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An open letter to Nigeria and Mr President BY Saratu Ishaya Audu


I accept that it is disrespectful to use abusive language on anyone, especially not an elder or the President — I sincerely apologize for this.

I know that my father would not have liked to see me abusing anybody under any circumstance, so in honour of his memory, I apologize again for my language.

Anger is unattractive and it’s a sign that one who is angry has been mastered by the subject of their anger. I accept responsibility for my behavior at Abuja House in London.

As a British Nigerian, I have also accepted the responsibility to speak on behalf of the many Nigerians at home who may not have the freedom to speak for themselves; but are suffering and dying in silence.

We Nigerians in the diaspora have the right to talk because we work hard to send money home, to our relatives, to pay school fees and hospital bills.

This remittance is so valuable to the Nigerian government that CBN has offered an extra 5 naira to the recipient of every dollar that is remitted home.

Unfortunately, the people of Nigeria have lost their basic human rights to security, health, and self-expression.

With poorly funded and equipped hospitals, If u cannot afford a private hospital you simply die.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

During this pandemic period whilst other nations like UK have furloughed their staff — poor Nigerians were denied palliative relief which was stockpiled in warehouses and bank charges VAT, fuel & electricity price hikes have been introduced.

It is against the backdrop of this raging poverty, insecurity, the daily kidnappings, hospital closures due to strikes that President Muhammadu Buhari has left Nigeria for medical tourism, this is despite his position on 21 February 2015 when he told us at Chatham House that not only would he not be a medical tourist – but he would also not use the presidential jets.

This has increased the anger level in Nigeria.

Nigerians want the president to return home and build a world class hospital there.

Instead, N42 billion is to be used during this pandemic to repair the NASS building.

Is painting the NASS more important than renovating hospitals and paying hospital workers in the midst of a COVID pandemic?

Is it more important than rehousing those internally displaced by bandits and Boko Haram?

No one lives in the NASS building, but internal refugees are living in tents and makeshift shelters.

It is not a matter of life & death if NASS is not renovated this or next year whereas not repairing hospitals today is costing lives today.

Nigeria asks the president for healthcare for all Nigerians and an end to medical tourism using Nigeria’s money.

Nigerians want that money used to build hospitals instead.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thank you.