Opinion

Open letter to Nigeria’s First Lady

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

 

Firstly, as a true Igbo man born and bred by Igbo Parents although in the Northern part of Nigeria, I greet you Madam First Lady on the assumption of office of your dear husband as our democratically elected President for the next four years. It’s God’s doing as our people would say because it takes only the Grace of God for one man out of 170 million people to become HEAD OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT twice under different epochs. So the election of your husband as our President was made possible by the Supreme Being but with the instrumentality of WE the people of Nigeria meaning that the current administration at the Federal government must and should be run as a PAN-NIGERIAN Government and not as a NORTHERN SECTIONAL FIEFDOM OR OLIGARCHY… NEVER!

I write you as a Nigerian human rights and civil society stakeholder and organizer to tell you only but one thing-that I’m glad that you have decided to take the gauntlet to champion the cause for the empowerment of the Nigerian Women but please do consider expanding the unofficial but strategic mandate of your privileged position as the Wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to include but not limited to speaking out and carrying out advocacy campaigns for the emancipation of the Nigerian Children and youth from the man- made afflictions of gross human and child rights violations such as sexual violations and early marriages which are twin evils that constitute grave obstacles to the educational and economic empowerment of the Nigerian girl child.Dear First Lady permit me to request you to kindly ensure that whilst your husband hold sway as Nigerian President that the effects and impacts of the Nigerian Child Rights Act of 2003 is fundamentally felt by championing advocacy for radical improvement and amendments of the law and effectively enforced to put an end to those aforementioned social evils in addition to ending once and for all the satanic phenomenon of growth or proliferation of Babies’ factories in Nigeria and sexual trafficking of Nigerian girls.

Dear First Lady i believe you remembered thst you promised whilst your husband and his political party were campaigning for election that the bad phenomenon of trafficking for sexual slavery of Nigerians to offshore countries would be checked and effectively checkmated.

Dear First Lady, remember you made this solemn promise in Benin the Edo state capital. Let me add another issue which is by no means less important just that it has become even more problematic now more than before with the current reports of babies being born in the internally Displaced Persons’ camps by vulnerable Nigerians especially young girls affected by the current terrorism going on in the North East of Nigeria as a result of the dare devilry of armed Boko Haram Islamists.

As reported recently, seven new births were recorded at the Mubi transit camp of the Nigerian returnees from the Republic of Cameroun as 5,762 returnees have been transported by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) camps in Yola, Adamawa State.

Health workers reportedly assisted in the safe delivery of seven pregnant women of four girls and three boys who are all in stable condition.The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, had earlier visited Mubi to officially receive the returnees and assured them of the federal government support.

Dear First Lady as I was saying do please take up the position of the mentor -in -chief for these sets of unfortunate but great Nigerian girls and youth affected by terrorists attacks and destruction of their shelter.

Please be a good mother of the Nation for as we have heard that you are a good Wife of the now President and mother of the Children that God blessed you with him as Parents. Please speak for these less fortunate Nigerians so their plight is ameliorated and for those afflicting these punishments on them to be arrested and prosecuted and surely punished for these crimes against humanity. Speak for the voiceless so the elites stoking these fires of terrorism to be rounded up and sanctioned with the most maximum punishment for funding serial genocides on innocent Nigerians of all affiliations, tribe, tongue or religion.

The testimony of these many Children born by these displaced Nigerians was made known by the media when the ever hard working NEMA DG and his team were accompanied by the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha, as most of the returnees who had been displaced by insurgency before fleeing to the Republic of Cameroun are from Borno State.

Meanwhile, as captured in the mainstream press the Director Search and Rescue of NEMA, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, who is coordinating the evacuation, disclosed that 4,641 of the returnees were transported at the weekend in addition to the earlier 1, 121 out of which 650 have been further transported from the camps in Yola to Borno State.

He said: “We have moved the returnees from the Mubi reception centre and all of them at the Nigerian/Cameroun border post in Sahuda, after clearance by the Nigerian Immigration Service and other security agencies to the IDP camps in Yola.”

The emergency rescue top flight official also said more returnees were still being expected at the border post while those transported to Yola have been taken to the IDP camps in Damare NYSC camp and Malkohi and a new location in Fufore for proper supports and care by NEMA. He assured them that all returnees arriving at the border would be fully supported and taken to the IDPs camps for proper care.

As the returnees arrived in the IDP camps, NEMA officials managing those camps immediately provided them with food, beddings, clothings and other basic supports. But importantly these Nigerians must get justice from government in such a way that they are properly resettled and paid commensurate compensations to restore them back to their dignified livelihoods.

Also, at the transit camp in Mubi, NEMA provided them with foods. Health officials of the Adamawa State Government and members of the Nigerian Red Cross Society are also supporting the IDPs at the camps. Food isn’t the only challenge for these Nigerians. Economic emancipation is critical.

Heartwarming as these pieces of information may sound to the ears, please Madam First Lady take up this epochal challenge and speak and act to defend the weak and vulnerable in our society. I so prayed!

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