Sarafa Isola, Nigeria’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, has written to the London-based magazine The Economist in response to an article critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Jihadism, organized crime, and political violence have grown so intense and ubiquitous that most of the country is drifting toward ungovernability,” according to The Economist.
Nigeria may likewise go into a negative spiral from which it will difficult to recover, according to the report. According to The Economist, Nigeria’s army is only “powerful” on paper, and the country’s increasing instability is due to “a sick economy and a clumsy government.”
According to the publication, Buhari’s administration is “inept and heavy-handed,” and “has failed to prevent corruption, which creates discontent.”
In response, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom remarked that the magazine’s portrayal of Nigeria is unfair and selective to its readers.
Sarafa asserted that since Buhari entered power, the country has made progress and that he has championed reforms in numerous sectors.
“The Economist is correct to point out the multiple security and governance challenges that Nigeria presently faces. But the picture that you present is selective and unfair to your readers.
“The decay of agencies and institutions has gathered momentum for decades. There is no quick or simple fix. It is unwise to pretend otherwise.
“There has been progress. Nigeria works closely with partners in the Sahel region, Europe and the US on security and intelligence. It is not an accident that the leadership of militant groups is weaker than it has ever been.
“You highlight the need for police reform: this is a process that President Buhari’s administration has led, including the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). We are already working with the UK and others on training and equipment.
“Nigeria has led the region in a robust response to COVID-19 that has helped keep infection levels well below many parts of the world, while also helping to mitigate the economic shocks from the global downturn for the most vulnerable.
“President Buhari has also championed reforms to the energy sector, the cradle for corruption, in the teeth of fierce resistance from the old, business-as-usual brigade.”