The reports drawn up by the Commission on National Security in the 21st Century which was sponsored by the Institute for Public Policy Research in the UK came out on the Guardian Newspaper of Thursday November 27 2008 page 23,(Please the Guardian newspaper referred to here is the UK Guardian). The report said that Britain faces a greater threat from the rising number of weak states.
Part of the report said thus; “The list of 20 failed states is headed by Somalia, where drought and al-Qaida influences are now compounded by the increasing threat of piracy, and includes Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. The huge concentration of weak states that poses a threat to Britain’s national security is in sub-Sahara Africa, it says”. The report went further to say that “Weak, corrupt and failing states have become bigger security risks than strong states” and will remain a highly visible feature of the security landscape for decades to come. They are targets of transnational criminal networks which are expanding their drugs, arms and people trafficking operations”.
Mr Prime Minister please am more concerned about the fact that Nigeria appeared on this report as one of the failed states, which is posing a threat to the United Kingdom. The reason for my concerns is simply because am a Nigerian and also because of the obvious fact that Nigeria is massive with its huge population. A failed Nigeria is not only a threat to United Kingdom as the report suggests, but a threat to the world.
The Report also gave useful suggestions on the best approach. It said “Britain must engage much more positively with these countries through financial, economic and diplomatic means, or what the report calls non-military preventative action, and by promoting good governance”.
Mr Prime Minister, I agree totally with the suggestions made by this think tank. But I would wish to add a few suggestions in line with the above. I am giving these suggestions based on my experiences of the Nigerian situation. The Nigerian problem is the political system, most importantly the electoral process. The present electoral process as it is, cannot guarantee the emergence of a true leader. What am simply saying is that the Nigerian electoral process is not transparent and it’s subject to abuses. Because of this singular factor, the entire country has been denied true leadership and credible candidates have never been allowed to emerge. The Nigeria political system has been hijacked by god fathers who hold the country in captivity. This is part of the reason why Nigeria appeared as one of the failed states.
The report suggested promoting good governance. How does Britain promote good governance in the case of Nigeria? The answer is very simple. Ask the Nigerian authorities to re-introduce the Option A4 electoral process. Mr Prime Minister, this system was used in the Nigerian elections in 1992/1993. This system was judged to be the fairest and freest system in the Nigeria electoral history. Foreign observers from European Union, Commonwealth etc gave 100% approval of this system. This system remains the best for Nigeria. Unfortunately the military government that truncated the Nigerian democracy in November 1993 cancelled this method of election. Since then till now our electoral process has been hijacked by god fathers and marred by electoral fraud and violence of highest magnitude. The so called god fathers decide who should govern Nigeria.
I also believe that you have what it takes to influence a country like Nigeria to adopt back this system. Please attach the adoption of Option A4 electoral system as a future pre-condition for loans, grants, trade, and economic support. Nigeria is strategic in the sub-Sahara Africa countries. Nigeria is the sixth largest oil producer in the world and has a larger population of about 140 million people. A stable Nigeria will benefit the British economy and the world at large. A failed Nigeria will continue to be a threat to Britain. It might come to a time when Britain might have to commit her resources to save Nigeria if you fail to heed to this advice.
A politically stable and transparent Nigeria will influence a lot of countries in the sub-Sahara African Continent. Mr Prime Minister, I have heard you say, a stitch in time saves nine, if your efforts can help achieve this objective in Nigeria, then Nigeria can in turn influence other smaller African countries. By so doing, the threat posed to Britain will disappear. As you already know the major problems of the sub-Saharan African countries are political in nature. Example is Kenya, Zimbabwe etc. It will cost Britain less to achieve this objective in Nigeria, but more if Nigeria finally collapses.
I am currently leading a group called “Support Option A4” we are campaigning for the re-introduction of this system back into our Nigerian electoral law. We will be willing to offer any suggestions to you, should you consider my advice above. Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group”