Controversial Bill: How Patriotic Is Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba?


It was with shock to know that the Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba as a ‘SAN’ proposed a bill that will compel the Federal Government of Nigeria to repatriate at least 16,400 Nigerians in various UK prisons back to Nigeria and other convicted Nigerian prisoners serving various jail terms in other Commonwealth countries. According to Senator Ndoma-Egba and those who share his view, they are concerned that the government of the UK spends about 1.6 million pounds a day to feed the Nigerian prisoners which they considered to be too much.

Please what interest has Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba and his supporters got on how much the UK spends on feeding Nigerian prisoners in the UK? Can the Federal Government of Nigeria afford to spend about 1.6 million pounds on feeding only the assumed number of prisoners from the UK and about three times the number of those in UK that are in other Commonwealth countries if repatriated? Are Nigerian prisons better than the prisons in the UK that made Senator Ndoma-Egba think of bringing these prisoners home against their will? How patriotic is this bill? I hope that Senator Ndoma-Egba or other senators have not compromised their conscience with the UK government by proposing to include or to amend the constitution without consideration of Nigerian citizens. When did the Nigerian government become richer than the UK government? Why is this bill targeting only the UK government and Commonwealth countries, if it is for the general welfare of Nigerians? Senator Ndoma-Egba, have you made a research to know how many Nigerians you are forcefully planning to deport back to Nigeria with this your bill? And is the Federal Government of Nigeria is ready for the consequence?

People like us don’t accept this madness in the name of bill proposal. Please Senator Ndoma-Egba, did you consider the dangerous health implication the bad state of Nigerian prisons will pose for your planned deportees? Did you consider that most people living in the western world do take preventive injections and tablets against malaria, typhoid, meningitis etc. before coming home because of Nigeria’s climate? Are you going to provide standard potable water or bottled water when you take them to that your disgusting prisons? Did you consider that most of those Nigerian prisoners have contributed immensely to the development of the economy in the UK? Are you going to pay them part of the pension money they have worked for while in the UK when you and your fellow leaders are too busy increasing your allowances and salaries questionably and have refused to pay Nigerian pensioners their gratuity and entitlement as at when due? Do you know that most of them may have been victims of racial discrimination and because people like you don’t care to help them get justice that is why they are in prison? Do you know that no sane person would like to, under any circumstance, leave a UK prison to that stinking environment with many untrained Nigerian warders in any Nigerian prison? Do you know that most of those people imprisoned in the UK and other western countries do work in the prisons and earn money? Do you also know that most of them are equally learning handworks in the prisons? Do you have such corrective measure in that stinky corrupt country? Do you know that they are well fed? Have you been able to feed the prisoners in Nigeria satisfactorily? Do you know that when the UK prisoners are sick that doctors do attend to them, unlike self medication in your Nigerian prisons where a prisoner gives warders money to buy medicine for him or her like PR, Phensic, Panadol, Paracetamol or Chloroquine etc.. when sick? But when you are sick Senator you will run to the UK for treatment and yet you want to forcefully bring home those that have been opportune to enjoy such privilege like you. Why don’t you propose a bill that will make you not to run to the UK for medical check-ups? If you don’t have any bill to propose please sit down because you must not propose.

I have a better bill to propose than this bill. I propose henceforth that all our elected leaders from the president to the local government chairmen, from the ministers to the commissioners and all the political appointees and all personal assistants are hereby banned from travelling out of Nigeria for medical check-ups or treatment. Anybody that contravenes this is liable to five years imprisonment without option of fine. This is a better proposal that will make our hospitals well equipped and I throw your bill and my bill to the public court.

Mr. Senator Sir, since you want to be the minister for prisoners who cares so much about their welfare, why don’t you look into the situation where female prisoners in Nigeria are conceiving and bearing children under the watchful eyes of the warders? Why don’t you look at the situation that leads to so many people dying as a result of cholera or malaria etc. in Nigerian prisons? A prison to a large extent is supposed to be a corrective environment as I understood. In consideration of this, why don’t you make sure that Nigerian prisoners are reasonably engaged while still in custody so that when they come out they will be useful to the society and turn a new leaf from what led them to prison? What we have in Nigerian prisons today is that either a prisoner comes out of prison with an infectious disease or worst than what she or he was before going to prison because of the “I don’t care attitude” of our so-called leaders who don’t care about the consequence of their actions on the citizens like the bill you are proposing. If you care so much why don’t you make a bill specifically that will make it compulsory for the Federal Government to try to bring home all Nigerians that are condemned prisoners in various countries like Thailand, Malaysia, China or Indonesia etc. waiting to be hanged because they are the ones that need help? Why not use this money that may be used in bringing these Nigerians home to improve the standard of Nigerians in other areas or Nigerian prisons if the money must be spent on prison related issues? Why is this bill more important and urgent now amongst all the problems facing Nigerians?

How are we sure that this is not another means of siphoning money through nepotism of giving the contracts of bringing these Nigerians home? Please Senator Ndoma-Egba, kindly take care of the prisoners in Nigeria first before bringing people that are in heaven in UK prisons in comparison to the hell fire called Nigerian prisons. Provide jobs for out of prison Nigerians like it would be in the UK before this absurd proposal. Are you trying to prove that you care so much about the welfare of the prisoners when you don’t care how and why they went to prison? Please, your help is absolutely not needed here and save yourself this energy. Mr. Senator Sir, can you please explain to many concerned citizens how this your bill will improve the economy of Nigeria or will advance positively the lives of those affected Nigerians? Can you please Mr. Senator make available a letter written by any of these Nigerians in the UK prisons seeking your intervention of facilitating their repatriation back to Nigeria? Then I will publish hundreds of mails and letters from Nigerians in Asia and Europe sent most times through failed Nigerian ambassadors to the Federal Government of Nigeria crying for assistance to get justice but people like you in power and their cohorts abandoned them.

In the words of Napoleon Hill “An educated man is that man who has learnt how to get what he wants without violating the right of his fellow man.” Whereas I agree that Senator Ndoma-Egba is exercising his legitimate right and wants to be counted as one of the vibrant senators in the senate, I do not agree that it should be done to the detriment of the masses who voted for him to better their living with qualitative bills and debates. While I congratulate the senators who are opposed to this bill I want to equally remind those promoting it that irrespective of how they lobby to legitimise this bill as proposed by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, it violates the right of any affected citizen, and that the bill will put many homes in Nigeria in sorrow and pains for too long if passed. I also want to inform the senators that this bill if passed, will make the injustice against Nigerians in the UK worse because so many more will be unjustly jailed. Knowing that it would be the easiest way to deport Nigerians, the UK government will use this bill indiscriminately against Nigerians with kangaroo courts, and more miscarriage of justice against Nigerians should be expected. Therefore, I do hope and pray that the Nigerian senators will critically analyse the implications of this proposal and make sure that it does not pass the next reading.

While I pray for the death of this bill, I urge fellow Nigerians especially our press men and women to please help to unplug this root before it grows because we are all involved.

•Uzoma Ahamefule writes from Vienna, Austria. [email protected] +436604659620 sms only.

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