The Nigerian-Americans have berated President Barack Obama, the United States Government and Federal Government of Nigeria over what they described as disturbing silence in the wake of growing pro-Biafrian agitation sweeping across the South-east and parts of South-south geopolitical zones of the country.
Using the #ObamaDoMore, the umbrella organisation of Nigerian-American youths, expressed their views in a protest Monday (November 16, 2015) at the US Embassy, Abuja where they submitted an open letter to President Obama on the Biafran protests.
According to the president of group under the aegis of ‘33 International’, Ms. Barbeth Elise, the “Nigerian-American descent, Nigerians and Americans living in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are very concerned about the disturbing silence of President Obama and the US Government to the current pro-Biafra protests sweeping through South-east and South-south Nigeria.”
Elise said the matter was especially disturbing “because over three people have been confirmed dead from stray bullets by Nigerian soldiers during the peaceful protests that have seen as much as 10,000 youths storm the streets of Port Harcourt.”
She noted that what started as an arrest of a single man, Nnamdi Kanu, by the Department of State Security (DSS) has turned into a situation that is without a doubt a bomb waiting to detonate, warning that it could cause massive unrest in Nigeria as more protests are being staged around the country, with the Nigerian government showing no signs of actions to quell the crisis whatsoever.
She said: “It is with a heavy heart that we remind President Obama and the US government that these same ‘Biafra’ sentiments now intoxicating the jobless and irritated mostly “Igbo” youths to a frenzy on the streets of Imo, Owerri, Enugu, Asaba and Port Harcourt led to one of the most devastating wars in Nigeria’s history: the Biafran war, which caused the alarming loss of up to three million lives.
“We also want to remind President Obama of the dangerous connection of the “Biafra territory” to the Niger Delta which is currently suffering a re-surge in violence as a result of the chronic poverty and catastrophic oil pollution which fueled the earlier Niger-Delta conflicts and have remained largely unsolved.”
Speaking further, Elise condemned the alleged threats by Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar to crush the pro-Biafra protesters with military action, adding that violence is most assuredly not the solution and will quickly escalate the crisis.
She urged President Obama to appeal to the Nigerian military that brutalisation and human rights abuse by the Nigerian security agencies are not the way to go.
According to her, “the right to peaceful protest is an integral part of a democratic society, which both the U.S and Nigeria have fought tirelessly to ensure Nigeria rightfully becomes.”
As a form of proactive response, the umbrella body of Nigerian-Americans called on President Obama to create a special commission to intervene in the Pro-Biafra upheavals.
“We Nigerian-Americans, Nigerians, and Americans in Nigeria believe this is the right time for President Obama and the US government to act before the situation gets out of control,” the group remarked.
Submitted by Okocha Aba