Politics

APC government to blame for secessionist agitations – ADC deputy chair

Matthew Johnson-Ettefiah

The All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government has been blamed for being responsible for the growing regional agitations and secessionist movements in Nigeria in recent times.

A former executive member of Nigerians in Diaspora organization Europe, Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, stated in a chat with newsmen, in reaction to allegations by Information, Culture and National Orientation Minister, Lai Mohammed and state government officials and politicians that Nigerians in Diaspora are responsible for fuelling Nigeria’s disintegration from the Diaspora.

Hon Gbandi, who is the immediate past Continental Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe, and current Deputy Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC), places the fault squarely on the shoulders of the APC- led administration and their failure to properly constitute the NIDCOM Board.

Speaking on the allegations that Diaspora Nigerians were fueling crises in Nigeria, Hon Gbandi identified that claim to the inability of the federal government to partner properly with the Diaspora community under NIDO Leadership.

He recalled warning the government that such a situation was a time bomb that would likely explode.

Hon. Gbandi who was then Continental European Chairman and coordinating Chairman of NIDO Worldwide recalled writing several such letters to the federal government on the urgent need to constitute NIDCOM’s Board as stipulated by the bill, with full Diaspora representation via NIDO Worldwide.

According to him, “One of such appeals was written on July 27, 2020, to Dr. (Senator) Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, who was before then the Chairman of Senate Committee on Diaspora, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), pleading with him to use his good office to put the necessary pressure on his colleagues and the government for the full constitution of NIDCOM board according to the NIDCOM’s Bill.”

He reminded him that the global NIDO was a rallying point for most Nigerians in Diaspora who still believe in the country and the power of the Diaspora to effect positive homeland development initiatives and needed reforms.

Gbandi also cautioned that NIDO was a buffer zone to Nigerians in Diaspora far from organizing themselves along ethnic lines which will result in ethnic allegiances to the detriment of the country.

In his words: “For the love of Nigeria, sir, l plead with you to use your good office and contact to stop the marginalisation and politicization of NIDO.”

Gbandi highlighted the dangers of a toothless and collapse NIDO, and a structured Nigerian Diaspora along ethnic lines and ideology, that will be huge and unimaginable as patriotic and professional global Diaspora community, who act as a buffer zone to Diaspora Nigerians with extremist views will be too week to counter them.”

He concluded that both dedicated Nigerians in Diaspora and the Government may be unable to withstand the pending assault from individuals and organizations taking advantage of a weak and fractured Diaspora community under NIDO leadership to toe a different view unchallenged.

He added further that, the moral fabric of the Diaspora under NIDO will be greatly dampened, considering the many unpleasant incidents in our country today.

In the letter, Gbandi had further urged the lawmaker to reflect on his appeal as a patriotic and a clarion call aimed at helping to mobilize the house into action.

“A similar appeal was also made to the Chairperson House Committee on Diaspora, that the sad politicization of NIDO had now given rise to strong ethnic and regional groupings. Recall that NIDO Europe sought legal opinion from human rights lawyer, Femi Falana on the representation of NIDO in NIDCOM’s board, cumulating in a letter written to the President and Secretary to the Federal Government, supporting NIDO Europe’s position.

“But sad enough, NIDCOM Board is yet to be constituted”, Hon. Gbandi said, adding that his prediction “may be coming to reality.”

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