*Coalition demands apology from Ambassador over US Country report, Campbell’s report*

March 25th, 2019

Following an utterly biased election post-mortem and Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative has demanded an apology from United States Consulate in Nigeria.

Ex-Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, had cast a racial slur on Nigeria with his article for the Council on Foreign Relations, claiming the country is incapable of managing her own affairs.

Mr Campbell rubbished the last presidential election, as he believes it does not inspire confidence in the democratic trajectory of Africa’s most populous country.

In a clapback, however, the Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative ordered Mr Campbell to forthwith retract his so-called post.

The group made the strong demand in a letter addressed to the US Embassy by Egbunu Abutu Daniel, its Secretary General.

“ The first issue is the election post-mortem done for the for the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington DC by your predecessor, Mr. John Campbell, in which he cast the worst racial slur imaginable on Nigeria and the African continent at large by tacitly implying that Africans are incapable of managing their own affairs.

“ Mr. Campbell’s assertion in his post-mortem that “Nigerians have begun to question whether democracy is right for their country” is apparently aimed at setting the grounds for Nigeria to descend into chaos. The statement, from our perspective, tallies with the concerns that had earlier been raised about how the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been making overtures to military officers to stage a coup, transit to interim government and transfer power to the PDP candidate, Mr Atiku Abubakar.

“ We wish to bring to your attention that the so-called post-mortem contained other insinuations that were calculated to incite supporters of the opposition to stage violent protests. This it sought to achieve through the claim that Mr Abubakar will lose his challenge of the election result in court, an assertion that is guaranteed to stir anger among his supporters, who have incidentally shown a disproportionate disposition to violence.

“ Any argument that Mr Campbell wrote his election post-mortem for the Council on Foreign Relations and could not have been a state backed operation is defeated with the publication of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018 at about the same time. The report was published the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, which leaves the United States with the burden of liability. “

Prior to the former Ambassador’s piece, the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, the US Embassy in Abuja, had published a report seemingly aimed at undermining the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the Nigerian Army.

The Coalition, however, joined the rest of the world to condemn the report.

“ The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, unsurprisingly, was dedicated to sending out the wrong signals about Nigeria. This was apparently done in the belief that these negative messaging about Nigeria would catalyze some sort of citizens’ revolt against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari leading to a forceful change of government.

“ The actual objective of the report became obvious in the sections that accorded Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists greater legitimacy than the Armed Forces of Nigeria that are fighting them to keep the citizens safe. We noted how the report specifically targeted the Army, Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) for demonization. Accusations that these agencies were high handed on terrorists could only have been intended for terrorists’ recruiters to deploy as props when they are attempting to gain new members.

“ Since the report emanated from the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, the US Embassy in Abuja would have had the chance to make input while you would have signed off on the aspect about Nigeria, at least the embassy in Nigeria would have validated the claims made in the document and that is assuming the contents were not mostly generated under your supervision.

“ Irrespective of whether your predecessor, Mr Campbell wrote his election post-mortem in a personal capacity or not, and not minding that Nigeria is just one of the nations analyzed in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, the Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative hereby demands that the United States tender an unreserved apology to people and government of Federal Republic of Nigeria for malicious publication and promotion of falsehood about the country in a manner that is injurious to it as a nation.

“ The apology we are demanding must come with a commitment from the United States government and persons or organizations acting in its interest to cease and desist from further publishing reports, commentaries or analyses targeted at undermining stability of Nigeria.

“ A failure to tender the apology within reasonable time shall compel us to taking measures to educate Nigerians to resist the racist-oriented US interference in the affairs of Nigeria. We shall also do our best to criminalize the series of exchange programmes targeted at Nigerians youths such that the US will no longer have cohorts from Nigeria for such programmes.”

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