On the Addition of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the US Transport Securit

10 years ago by: Chidi C
-- (m) at 7-01-2010 12:52AM

(2 | Newbie)

On Sunday 3rd January 2010 the United States Transport Administration announced that enhanced screening measures will be undertaken against people from or travelling via 14 countries. Unlike other measures announced by the TSA there was no time limit or elaboration as to what these measures will be

 The countries are 4 that the US State Department lists as those that sponsor terror: Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. The other 10 are referred to as ‘countries of interest’ are Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

As citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria we vehemently protest and condemn the addition of our country on this list. It is a knee jerk over reaction to the aberrant behaviour of a single individual from Nigeria. There are no other instances in recorded history of Nigerian citizens using terror, political or military violence against the United States. Let us contrast this with the other countries on the list

Cuba: has a Communist government and has been under blockade and in conflict with the United States for the best part of 50 years

Sudan: is ruled by a fundamentalist Islamist government that has waged war against its own Christian and Animist citizens in the South and Muslim citizens in Darfur in the west. It gave sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden in the 1990’s and has been a source of arms and succour to various armed groups in Central and East Africa as well as the Middle East

Syria: is ruled by a Baathist government that is still at war with Israel, and has sponsored several terror groups in Lebanon, Palestine and the wider world

Iran: is ruled by a fundamentalist Islamist government that is in active operations against British and US troops in Iraq, is developing weapons of mass destruction and is using the cruelest repression against its own people who seek to defend their votes
Afghanistan: has been in conflict for over 30 years and is currently the one of the key nations in the battle against terror, it has seen multiple suicide bombings against civilian and military targets

Algeria: is in the tail end of a brutal civil war against extremely vicious Islamist terrorists who used extremely brutal tactics against civilians and Algerian security forces

Iraq: has been in chaos since the 2003 invasion and has been riven between rival sectarian factions using suicide bombers against civilians of the opposing side as well as against coalition forces
Lebanon: is currently divided between different state and non state forces such as the Syrians, Hezbollah, Amal etc. It has been at war for the majority of the past 30 years and houses some of the most professional terror groups in the Middle East

Libya: is ruled by one of the most despicable regimes on the African continent having fomented and supported wars in virtually every corner of Africa from Sierra Leone to Chad to Niger to Liberia to Congo to DRC to Algeria to Morocco, up until a few years ago it was the most prolific sponsor of terrorism in the world and had an active weapons of mass destruction program

Pakistan: has been at war with India constantly since its independence, sponsors terrorists in Kashmir and the Taliban in Afghanistan, it is currently in the middle of several terrible civil wars, an urban war between Shias and Sunnis and a rural one against the Pakistani Taliban, its maddrassas churn out fanatics each year by the thousand

Saudi Arabia: is the centre of Wahabbist fundamentalist Islam and sends out roving Imams to proselytise and uses it vast wealth to sponsor extreme forms of that noble religion and pours millions into the pockets of terror groups worldwide.

 Somalia: has been without central government for years, the closest approximation a strict Islamic movement was driven out by the Ethiopians with American support and backing now giving way to an extreme, fundamentalist Al Shahab who have introduced such outrages as suicide bombings and have spoken openly of international jihad
Yemen: is a feudal nation currently a major staging ground for Al Qaeda and is in the throes of a violent and brutal civil war which is now bringing in regional players such as Saudi Arabia

And finally Nigeria: a country which is poorly governed and has such cowardly and incompetent leaders that we willingly gave away our own territory to a neighbouring country (Cameroun) despite that country committing naked aggression against our land and people and the people of that territory (the Bakassi peninsula) stating clearly and unequivocally that they wished to remain Nigerians thus violating their right to self determination under the Chapter 1,  Article 1of the UN Charter and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A nation who’s government has been unable to quash a rebellion in the improvished and degraded Niger Delta by a few untrained young men armed with weapons no heavier than RPG’s and heavy machine guns. A country in which the Police and armed robbers are indistinguishable, is which the ruling class enriches itself to the detriment of the masses, in which politicians think nothing of stealing money to buy private jets whilst the ordinary Nigerians struggle with fuel scarcity and unmaintained roads. Where the government cheerfully spends 7 billion naira to build a single house for the Vice President whilst the average Nigerian, dies of carbon monoxide poisoning and goes deaf from generators due to nonexistent power supply. A nation where the government awards contracts to repair power stations then states there is no natural gas to run them while millions of cubic tons are wasted through flaring.

A country where election rigging has become an art form and is so blatant that it is filmed and put on YouTube yet not a single person has been charged or prosecuted nor the recommendations of the Electoral reform panel instituted.
A Republic in which thousands are murdered in political motivated violence yet no one is ever held to account
Yet despite all of this no Nigerian has taken up arms against their own government. No Nigerian has strapped bombs to himself to wage war upon those who war upon them.

Even when we do indulge in violence it is against ourselves, Muslim neighbour kill’s Christian neighbour, Ijaw neighbour kills Itsekiri neighbour, Hausa farmer kills Fulani herdsman.

Even in the Niger Delta the majority of the attacks were against the oil infrastructure.
All this goes to show we are not a people to whom political violence comes naturally. The actions of one lonely confused and manipulated spoilt child does not indicate the actions and intentions of an entire nation.
Like everything in Nigeria those most guilty will escape the results of their actions. The government official s that destroyed our schools, culture, name and way of life will be waved through on Diplomatic passports, whilst the ordinary Nigerian will stand in long lines enduring public humiliation and the tag of terrorist.

If the United States wishes to meaningfully secure its self then target the guilty not the innocent, insist that a Government minister takes personal responsibility for Airport safety, question what happened to the scanners already bought by Nigeria. Send agents through our airports and publish pictures of the rampant corruption and incompetence. Let those ministers who insist on ‘befitting’ residences show the measure of their worth.

The ordinary Nigerian is not your enemy; we are a vibrant mass yearning to be free. Free from a tyranny of our own, by our own. US President Obama gave a subtle hint to our rulers by ignoring our country on his maiden African visit, US Secretary of State, Mrs Clinton gave a subtle hint in her last speech about nations able but unwilling to help their people. However our leaders do not understand subtlety.

 Show the world that much vaunted American ingenuity and leadership. Let your measures be meaningful and targeted. We do not ask you to help us, but please don’t hinder us.