OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
Federal Republic of Nigeria
ATTENTION: President Muhammad Buhari (GCFR)
UNLOCK THE LOCKDOWN THAT YOUR PEOPLE MAY RECOVER AND REJOICE.
Your Excellency, trust this letter meets you well. This open letter is predicated on the fact that given various protocols, we can’t be able to meet with you before your anticipated direct broadcast or directive by proxy on Monday, 1st June, 2020. However, the openness of the letter is more democratic so that our people and Nigerians will know about our concerns and contributions in this stead. Our people says that a small snake one person sees often turn to python.
Your Excellency, NDI-IGBO UNITED FORUM (NUF) Worldwide is a Sociopolitical Organization committed to Igbo Unity, Welfare, Interest, general accountability and good governance. May we graciously remind you of our earlier interventions in this era of “Nigeria Version of ravaging” COVID-19 pandemic. First, through various correspondences that was widely published and circulated, at inception we applauded your efforts and plausible steps to contain the pandemic especially in the restriction of internal movements and interstate lockdown movement of persons and goods not classified as essential services and part of essential services. Secondly, we condemned movement of corpses especially COVID-19 victims from wherever to Southeast and urged our people to bury loved ones wherever they are or keep such corpses till after the lockdown and follow all necessary protocols to do the needful. We further appealed to our people to remain wherever they are to reduce transmission while calling on security agencies posted to boarders to ensure that they discharge their duties creditably always. We raised the red flag before the concealed mass movement of Almajiris and other neighbouring citizens’ influx into the Southeast and questioned why Security agencies and Alhaji Aliko Dangote should allow his trucks to be used for such illicit movements though we understand that he has since denied his complicity in the scheme.
Our President, regrettably in spite of your efforts and that of personal and committed efforts of some State Governors, Health Minister, NCDC, NMA and other agencies the scourge of transmission increased but has considerably reduced as we all can attest. The citizen’s doubts about the potency and acclaimed presence of COVID-19 arose from inability to see pictures and videos of treatment centres, interviews with discharged victims and inability of alleged positively tested citizens to see results of their own tests. More worrisome are catholic of avoidable deaths recorded through crude methodologies of the lockdown by law enforcement agents especially the Police. Sad tales abound daily of your fellow countrymen dying more in numbers than recorded deaths in the hands of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Your Excellency, through reports by your aids and Intelligence (if they are not economical with the truth as obtained in corridors of power) if they are not self serving and sycophants you would have come to terms that the last 8 to 10 weeks depending on citizen’s location have been excruciating with many families going hungry daily, broad day begging, increased molestations, homes are breaking up, most children unable to join online classes for several reasons, palliative of any sort not getting to 80% of citizens, most salaries stopped or cut and majority of jobs already lost and more to go. We are sure that you’re not unaware of the compromising attitude of some security operatives which necessitated some governors converting to guards and controllers in their States all in a bid to checkmate illicit movements, hence corporate and coordinated failure of security system. Needless to inform you that combination of deaths from acute hunger, citizen’s inability to access medical facilities for other ailments in emergency situations, Police/Civil Defence brutality and accidental discharges, fatal accidents to avoid security confrontations by motorists are surely higher in number than deaths from reported COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr President, must your people continue this way? For how long? Who will bail the cat? Our people say “an elder doesn’t stay at home and watch a goat deliver while in rope.” Nigerians have suffered enough. The poor keep begging for survival from the average and rich but the average and rich are overstretched now, empty, gasping for breath and need corporate palliative themselves more than the poor but can’t shout.
In view of Your Excellency’s expected broadcast or directive please kindly consider the following:
1. Please unlock the interstate movements of persons to enable people caught up to return to base, reengage in businesses and gradually return back to normal life. Commence gradual and controlled reopening of our country borders to inject life back to people as well.
2. Let there be phased reopening of schools based on protocols that may be put in place. Markets should be opened as well.
3. Direct the security agencies to properly debrief their men. They need to know to avoid further avoidable deaths arising from ignorance of pronouncements. Furthermore, families affected by various brutalities must be compensated. Let our security equally brace up to post COVID-19 pandemic security issues that MUST arise.
4. Put general enduring palliatives in place that will touch lives of Nigerians beyond rice, garri and indomie. Reduce prices of PMS, kerosene and cooking gas.
5. Enforce earlier Ministerial announcement to Distribution Companies to supply free energy (electricity) to Nigerians for two months. We are aware that Distribution Companies (DISCOS) have gone to court to stop you Mr President, from their so called interference with their businesses borne out of their selfishness and colonization mentality. Please our President, you should revoke their licences if they flaunt your esteemed directive to serve your people.
Finally, Your Excellency, unlocking the lockdown is the best at this time while necessary curfew and safety protocols will still subsists that your people may be free, recover and rejoice from Monday, 1st June, 2020. Our dear President, hunger driven people cannot obey any form of protocol hence they become victims in the hands of security agents who are victims themselves.
Please Your Excellency, kindly accept the assurances of our responsible organization as we remain,
Mazi Agodi KANU
36 State Governors