On the streets of New York as world leaders are resuming in person assembly at the United Nations after missing it last year for the first time ever, Nigeria is funding a carnival of shame instead.
Kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari for creating employment for Americans with Nigeria’s hard currency ($1=570). Allegedly paid $50 per hour, the Buhari regime paid the equivalent of one month’s minimum wage to the protestors for one hour praise singing of the failed ruler.
Meanwhile on the streets of Nigerian a uniformed female Nigerian Officer was maltreating a Nigerian youth showing a classic illustration of what Buhari is really doing to Nigeria, literally.
How can you educate your child and send them to serve their nation only to be brutalized like this by someone who lacks their level of education just one year after #endSARS?
However Nigerian economic refugees in US and American stragglers “rally” for Buhari in New York – the only nation at UN to hire sycophants. Nigeria is now exporting sycophancy abroad.
But this is not new and is only a repeat of what the late unlamented Gen Sani Abacha did in the 90s. Back then the media asked the pro-Abacha protestors why they were marching and they said because they were paid to!
Some of us spoke out against his evil ruinous regime at great personal cost and loss including imprisonment and exile abroad only to see his accomplices reenacting what we fought against.
In 1997, I was in the vanguard of activists who successfully advocated for the renaming of the street outside the Nigerian mission to UN after late Kudirat Abiola while we were harassed by Gambari, Marwa and others still in government today.
Myself, Cordelia Kokori, Hafsat Abiola, late Anebi Adoga, Muyiwa Ige, Jumoke Ogunkeyede amongst others were very active in New York, Washington and across the US. Prof Soyinka and late Pa Enahoro, Mayor Dinkins and Ambassador Carrington used to come and bolster us as Titans along with Fayemi from UK.
Yet the Nigerian government still refuses to officially accept the renaming of the street outside Nigeria House New York which it has refused to acknowledge for 24 years as “Kudirat Abiola” corner while pretending at home to recognize June 12.
Chief of Staff Prof Gambari who personally fought it, should see to the recognition of this national heroine of democracy by ensuring all stationary of Nigeria’s permanent mission to the UN and consulate includes the name “Kudirat Abiola corner” in the address and a befitting painting, bust or other image of Kudirat should be placed at Nigeria House New York.
Finally, I wish to note that failing this, in a few years, nothing will remain of the shameful spectacle of hired praise singers on the streets of New York but the street corner we successfully got renamed after Kudirat will be an enduring and endearing legacy.
We have read how Buhari is more loyal to the nation of Niger than Nigeria which brought him up, even supporting a Niger Fulani candidate over a well qualified southern Nigerian for a diplomatic job.
Even now Buhari has named a street after the president of Niger in Abuja. Why will he continue to refuse to accept the naming of a street in America after a Nigerian citizen and heroine Kudirat Abiola?
Let Buhari surprise us by being non-nepotistic, non-sectional for once by acknowledging Kudirat Abiola corner in New York.
•Emmanuel Ogebe is of US NIGERIA LAW GROUP, Washington.
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