Right of Reply : Nigeria and John Campbell

Source: huhuonline.com

When my attention was first drawn to John Campbell second writeup

within a week of his earlier write up titled nigeria on the brink to

which i replied , i was initially tempted to agree with the suggestion

to ignore the attention seeking and disingenuous  prophet of doom .

The strength  of that suggestion lies in the fact that John Campbells

view do not represent that  of the current American administration  He

is now retired  . Moreover John Campbell i am told belongs to a small

minority of observers of the Nigerian situation who are jocularly

referred to  as the pessimists. But i later thought of the need to

point out some contradictions in his thesis  and hope that he will let

Nigeria be
Within a period of two weeks John Campbell had predicted the

worstcase scenario for post 2011 election nigeria based on half

truths. contradictory statements serious bias, ignorance and

mischievous intentions. In an earlier article Nigeria On The Brink  ,

John Campbell presented a picture of a neat division of nigeria into

muslim north and christian south . This time around, he  admits that

there is an overlapping between twhat he calls the north and the south

but still quotes people he called credible observers as saying that

clashes between these two parts had since 1999 resulted in the death

of 12000 people  One is left to wonder the basis of John Campbells

In his earlier article on the brink Campbell ,  talks of the

stabilising factor of the big man in politics who  imposed a

President and that the absence of such a factor could be the cause for

a crisis . He makes so much of the absence of  an elite consensus One

is inclined to believe that John Campbell is a democrat and that if

there has been elite consensus in the western democracies, we would

not have  a vibrant Labour, and Tory and Liberal parties in  Britain

and neither would there be a vibrant Republican party working hard to

wrest control of the house and senate from the Democrats and within

the GOP the emergence of the Tea party.  The truth is that for people

like Campbell , Nigeria nay Afrrica is not ripe for people centred

democracy ;. one in which the people would freely elect their leaders

and where the vote of every one will count with party primaties

democratically conducted. This is what Nigerians are looking forward

to and not the 2007 scenario
In his earlier article Campbell made so much of what would happen if

what he calls the north feel that the zoning formula was breached and

a southerner becomes President . This time around ,he is  predicting

that the militants in the Nigerdelta would riot and disturb oil

production if Jonathan does not win . Campbell seems to have made up

his mind that whichever way the election goes, Nigeria would explode .

He is in for a shocker The simple truth is that We nigerians have made

up our mind to conduct a free fair and credible election that will

commnd local and international acceptance  To this end , we have put

in place an independent Electoral ,commission headed by individuals of

proven integrity and who have been working night and day to deliver

credible results . Mischievous and ill digested comments like that of

Campbell will not distract them
A greater part of the article by Campbell sounded more like a

journey into Fantasy land as to how after the election there would be

communal violence , breakdown of law and order, and a possible coup .

He then went on to pontificate on the consequences to UN peace effort

and the United state global political, and economic objectives with

particular reference to Africa . Nigerians are not unaware of their

leadership role in Africa and our responsibility in creating a

politically stable Nigeria which will promote and encourage the

sustainance of  democracy good governance  rule of law, and human

rights in Africa . This is why we are resoved to get it right this

time regardless of John Campbells and his ilk
  What worries me is that i am convinced that John campbell knows that

some of his assumptions, facts and hypothesis are wrong . I would not

expect a man who had served as ambassador to a country to wish that

country so ill . Most ambassadors look with favour and wish the best

for countries where they have been priviledged to serve  This is why

some of John Campbells colleagues who have served in Nigeria have been

shocked and astounded by his damaging articles the timing of which has

been so insensitive and mischievous . It is the responsibility of the

United states government to choose whoever they like as the ambassador

to Nigeria . But our prayer is that May the like of John Campbell

never come our way again.  
By Prof. Ade Adefuye