A civil society organization, Coalition for Truth and Justice has frowned at the recent travel advisory issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom on 21 states in Nigeria.
We reported that a statement on the UK government website said all travels to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River States and 20km of the border with Niger in Zamfara State should be cancelled.
The FCO warned against all but essential travel to: Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi and within 20km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States, non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia States.
Reacting, the collation said the FCO advisory was misguided and an attempt to cause unnecessary apprehension among Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country; that are going about their regular businesses.
Charles Timothy Esq, National Coordinator of the collation in a statement on Wednesday, described the advisory as misguided and deliberate plot targeted at blackmailing the country
This is even worrisome in the face of the fact that the United Kingdom has not shown any commitment towards Nigeria in the fight against terrorism over the years.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice, therefore, condemns the actions of the FCO in its entirety and views such attempt as a deliberate ploy to cause unrest in the 21 states in Nigeria.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the travel advisory is capable of scaring away investors from Nigeria, thereby causing a strain on socio-economic activities in the country.
It is therefore consequent that the travel advisory is withdrawn and an unreserved apology is issued to the Nigerian authorities by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice also wishes to state in unequivocal terms that the advisory by the FCO is an expression of a larger agenda to destabilize Nigeria by some interest groups that are not happy with the substantial gains made in Nigeria since 2015 under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice also challenges the United Kingdom to expressly state how it has assisted Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and other militant groups that threatened the sovereignty of the country.
The United Kingdom has refused to assist Nigeria in keeping at bay the threat posed by the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) around the Lake Chad basin region that has seen innocent women and children suffer untold hardship.
The United Kingdom also as an ally of Nigeria has not made any concrete effort towards assisting Nigeria in our quest to acquire arms and ammunition in the fight against terrorism over the years.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom erred substantially in issuing the travel advisory and as such the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom must begin the process of reprimanding those involved in the misdemeanor.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that the United Kingdom as an ally of Nigeria owes Nigeria a high debt of apology given the fact that the UK has not in times past demonstrated a commitment to assist the Nigerian troops fighting terrorism in North East Nigeria and other parts of the country.
The United Kingdom has carried on in a manner that suggests that it is not interested in peace and sustainable development in Nigeria vis-à-vis the threats posed by terrorist groups through its actions and inactions.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice believes that countries such as the United Kingdom should be at the vanguard of extending a helping hand to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism by availing the Nigerian troops with advanced technological skills and equipment.
It is also expected that the United Kingdom should rally support for Nigeria from the international community in the fight against terrorism.
The Coalition for Truth and Justice, therefore, states for the umpteenth time that the travel advisory was in poor taste and should be withdrawn, and instead, the United Kingdom should lend a helping hand to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges in the country.
For a better society