooliganism perpetrated by the so-called police and other security agents whose duty it is to protect all residents, be they citizens or foreigners. And even when a foreigner transgresses the law the constitutions and laws of these countries must guarantee them the much-vaunted declaration that a suspect is innocent until found guilty. And that is why the dastardly event that led to the death of this Nigerian aboard the Iberian Airline is something the Nigerian government must handle with the firmness and seriousness it deserves if the nation does not want to begin the process of receiving body bags containing dead Nigerians from all parts of the world. In a situation like this the entire world is watching to see what Nigeria would do. In fact the situation could be likened to a Nigerian aphorism to the effect that, when the house rat has bitten slightly the foot of a man and has stepped back to watch the man’s reaction, if the man waves the act away the rat will come back again and this time it will strike much harder.

It has been argued in some quarters that Nigeria should always behave maturely in situations like this in order to show the rest of the world that we are a nation of mature individuals. In my view, that is a kind of fable consigned to the erstwhile NTA programme, ‘Tales by Moonlight’. Gone are the days when a nation would turn its other cheek when it has been struck by an aggressor. That is an archaic rule of international law. Would anyone suggest, by any stretch of the imagination, that what happened to this Nigerian aboard the Iberian Airline would have been done to a European or an American? Would anyone suggest that such an act could have been perpetrated to a Middle Easterner? Bullies are not fools for they know their limits and when they see the rattlesnake they immediately know how to handle it otherwise the rattlesnake could show them the stuff and mettle it is made of. Nigeria has cheapened itself and has made its citizens to become cannon fodders and the punching bags of every other nation on earth. We were told that when this Nigerian died aboard this aircraft the captain of the plane developed cold feet in fear of what could happen to them should they get to Nigeria with a dead body in a body bag. That was a genuine fear but my guess would have been that Nigeria would not have done a thing should the dead body arrive Nigeria in that aircraft. The usual red carpet treatment accorded foreigners would have occurred in brazen oblivion to the fact that Spanish authorities had murdered a Nigerian in a Spanish-owned aircraft and brought home a body bag.

We were told that Nigeria had made representations to the European Union. We are told that Nigeria has sent a delegation to the Kingdom of Spain. We are told that the Kingdom of Spain has promised to investigate the matter. My guess on this matter will be that the verdict will come up with cooked up damning evidence against the deceased to the effect that this dastardly act by the Spanish hooligans in police uniform would only attract a tap on their wrists. And, with the Spanish belief that Nigerians are money hungry people, a sum of a few thousands of dollars could be thrown at the family of the deceased in a take-it-or-leave-it mode. And with this, the Nigerian government would, no doubt, sit back and thump their chests in the Julius Caesar way of ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’. The European Union may not do a thing for it would turn round to remind Nigeria that Spain is a sovereign nation and so should be left to handle the situation the way it deems fit within the ambits of Spanish law. Fine, but this same European Union would be saying this, oblivious to the fact that there are standing directives, treaty articles that make it mandatory that all Member States of the European Union must make sure that human rights are respected in all their dealings in accordance with democratic principles, failing which the relevant articles of the Treaty on European Union would take its toll and this could include a suspension of that Member State from the European Union. But until this scenario happens I keep my fingers crossed. This is a test case for the European Union for it would determine whether the human rights acts that have pervaded the length and breadth of the entire supra organisation are meant for certain species of the human race only.

But while all these are being awaited Nigeria should now forget about the so-called mature-man syndrome and join the rest of the world in handling all agents-provocateur the way they deserve. Nigeria should remember that, just as Nigerians live in foreign countries, foreigners equally live in Nigeria. And so any occasion, like in the instant case, where a Nigerian has been so cruelly treated in a foreign land, Nigeria should quickly retaliate on an equal measure on a national of that provoking country resident in Nigeria. That makes events to be at par. Then both sides could begin the process of mending fence. The era of turning the other cheek is gone and should be gone forever. If the offending country says, ‘I’m sorry’, Nigeria will equally say the same. Once this happens then the watching world would get to know that there is now a changed Nigeria; that Nigeria and Nigerians could no longer be taken for granted. Nigerians should cease to be too hard on themselves and always agree with the international community that Nigerians are all armed robbers, thieves, rogues, drug pushers and 419ers. No, criminality is a worldwide phenomenon. In fact I’m yet to see a country whose legal order is devoid of the criminal law. The very fact that that aspect of law is present in all legal orders means that crime is of universal occurrence and the citizens of all nations and of all races are susceptible to this evil concupiscence.

Therefore this self-recrimination and the mea culpa syndrome should not becloud the fact that all governments of the world should endeavour to stamp out criminality in their midst. But, while doing this, these governments, especially the Nigerian government, must endeavour at all times to protect all Nigerians living within and outside its borders. If the Nigerian government begins to wonder what the international community would say or do should it decide to become hard on any nation intent on ridiculing, disgracing and, with a new offshoot, to kill Nigerians in any part of the world, then that government is not worth its salt. Come to think of it, what do you think other nations would do should Nigeria decide to turn around and begin to assert without fear its rights within the international community and adopt the ‘eye-for-an eye’ principle?

People could say that Nigeria would be branded a pariah state! That’s absolute nonsense! In fact a country that does not cater for or protect its citizens living within and outside its borders is a veritable pariah state and should be qualified to lose its seat at the United Nations and other international bodies. A country whose government looks like a ‘mumu’ or a moron while its citizens are bludgeoned by trigger-happy hooligans in uniforms in foreign countries and at home has lost the status of a country and should submit to the United Nations as a protected territory. Every international organisation is centred on the national units that agglomerate to form such an organisation and so the individual country is very important. And that is why every country in the world pursues programmes and agenda that are, in the first place and importantly, principally in its own interest, no matter what other nations may think. And if the Nigerian government does not place as its priority the safety of its citizens at home and abroad then I wonder what other priority that Nigerian government would be pursuing. Other nations have held the international community to ransom as a result of pursuit of programmes inimical to peace and global security but have those countries been wiped off the map? Of course not! We know how much it took the world to cajole North Korea into agreeing to abandon its nuclear weapon project. It is only now that the Asian country has agreed to back-pedal but not without fulfilling its dream of becoming a nuclear power. The Iranian nuclear project is another pain in the ass of major powers of the world to the extent that when Iran sneezes some of these powers would catch a cold. Has Iran not dared all these powers to carry out their veiled threats at using violence on the Middle East nation? Has any of these powers considered it feasible to do so? Has the world not resorted to dialoguing with Iran and even promising to bankroll the nuclear project provided it was for peaceful purpose? Has Iran not defied all these soothing moves at every stage of the negotiation? Has the President of Iran not attended all the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York, the very heart of its archenemy, the United States? Even in these meetings has this Iranian president not used the opportunity to further his agenda by making direct addresses to the people of the United States to the chagrin of the US? All these go to show the sacredness of a nation and resigned inability of any nation to just take up arms and begin to bludgeon a recalcitrant nation on account of the fact that the recalcitrant nation is doing with seems to the entire world to be repugnant to commonsense, civility and world peace.

So if these countries should go this hog to do all these then what prevents Nigeria from going the whole hog to see that the Nigerian citizens are protected everywhere they are, be they in Nigeria or abroad? Will such an act not be as legitimate before any form of legal order? Why should Nigeria be trembling like jelly before international communities for fear of sanctions from them or for fear of what people might say? Look, I say it loud and clear now, most of these members of the international community need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs them. Many of them would wish to have what Nigeria has. No nation can afford to turn its back on Nigeria without feeling the obvious inconveniences that would result from such a foolish act. Not even America can afford to do that. They may all rave and rant at whatever Nigeria may decide to do at any circumstance or situation but at the end they will toe the line dictated by Nigeria. This is the immense power Nigeria seems not to realise it has within the international community! An extreme and quick example will buttress this assertion. In spite of the series of kidnappings happening in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria the released foreign hostages either quickly go back to their work or first go back to their countries and return again to continue their work in the oil fields of this kidnapping Delta Region! I leave this short anecdote as food for thought for the policymakers in Nigeria.

In conclusion, Nigeria should begin seriously to ward off these spates of warfare levelled against its citizens both home and abroad. In any instance of hostility perpetrated against any Nigerian living overseas an equal and proportionate hostility must be visited on a Nigerian-based national of that offending country on a tit-for-tat basis. This is the only way Nigeria should show the rest of the world that violence and hostility are not the exclusive preserve of anybody. Let the nation stop this show of showing the other cheek when struck. Go ahead and strike the aggressor as hard. That’s the only way the country would regain its respect in the international community. Meanwhile we await the result of the Spanish Inquisition.

DANBOYI GOMSUK

The growing international war of violence against Nigeria and Nigerians (Part 1)
By Danboyi Gomsuk
http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/the-growing-international-war-of-violence-against-nigeria-and-nige.html
http://thevoiceforum.org/node/556

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