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FOLLOWING THE INCLUSION OF NIGERIA ON TERRORIST WATCH LIST, RIVERS STATE AC LAEDERSHIP CALLS FOR DIALOGUE AS THE BEST OPTION FOR THE FG RATHER THAN SEVERING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE US

By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

We have read with avid interest the deluge of commentaries following the botched terror attempt on Christmas Day to bomb a Detroit-bound airliner carrying 300 passengers by a Nigerian Farouk Abdulmutallab. Following this despicable incident, the US immediately included Nigeria on its Terror watch list, a list that is the sole preserve of countries that pose a high security risk to the US in its fight against terrorism.

Following Nigeria's inclusion on the list that contains names of fourteen other countries, a heavy crackdown on Nigerians travelling internationally has taken immediate effect.

Whilst we join the FG and every other well meaning Nigerian to unreservedly condemned Abdulmutallab's actions, we also in the same vein empathise with the US for what would have undoubtedly been a dastardly blow in its war against terror. Having said this, we acknowledge that the US has the wherewithal to react in whatsoever way they choose following this event. We however would like to state as a matter of expediency, that a modicum of diplomacy may very well be the best option at this point.

We also would like to use this opportunity to dissuade the Nigerian Senate from its planned proposal to sever all ties from the US at the end of a 7 day ultimatum given to the US to remove Nigeria from the Terror watch list. The implications and consequences for such an action if carried out may not be in the interest of the general citizenry.

Security reports have stated that this young man currently undergoing trial for the offence has ties to extremist groups in the Middle East. Be that as it may, we consider this act a sad commentary of the state of affairs the majority of our youths find themselves in today under the sad leadership of the PDP. Today, we cannot proudly state that we have a nation as PDP and its leaders have rendered us useless before the comity of nations. Our kids and graduates have no future as those who struggle to go through our dysfunctional educational system have no jobs to look forward to. Today, we cannot claim we have a President as we are kept in the dark as to his welfare or whereabout. Security of life and property in the country is no longer guaranteed. The wanton destruction of lives and property in the cause of religious crisis in the North is reason enough for us to be disparaged by the world.

The world will never take us serious until such a time we allow the people to determine who rules them and not according to the dictates of PDP and its leaders. We will continue to fool ourselves as a nation when we cannot allow due process and the constitution hold sway in the case of an absentte President.

As we pray the US to remove the name of our country from the terrorist watch list for the sake of many Nigerians of good stature and character who travel a lot, we pray Nigerians to

unite to craft solutions to our common problem which is the mismanagement of the nation's resources by the PDP Government at the centre. Until PDP and its agents of woe are tactically ushered out of power it is sad to portend the myriad of woes await the Nation and its citizenry come 2011.

In conclusion, we choose at this point to reflect on the words of our Leader, Prince Tonye Princewill shortly after the incident, “In 2003 Richard "shoe bomber" Reid tried to do the same thing as Abdul Muttalab. Nobody placed England on any list. Could the reason we are on a list be because Obama has little confidence in our leadership's ability to address the challenge. Should we blame him, should we blame ourselves or should we just look closely at how we can improve our

image again which is it going to be? Let us remember the word

responsibility”.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
Publicity Secretary, Rivers State AC