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Call them terrorists, not bandits – Emeka Anyaoku, ex-Commonwealth Secretary General


Call them terrorists, not bandits – Emeka Anyaoku, ex-Commonwealth Secretary General

Mr Anyaoku says Nigeria is sliding into “international irrelevance.


A former secretary general of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyaoku, said the current state of affairs in Nigeria was pushing the country to the brink of disaster.

Mr Anyaoku said this at the 10th edition of the Emeka Anyaoku Lecture Series on Good Governance, organised in his honour in Awka on Thursday.

The former diplomat, who hails from Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, said he had to break his over 10 years resolve to be away from public glare because Nigeria was fast drifting away from the dreams of her founding fathers.


“Developments in this country are pushing Nigeria to the brink of national disaster,” he said.

Mr Anyaoku, 88, decried the degeneration of the country into “international irrelevance” and the slide into the ranks of poverty-stricken nations.

He said the level of deterioration had robbed Nigeria of the desired respect and the much needed sense of belonging by her citizens. He condemned the rise in cases of kidnapping and the acts of bandits who, he said, must be called what they are, “terrorists, and nothing more”.

Apart from mass abduction of citizens, bandits operating around northern Nigeria have carried out deadly attacks on Nigeria’s security agencies, including the army.


Seven soldiers were killed in July, for instance, when some bandits ambushed the Nigerian troops in a village in Kebbi State.

Mr Anyaoku expressed worry over the recent assault on a Nigerian diplomat in Jakarta, Indonesia, noting that such a development indicated the ignominy with which the rest of the world now treat Nigeria.

Mr Anyaoku recalled that in their heydays in diplomatic circles, such an odious treatment could not be imagined. He recalled how as a young assistant serving in Nigeria’s embassy in the U.S, in the 1960s and early 1970s, almost every state in the U.S. craved his audience.


In his speech at the event, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State said this year’s edition of the lecture came at the right time in the political history of the state.



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