I read with great discomfort my friend Chidi's letter that the Nigeria State Secret Service (SSS) arrested two of his professional colleagues and is currently looking for him in connection with his work challenging Charles Taylor's asylum in Nigeria ( Pambazuka News 218, We are not fugitives, Charles Taylor is). That is indeed very frightening news knowing how much Chidi means to so many of us Africans, Pan-Africanists, human rights activists and Afro-optimists. Although I have known Chidi since 1999, I had the opportunity of meeting him in January 2004 when he was Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. I took Chidi's class, which was one of my best classes in my entire graduate studies program.
Chidi is indeed an "African Child" and one of the heavy brains that Africa is so gifted to have. He is an inspiration to so many of us committed to advancing our scholarly activism for the human security of Africa. Those who know Chidi would agree that he is as well a very cordial person, whose multitude of achievements have never stopped him from being humble and accommodative of even those junior or in opposition to him. I guess that is why he now gets into trouble with a government he seeks to engage with daily but which is opposed to his work. So, I wanted to write this letter to Pambazuka News, if Chidi is reading, to let him know how much we are thinking about him through this difficult moment, as well as his family and colleagues. I would also like to call upon everyone to please send a message of support or take a moment to offer your internal support to Chidi.