Open Letter To New Zealand’s Prime Minister

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Dear Madam Prime Minister, I know is mourning the gruesome murder of the fifty people praying on Friday in Christchurch and tending to the wounded. I want to use this medium to personally commiserate with New Zealanders, the government of and the families of those who lost their loved ones in the terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch. Indeed it was a horrific experience to the second most peaceful country In the world.

Madam, I must confess I have been following your every move from this part of the world, Nigeria. Say I am a fan of yours. I mean, the distance between Nigeria and New Zealand is not something to joke with. I have never been to that part of the world, but I follow you, I admire, cherish and respect you. Ma’am, among the female leaders of the world, you are my role model.

I first began to develop interest in whatever you do when I first saw you in an interview with the BBC. During that interview, you showed absolute sincerity, love and compassion for your country. Ma’am, during the last UN General Assembly, I saw you with your baby, it was loving and lovely. I was so happy and thankful that you and your baby are safe, healthy and secured. I say this because I know it is not easy for a woman to pass that stage. One of the easiest way a woman die in our part of the world is during child birth. Thank God government is doing its best to curtail the menace of mortality with help from donors and partners.

Madam Pime Minister, Ma’am, I was among the first people to condemn the attack on citizens in your country. I didn’t know how accurate but , when the time in New Zealand reads 1:30pm, the corresponding time in Nigeria is 6:30am. I was on BBC from 6:30am till only God knows when. I cry, weep, mourn, symphatized and to some extent got angry and felt the urge for reprisal as human being who watched his fellow Muslim brothers and sisters murdered gruesomely just because they share different faith with the terrorist.

I was among the first person to defend you when other people are saying you failed to call the act “ a terrorist act.” I told them among all the leaders in the world, you were the first to call the act a “terrorist act.” Not even the Australian Prime Minister who’s citizen carry out the “terrorist act.” I told them you even promised not to call the person’s name who carried out the “terrorist act.”

I watched on my TV from this part of the world when you addressed the Parliament. Your outright condemnation of the act and the perpetrator and how you stand for the fallen and their families. You completely melt my heart when you said, “A 28-year old man, an Australian citizen, has been charged with one count of murder. Other charges will follow. He will face the full face of the law in New Zealand. The families of the fallen will have justice. He sought many things from his act of terror but one was notoriety and that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will as I speak be nameless and to others, I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost rather than the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name.”

Madam Prime Minister, Ma’am, this is the greatest regard, respect and farewell to the fallen. It is also the best condemnation given to a terrorist, criminal and extremist. It is also the greatest hope to the people of New Zealand and others who are hopeful of one day coming to New Zealand and making it a second home.I beg you Ma’am, don’t give that terrorist, criminal and extremist what he sought for, not even his name.

Upon growing up, New Zealand became one country I hope to one day explore. I have no doubt that with the actions so far taking, New Zealand will one day be the first peaceful country in the world where I so much want to spend a part of my life in, apart from my home country Nigeria.

Ma’am, you proved me right on this when you said “ we are a welcoming country, I utterly reject the idea that in any way in trying to ensure that we have a system that looks after those who choose to call New Zealand home, that we can perpetuate an environment where this kind of ideology can exist.”

In the end, I want to once again pray for the souls of the fallen to rest in peace and, to their families the fortitude to bear the losts, to the wounded I pray for quick recovery. I want to thank the New Zealand security personnel especially the police for their quick response to save the situation. I also thank you for treating the falling and their families with respect, love, concern and symphaty. I hope you will not relent in doing what is best for the people of New Zealand.

Abbas Abubakar Umar

Jabi, Abuja. sabbarakabuba@gmail.com

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