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PDP Chieftain Berates Nigerian Politicians’ Jamboree at Chatham House
Sylvester Idowu in Warri
As the scramble by presidential candidates to Chatham House, London, to deliver their programmes towards the coming election continue to occupy the political space, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Delta State gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has condemned the act describing it as neo-colonialism.
Onuesoke, who spoke to THISDAY on phone from United States of America yesterday, said going to discuss elections of Nigeria or Nigerian issues at Chatham House, especially by presidential candidates and others at a time close to a local election is the most unconscionable thing to do.
He explained that all the candidates’ actions have revealed that the candidates still believe in ne-ocolonialism which means they are all products of white supremacy.
The PDP chieftain wondered why the presidential candidates were not going to the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and Centre of Democratic Studies (CDS) among others, which have the same status like Chatham House, to market their political agenda.
“We have similar bodies like Chatham House here in Nigeria. The NIIA and CDS among others. Were these bodies to invite Nigerian politicians to come and speak at the platform, they are not likely to show up. They would give excuses. And that is why no major politician has gone there to engage the Nigerian intelligentsia. They would rather go to London,” he said.
Onuesoke noted that the action of Nigeria politicians going to Chatham House is a revelation that “we are still suffering from a terrible colonial mentality” lamenting that even though elections will be decided by Nigerian electorate why the so much concentration on London.
“Our leaders go to London for medical treatment. They go to Dubai for tourism. And they don’t go alone. Every trip is an opportunity for over-excited aides to pose for photographs, sometimes with wives, girl friends and their children.
“Nigerian leaders have a strong appetite for everything foreign. That is how they killed Nigeria’s education sector. That is how they killed the health sector. Now, they want to kill our politics,” he complained.
The PDP chieftain, who lamented that the idea of Chatham House as a tourist centre by our political leaders and their aides is most unfortunate noting that the delivery of 1,000 speeches by the politicians at Chatham House cannot influence the Nigerian electorate in any way.
He queried why British politicians do not come to Nigeria to sell their campaign plans and why other politicians around the world do not turn London into a major campaign centre?
“The main challenge is here at home, not on the streets of London. Why are our politicians not scrambling to be featured in NIIA, where we all can access and assess them for what they are worth?”, he said.
He counselled the political gladiators on the urgent need to focus more on issues, rather than engaging in mud-slinging, polluting and fouling the environment warning that the ongoing politics of hate would make healing and reconciliation difficult when the election is won and lost adding “Nigeria cannot afford that.”