#Occupy Nigeria: Foremost Nigerian Novelist Chinua Achebe, Other Writers Declare Solidarity

Prof. Chinua Achebe
By SaharaReporters, New York

Foremost Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe and a group of Nigerian writers at home and abroad have signed a statement asking President Goodluck Jonathan and other political leaders to act immediately in order to avert the deterioration of the crisis in Nigeria.

The statement decried the escalation of sectarian violence, deplored "the state of lawlessness in certain parts of the nation" and described the removal of fuel subsidy by the Jonathan administration as ill-advised.

The writers asked President Jonathan to release his plans to address the scourge of terror and also to appoint competent officials to head the various security agencies.

Below is a full text of the statement:


Statement of Solidarity with the Nigerian People

 
 
We are troubled by the turn of events in Nigeria, and hereby call on President Goodluck Jonathan and the rest of the country’s political leadership to take immediate steps to tackle the state of lawlessness in certain parts of the nation and address the sense trepidation and rage that has reached dangerous levels within the Nigerian populace.
 
Nigeria is witnessing a new escalation of sectarian violence, culminating in explosions that have killed or seriously wounded scores of people at churches and other centers of worship and local businesses.
 
As a people who lost two million citizens in a civil war, Nigerians must bring an urgent sense of history to the gloomy events. The country’s leadership should not view the incessant attacks as mere temporary misfortune with which the citizenry must learn to live; they are precursors to events that could destabilize the entire country.
 
We applaud President Jonathan’s declaration of a state of emergency in certain local government areas in four states. However, we have seen little indication that the country’s security and law enforcement agents are up to the task of protecting the lives and property of citizens in all parts of Nigeria.
 
Clearly, the sophistication and deadly impact of the terrorist attacks suggest an agenda to create widespread fear and, possibly, to foment anarchy or war. Mr. Jonathan has no greater duty than to ensure that Nigerians are safe wherever they live or visit within the country. He should demonstrate his recognition of that solemn duty, in our view, by doing the following:
 
(a) Outline both short and long term plans to comprehensively address the scourge of terror,
(b) Appoint competent and committed officials to head the various security agencies, and
(c) Serve as an agent to heal the many divisions plaguing Nigeria, and persuade all well-meaning people to enlist in the fight against festering violence.
 
Mr. Jonathan’s decision to remove fuel subsidies in the country at this time was ill-advised. Coming at the advent of the New Year, and barely a week after the gruesome Christmas Day attacks on worshippers, the policy has forced many Nigerian citizens to perceive his leadership as one that is both insensitive and possibly contemptuous of the mood of its people.
 
We stand with the Nigerian people who are protesting the removal of oil subsidy which has placed an unbearable economic weight on their lives. This action has clearly imposed an untenable and unfair burden on those segments of Nigerians who are already impoverished - subsisting on less than $2 a day. We call on Mr. Jonathan to immediately change course. By reverting to the old prices of petroleum products, Mr. Jonathan can work to diffuse tension in the country and exemplify the true servant leader who not only serves but also listens to his people. To insist on having his way, and to deploy state security and legal apparati to crush growing popular uprisings is to stamp on a highly valued tenet of democracy – the right to peaceful assembly – and to inadvertently promote greater violence in the country.
 
Mr. Jonathan’s administration has made a persuasive case that a few highly connected Nigerians have corruptly profited from fuel subsidy. The government should swiftly bring to justice those corrupt profiteers as well as the bureaucrats who aid and abet their unconscionable parasitic activities and economic sabotage.
 
We acknowledge President Jonathan’s recent announcement of 25% cut in the basic salaries of political office holders. But we believe that the move merely scratches the indefensible bloated salaries and allowances paid to Nigerian political officials. The president should also champion significant cuts in the huge cost of running the various tiers of government and the luxuries that have become the signature of those who ought to protect the commonwealth, serve the people, and not exploit them. Besides, the culture of corruption and impunity in official quarters constitutes a grave threat to national security and to the country’s effort to establish a democratic culture and  meaningful economic development.
 
Nigeria needs a return to relative calm to enable its people, and the Jonathan administration in particular, to focus on the task of combating the incubus of corruption, poverty and home-grown terrorism.

 

Signed by

 

Chinua Achebe                                   

Okey Ndibe

Nduka Otiono

Helon Habila

Akin Adesokan

Pius Adesanmi

Tess Onwueme

Obiora Udechukwu

Yinka Tella

Richard Ali

Chiji Akoma

Paul Ugor

Tolu Ogunlesi

Samantha Iwowo

Idowu Ohioze

Offiong Bassey

 Chido Onumah

  Bunmi Aborisade

Omolade Adunbi

Mahmud Obeamata

Mahmud Aminu

Nasr Kura

Gimba Kakanda

Obioma Nnaemeka

Sonala Olumhense

Ikhide Ikheloa

Isidore Okpewho

E.C. Osondu

Ogaga Ifowodo

Mike Nwosu

Ifeoma Okoye

Chimalum Nwankwo

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Ebenezer Obadare

Ahmed Maiwada

Madina Shehu

Hussein Abdu

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani

 

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MhDzqTWKjILb

I do not frankly pay much atoentitn to these writings of much of the Nigerian press on these matters, not just because they tend to be generally sorely ill-informed on these matters (though the gossip value on this one was quite captivating) but largely because the same press tend to stoke the embers of ill-informed populism that prevents Nigeria from undertaking many of the necessary (albeit sometimes difficult) reforms needed to turn-around the power sector.

The widespread response of

The widespread response of Nigerians both home and in diaspora is commendable and laudable. For too long we have tolerated these men who pose as leaders, but are self-centred men who see governance simply as an opportunity to enrich themselves.
The protest in my opinion is not just about the removal of fuel subsidy and boko haram. It really is about bringing our leaders to a point where they realize that a true govt exist for the welfare of its citizens and they must so conduct the affairs of governance.
Moreover, it is also a statement to others that its a new season. We would no longer sit back and watch the few in government plunder us.

Nigerians are only concerned

Nigerians are only concerned about their imediate needs. I wonder why they are not protesting the salaries of their lawmakers, that is immoral too. Our people are just too dull or ignorant.
Pls i need you to prove me wrong by coming out enmasse to protest the comatose and do nothing government. Come out to demand for all the divends of the democracy not just for subsidy. The labors of our heroes have been wasted and I belive they must be crying in their graves. Shame on all nigerians who are still sleeping and not courageous to demand for their rights.

All, Please try and understand Deri!!!!!!!!!!

I wish to appeal to everyone on this forum to try and understand Deri. As at 2006, there were only 5000 Ijaw graduates and he happened to be one of them. So you can understand his sense of self importance.

WHERE WAS THE VOICE OF ACHEBE IN THIS MURDER

Facts are emerging over how over three Igbo traders resident in Mubi, Adamawa state were killed in cold blood inside their shops unprovoked and defenseless by suspected Boko Haram members on January 6 this year. Witness told the Nigerian Pilot yesterday that following the chilling killing of the three Igbo traders including the younger brother of a catholic priest inside their shops in Mubi the previous night and discussion was in progress by their relatives as to how to convey their corpses home for burial, unidentified gunmen numbering over 30, descended on the mourners, shouting ‘Allah Aku Bah’ ‘Allah is greatest”, shooting at them sporadically.

no igbi should join that protest

In the nigeria sense, the culture of corruption tightens the mouths to speak and protect the nations' citizens by their representtatives and gives them the credentials for exploitations that warrant forced unity and spurious secutity stance, and more so allows for quicker flight of money resources to the poor and desert northern nation of their nigeria. This preceding clause counters this affirmative,"Besides, the culture of corruption and impunity in official quarters constitutes a grave threat to national security and to the country’s effort to establish a democratic culture and meaningful economic development." No Igbo persons should endulge in that protest because they did not bring up protest when we were/are being killed at the north as goats, but will want to plunge us to learning that petroleun matters anyway in their nations, which is another name for the protest.

It is time NIGERIANS rise UP and unite against ALL our enemies!

1. Though IMF and World bank work for Western imperialist interests, in Nigeria, CORRUPTION is the CRUX of the matter.
2. IMF ENCOURAGES SAP and demand for soverign immunity!
3. IMF and WB SPECIFICALLY WORK towards destroying countries with identifiable potential to rise up and upset the present world economic order.
4. They work in collusion with planted agents in selected countries along with unpatriotic and greedy politicians.
5. They ensure that local politicians look the other way whilst they plunder economies and destroy their environment for centuries.
6. They enforce Monetary devaluation and primitive and inhuman policies ON dim politicians.
7. They instruct agents such as Okonjo to baboozle simple-minded leaders with meaningless, irrelevant, untested and damaging economic theories.
8. They sponsor fifth columists in those countries to fester a state of ANARCHY so they sell Arms.

It is time for NIGERIANS to rise UP and unite AGAINST all OUR ENEMIES.

GEJ seem a murderer

Is jonathan trying to tell the nation that he is a murdere? With all this terror in the nation, instead of calming the situation, he is removing subsidy, how would the poor igbo's @ d north transport bck to the east, or does he want them to be murdered there? The notherners are fast fleeing frm the east, and this rubbish niger deltan is much concerned with fuel subsidy removal! Can some one tell me what is happening in this our country, have some people lost there conscience? These are all peoples brother, sisters, father, mother, uncles, aunties, we hav had enough death, say no to boko haram and all its actions! God help us

whare was yr voice when 20 igbos were killed in adamawa

(President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday alleged the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had infiltrated his government. He claimed some of members of the group, which had claimed responsibility for the killings in parts of the North, were in the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government as well as the police and armed forces). Igbo boy from Mandalla, u could be that Igoni woman or even an agent of boko haram in diaspoara!

GEJ seems a murderer

Is jonathan trying to tell the nation that he is a murdere? With all this terror in the nation, instead of calming the situation, he is removing subsidy, how would the poor igbo's @ d north transport bck to the east, or does he want them to be murdered there? The notherners are fast fleeing frm the east, and this rubbish niger deltan is much concerned with fuel subsidy removal! Can some one tell me what is happening in this our country, have some people lost there conscience? These are all peoples brother, sisters, father, mother, uncles, aunties, we hav had enough death, say no to boko haram and all its actions! God help us

GEJ seems a murderer

Is jonathan trying to tell the nation that he is a murdere? With all this terror in the nation, instead of calming the situation, he is removing subsidy, how would the poor igbo's @ d north transport bck to the east, or does he want them to be murdered there? The notherners are fast fleeing frm the east, and this rubbish niger deltan is much concerned with fuel subsidy removal! Can some one tell me what is happening in this our country, have some people lost there conscience? These are all peoples brother, sisters, father, mother, uncles, aunties, we hav had enough death, say no to boko haram and all its actions! God help us

deri u are a very big fool

Deri u are a very. Big fool, dis just shows that ND is nofin but. Bunch of fool. They have no human sympathy, terror in d nation and instead. Of calmin it, removes subsidy, what is he portraying. An avenue that the igbo's cant transport dwn to the east. From the north. Ba ? Let him not show case his self as a murderer.

Thanks

This proves that we are not insane, and that we are not alone... in the struggle.

I salute you true and ageless heroes of Nigeria. Your names are set in gold.

My comment

My frnd u ar getting d muslims nd past leaders wrong. If JEG hav bn d president den i dnt think u wil stil b living 2day or sef employ. Cos event of crisis would hv cal u since..JEG 2 me is a agent of devil 2 take sum wrong descision @ d wrong tym..my frnd pls hav a rethink.

I'm baffled that in the heat

I'm baffled that in the heat of events arising from the removal of fuel subsidy, Mr President still goes to commission the 1100 buses he alledged would harness d burden he has unleashed in the nation. I'm just amazed at his INSENSITIVITY to the effect the removal of fuel subsidy has on the nation.

This release is highly

This release is highly sincere and holistic.I just hope our stubborn president will listen.In a true democratic setting the people's rule should prevail and not the leader's.

The demon that chose to call

The demon that chose to call himself Jason Ibe is decieving himself. For his information Chinua is our Igbo icon highly respected and honored in the entire Igboland. If you are Igbo, you would respect him. You stole that name to hide your ugly tribal identity. You are not an Igbo person.

Xtians are no more in the north

Saharareporters stands only to report thousands of northerners arriving the north from south,also failing to give the statistic of southerners that have flee the north.sahara news is sentmental,when transport companies are now restricting their vehicles frm the north.such as d popular the young shal grow.even if muslims kill us we still love them,the greatest commandment is love.xtian faithfuls,his excellency mr president,is d most educated leader ever in 9ja,we believed,respects and suports illiterates in the past while now?what do we want?NLC hw many times hv they enforce law?only strike,our young once dont know the use of NLC except for strike.am highly bewildered.i wont join dem am self employed,who will pay me @ month end when they will be paid?peace to all,asalam vs shalon

The Hypocrities And the Fulani Agenta Are out Again

Thanks alot for your comment. I feel sad that a prominent personality like Achabe could jump out to comment in such a situation where many evils have happend in Nigeria and he kept quiet. Terrible things have reaaly been happening even the ongoing BOKORO HARAM issue. Please ask him to keep quiet.

igbo cleansing

It seems to me that Igbos are being slaughtered in the Northern Nigeria and the Federal Government are not taking it as serious as they should!!! What is happening is sectarian cleansing (Igbos)!!! It just so smells like a beginning of civil war to me!! They can call it Christians killings all they want!! We must call a call a spade a spade!!!!

@DERI,I doubt an average Izon man reason as you

You are giving your tribe a very bad name.OGONI WOMAN,gave you a serious advise to seek Medical help yet you declined to listen to her. Why can't you read articles before writing your evasive comments? Is it that you get tickled when people respond to your cut and paste rubbish?You need to be castrated to terminate the spread of your gene in Niger Delta. Although,humans are complex creature and if you are exact way everyday,you are a Miserable individual,DERI.The very fact that you worship another man speaks volume of your intellectual level and your stunted cerebral development(look it up).

subsidy removal n hullabaloo

Our leaders alwz take us for a ride imagine a humble GEJ turnd MARADONA n storyteller. dnt start wat you n ur successors wnt follow n finish beta learn nw• Trust is vry expensive•“we no gree”

THE HYPOCRITIES AND THE FULANI AGENTS ARE OUT AGAIN

Achebe should realise that his own brother is the chief of army staff. Apart from that where was his voice when over 45 Igbos were slaughtered in Mandalla. Where was it when about 20 Igbos were killed in Gombe? Where was it in Kaduna spare part market where another set of igbos were killed. Let him direct his voice to boko haram. Is he scared of them? When the buharis swore to make the country ungovernable for Jonathan, where was his voice? Hypocrites of the biggest order. That is what they are. Now pretending to be part of the elite society calling on them boko haram not to murder of Jonathan. These are the type of people the fulanis call (abokin kura)-split the country cause the oil u are stealing belongs to an ethnic group in the ND. u cannot waste our oil and call us fools.

well said chioma. a very good

well said chioma. a very good and intelligent contribution.
well done.

@Jason Ibe; You are a huge

@Jason Ibe; You are a huge Moron..Your stupidity is of epic proportions!!

God Bless you all and God Bless Nigeria.

well said Nigerians, God Blees you all.

Salute to Nigerian Writers

I salute the courage of Nigerian Writers for their support in the Fuel Subsidy removal struggle. Prof Chinua Achebe is a rare breed of Nigerian who turned down the ass-wipe award from Jonathan's government. Prof, thumb-up

I second this

When the literati of our community revolt, why need pressing this matter, Jonathan?
Later they want Prof Achebe to 'stoop' for their honour.

seconding this

If the literati of our society are saying this, what there be the need for pushing further?

Oil subsidy removal ---let’s not be foolish!

Before we get more and more excited about this subsidy removal and call for the head of Jonathan, lets us know that this oil that sustains Nigeria and define the federation of Nigeria actually is extracted and belongs to a particular territory and region in Nigeria. We should also not forget that the wasteful politics of the way oil is used in Nigeria is actually the wasting away of the future and destiny of a people identified as Niger Delta indigenes. This oil actually represents their only economic good that has been wasted for years and never used to provide the basic welfare and development of their people and lands. That this wrong and ignorant use of this very important resource is responsible for the dangerous level of poverty and hunger in that region, and extending to Nigeria as a whole; let us not forget!

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