What Is Good For Britain Suffices For Nigeria - An Open Leter To The U.k Ambassador
Ambassador Catriona Laing, Embassy of the United Kingdom, Abuja.
Dear Madam Ambassador, Standing Protocols Observed,
Madam Ambassador, I believe I have seen a video clip of you speaking pidgin English and more definitely, one of you dancing creditably to the local Afrobeat, so I guess you pride yourself and probably claim to know more about Nigeria than many of your predecessors. But apparently not nearly enough, because sadly I have also seen another video clip of you advising Nigerians to be proud of the last shabbily conducted General Elections. I meant to advise you publicly then but thought the better of it, deciding to let it slide.
Your most recent video clip in which you opined that Nigeria’s supposedly Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ought to have explained the glitches which prevented them from obeying their own electoral guidelines during the last Presidential Elections in Nigeria left a very sour taste in my mouth. I hope you meant well and issued the advice in good faith as you deemed necessary, but it rankled my sensibilities all the same. Simply put, you do not have to coach INEC on how to manufacture excuses that will not be tolerated back in your home country.
Let I and I bring you up to speed.
In case you are unaware, Nigeria's Minister of Disinformation and Liar Extraordinaire, recently claimed, authoritatively as usual, in faraway Washington DC, that there was no glitch during the presidential elections, but rather that INEC was stopped from following its own published electoral guidelines.
By whom exactly, he did not say.
Clearly like most Nigerians, you discount his testimony given his delusional track record as well as that of the Maladministration he so worthlessly serves. Nigerians will not blame you for your
lack of faith in his feckless utterances. What Nigerians do not want you to do however, is to become a life coach to INEC.
One clear month after the elections, INEC has not been able to manufacture credible explanations for its glitches, probably because Nigerians and their votes do not matter, or that there were none.
It is not an easy feat to rise to the glorified rank of Ambassador, not to mention Ambassador of a G7 nation. Ambassadorship is not one for fools. That position we know, is meant for intelligent, smart, and accomplished people, one of which you are. So, you are aware that INEC has proffered no explanations for its lacuna beyond the curt, bland, self-serving, umbrella term of “glitches,” which failure prompted your advice,
Since you are aware of that omission and dereliction, which subsists two clear months after the ill-fated Nigeria’s presidential elections, that should ordinarily tell you that there is more to the glitches than meets the eyes.
This brings I man to wonder whether Britons who you represent in Nigeria will gladly tolerate a British institution that behaves so arrogantly, treats the British people with so much disdain, and conducts itself in a manner that condescendingly suggests Britons and their votes do not matter?
Will Britons condone a public institution that conducts its statutory business so shabbily, and so unprofessionally, despite huge tax-payer investment for the proper conduct of its duties and responsibilities?
While you ponder this, remember what happened to former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who was dismissed from the exalted office of Prime-Minister for holding private parties at No. 10 Downing Street after his Government had instituted a policy of social distancing during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
You may recall that all of Boris Johnson's explanations over several months and before a panel of investigation did not suffice to assuage the anger of the British people. It was not because the British are wicked and unforgiving but simply because a fundamental principle of public trust had been breached and all actions carry consequences. He ended up losing his exalted position for that and other indiscretions.
I and I also recall that former British Defense Minister Michael Fallon resigned from the British Cabinet in 2017 after a sexual misconduct allegation.
Given this intolerance in Britain of comparatively less significant failures to live up to the high moral demands of public office, why do you infer and dare to suggest to Nigerians that they should accept INEC's yet unexpressed explanations for its egregious failings simply because ‘democracy is a process and not an event?’
That smirks of utter derision and many Nigerians take utmost exception, and feel insulted, and humiliated by your unsolicited advice, which reeks of profound condescension. What is good for Britain is equally good for Nigeria, namely honest, professional conduct by people in public office. Trying to rationalize and justify misconduct and shoddiness adds salt to an open wound.
For your information, Nigerians insist on the day of reckoning coming for INEC and its Chairman who was the returning officer for the atrociously conducted Presidential Elections. Not only should he lose his position, but he should also go to jail in accordance with Nigeria's extant Electoral Laws, if found guilty.
This will serve as a deterrent and dissuasion to future occupiers of his exalted position to prevent them from ever contemplating towing a similar ignominious path.
Nigerians may be poorer today and more insecure after the spectacularly disastrous tenure of the Buhari Maladministration, but please, please, please, British envoys to Nigeria in particular, and the British Government, should treat our sensibilities with greater respect.
What is good for Britain is equally good for Nigeria, no more and no less.
Great Britain did not become great by tolerating nincompoops and morally, ethically, or health challenged persons to remain in public office, behaving as they please.
The New Nigeria, which suffocated Nigerians are trying to build, and so clearly without the United Kingdom’s help to date, shall be no different.
We are watching .
Anthony C. Konwea, PhD, P.E.
Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.