Impeccable and reliable sources have revealed that Nigeria’s world celebrated author of Things Fall Apart among other books, Professor Chinua Achebe and his brother-Nigerian, the Nobel Laureate for literature, Professor Wole Soyinka, an equally prolific writer, author and playwright, have in conjunction with a consortium of Nigerian intellectuals known as One Hundred Concerned Nigerians Abroad, written a powerful letter to President George W. Bush of the United States, demanding that he end the war in Iraq forthwith and without delays!
These high profile and very eminent Nigerians warned President Bush as they demanded that Bush change course in policies, immediately! The Nigerians say Bush must take action to reverse his policies that have led to the debacle and quagmire in Iraq. These Nigerians stated that they were moved, to issue this stern warning to President Bush, so moved, in fact, by the gory details emanating from Iraq on daily basis. Even as they describe the invasion and occupation of Iraq as a catastrophe wrapped in multiple hundreds of thousand tragedies!
In specific terms, the Nigerians, it was learnt, were pained by the enormous waste of Iraqi and American lives in the course of this needless war of choice in Iraq. Additionally, it was learnt that the Nigerians took strong exceptions to human rights abuses and violations of individual and civil liberties in the name of the contraption, the Bush contraption, also known as the war on terror. Specific references were made to the US upsurge of wiretaps!
Achebe, Soyinka and the 100 Concerned Nigerians Abroad, expressed their particular umbrage over the colossal was of billions of dollars, which has actually exceeded $400 billion dollars, even as the war spending and the war escalates. Money, better spent on medical research or some other important research. Money that could have been better spent to eliminate poverty in the world!
The Nigerians were said to have expressed their dismay, disgust and utmost disappointment with President Bush over current foreign policy pursuit by America, in particular, they were very critical of the war in Iraq, the stalled peace talks between Palestinians and the Israelis, this, the Nigerians were said to have rightly attributed to the Bush administration’s attitudes, which in essence, repudiated the negotiations that were conducted, by President Clinton. Clinton’s, it will be recalled, negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians, albeit, fragile peace, which, with all things considered, fragile peace is still better than what obtains between Palestinians and the Israelis now; But these were jettisoned, truncated and derailed deliberately, by the Bush team, at the inception of the Bush administration. The Bush team was too eager to repudiate Bill Clinton policies!
The Nigerians queried Bush on why he seemed to have given nods and winks to policies that in effect made the late Yasser Arafat of Palestine a hostage and virtual prisoner in Ramallah, the PLO headquarters prior to Arafat’s death. They expressed their chagrin over Bush’s Middle East policies, which they described as discriminatory and unfair.
These lopsided policies they argued, are the genesis of all the crises in the Middle East.
Never before, have any group of Nigerians come down hard on the policies of an American government or administration. They took issues with Bush over his abysmal handling of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, which in fact impacted greatly on peoples of African descent in the Gulf of Mississippi in the United States. Their rationale, I was informed, is based on the fact that these Nigerians consider themselves best qualified to address Bush on his government shortcoming in New Orleans, as Nigerians form the bulk of the people in the African continent and peoples of African descent worldwide.
The Nigerians were said to have frowned deeply at Bush’s attack on Affirmative Action, an American policy program that seeks to redress historical injustices meted to African Americans all over America.
Additionally, these Nigerians were said to have expressed complete disapproval of Bush’s government’s handlings of major issues, including the Abu Ghraib prison abuse and torture cases and well as the continued detention without trial of so-called enemy combatants and alleged participants in the Bush’s phantom and endless war on terror.
It was understood that the Nigerians also queried Bush’s overbroad definition of terrorism and potential terrorists. The Nigerians were said to have expressed great concern over the continued wiretapping of Americans and others, resident in America, all, in the name of terror. Similarly, the Nigerians expressed their utmost displeasure in what has become slippery slope of actions by the Bush government, which is speedily and steadily corroding individual liberties and freedoms, which were supposed to be sacrosanct under the American Constitution. This brings to mind, unconstitutional wiretaps and indefinite detentions without trials, which the Bush administration has practiced unrestrained!
The current government of America, now detain persons indefinitely without trial, as exampled in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, in addition to other similar detentions centers which are operated by the Americans through the CIA in Europe and scattered detention centers in countries there and other parts of the world. The Nigerians were understood to have also complained bitterly about the so-called extraordinary rendition, in which there are no-holds-barred extreme treatments of suspects to compel incriminating confessions. This is a euphemism for extreme torture short of , bodily harm that could cause death, in fact, it is said to put tortured detainees in extremis or to be hair-thin-near or close to death!
This writer was made to understand that these consortium and conglomeration of Nigerians, are determined to address global issues and or, local issues with global implications, regularly or from time to time. In this regard, it is expected that the next public statements by these eminent Nigerians would be on the subject of global environment, environmental pollution, degradation and global warming.
President Bush is known to have scorn and scoffed at world opinion in connection with his policies, and in particular, his invasion and occupation and continued wrong-headed war policies regarding Iraq. Bush is known to have disregarded professional military advice, and rejected the admonition of about 100 seasoned American ambassadors and diplomats!
These Nigerians have been known to pepper and excoriate various Nigerian governments, with very harsh and even extremely severe criticisms. So, upon learning that these Nigerians were talking of President Bush, I said to myself, poof! Bush is in real hot water! Then, I further learned that President Bush was chuckling with delirious pleasure, as he snickered in pure delight, at these very important Nigerians! What nerve, that Bush! George Bush according to very informed and knowledgeable sources, was said to have joked that he does not even accept, take or respect his father’s advise, even though the elder Bush is a former president of the United States himself!
The above is just a dream of mine! Can we envisage a time when these high profile and eminent Nigerians, with high accomplishments, becoming such good global activists citizens, with global concerns and global impacts in their thinking, thinking globally, as it were, while acting locally! Then again, I thought, poof, what do I know? Is this what is known as parody or spoof? I must say SPOOF!