Don’t destroy Nigeria – US warns

February 14th, 2018

*Buhari under a trance, says Soyinka

*Urges citizens to resist herdsmen killing

By Samuel Ogidan and Gift Chapi Odekina

The United States has warned Nigerians against destroying their country as they prepare for the 2019 general elections.

Apparently referring to the persistent killings across the country, Washington cautioned Nigerians to know that “there won’t be Nigerians without Nigeria”.

The warning came from the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, when he visited the House of Representatives (Special) Committee on Nigerian-United States Inter-Parliamentary Relations headed by Hon. Johnson Agbonayinma.

Symington spoke as Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, took a swipe at the manner President Muhammadu Buhari handles burning national issues.

Soyinka said that after appraising Buhari’s leadership style, he had come to the inevitable conclusion that the President “is under a trance”.

In his admonition, Symington tasked Nigerians to embrace “peace, unity, togetherness, free enterprise, not only in the country, but also to its neighbouring countries, adding that there should be a connection between the leaders and the people.

The envoy noted that the success of democracy in Nigeria will on the long run affect the survival of democracy globally, and charged the Federal Government to fight “terrorism, promote economic integration and competitiveness”.

Symington noted that Nigeria is profoundly full of citizens who want to have a say in the development of their country.

Earlier, Agbonayinma told the Ambassador that Nigeria is seeking the support of other nations to get to its desire goal.

He said: “We ask for your support Mr. Ambassador on the repatriation of our stolen wealth stashed away in the United States by corrupt persons. These are proceeds of crime and they should be brought back for the development of our country.

In an interview with journalists in Lagos, Soyinka who was asked what he would tell Buhari if he meets him face to face, said: “I will say to him, Mr. President, I think you are under a trance.

“Too many things are happening now which made me say that. I think he is under a trance”.

He added that the sooner the President gets out of the trance, the better for Nigeria.

On the form of trance he thinks Buhari was in, the literary icon said he did not know but could be attributed to the “errors” by the current administration.

He said: “I don’t know. So many unforced errors! Take for instance the reinstatement of the fellow who was sacked from NHIS (suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf). He was reinstated by the President.

“What is that about? What is going on? It is a certain kind of alienation from reality is going on,” Soyinka stated.

Soyinka added that the phenomenon of attacks by armed herdsmen needs organised resistance by Nigerians.

He described the armed herdsmen as a new breed of Boko Haram and internal colonialists.

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