John Shiklam in Kaduna
Former Senate President, Ameh Ebute has condemned the recent letter by US Congressman, Tom Marino, urging the Nigerian government to lay a formal complaint to the US government using appropriate diplomatic channels.
Marino in a recent letter to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, which was widely circulated, said President Muhammadu Buhari is running an autocratic government and should not be offered assistance in fighting insurgency until he runs an inclusive government.
But Ebute in a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, urged the Nigerian government explore ways of telling Marino to limit himself to what he is knowledgeable about instead of dabbling into the politics of Nigeria.
Ebute in a the letter dated September 6, 2016, said from all indications, Marino knows nothing about Nigeria.
The former Senate President stressed that though Marino has the right to express his concerns, but said: “To the extent that his letter contained so many inaccuracies and even outright lies,” he would have done better whispering those thoughts to the US Secretary of State as opposed to documenting them in a letter.
According to him, Marino’s letter was driven by the belief that his country remains an imperial lord over Nigeria and other nations, stressing that that Nigeria must not allow such sentiments if it hopes to move ahead as a nation.
“I therefore crave your indulgence to use your office to send a strong message to Congressman, Marino, the US Congress and the United States Government that the era of imperialism is over and discussions about mutual cooperation should not be exploited to pass ignorant judgment on Nigeria or any other nation for that matter,” he said.
Ebute maintained that the offer for assistance in the fight against insurgency is not entirely for the benefit of Nigeria since the Boko Haram terrorists have been defeated.
He said the gesture is one that would go a long way to secure the West Africa sub-region from terrorism as it has become a global concern.
“To the extent that a Nigeria free of terrorism will contribute to a more secured world and the Americans would actually be helping themselves by offering this assistance since that country is the one in the crosshair of terrorists.
“What is saddening is the realisation that within Nigeria there is a section of the population that erroneously think Marino has done them the favour of providing ammunition to continue their unyielding attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. This however cannot be further from the truth as the letter is an attack on Nigeria as a country, which in Marino’s view is nothing but an outpost of the US.”