NIGERIA IS GETTING IT WRONG AGAIN
“If a people stubbornly refuse to willingly choose a god as a guardian angel of their own choice unto themselves, then the devil will be choosing a god unto them”
One thing that is very important of note is that nobody, West Africa or Africa as a whole, will like any self-appointed big brother to come around bullying anyone. It is however very obvious that the need for a Guardian Angel to look over us all against the parasites of the Europe, America and even China, is now becoming inevitable. On whether the AU is the answer or the ECOWAS is the answer, it all depends on our understanding of the magnitude of the problem before us. Considering the fact that we are technologically less advantaged, people's power by number becomes our best option. If the AU is with a population of 986 million while the ECOWAS is just 302 million, then the AU becomes the best option. The big question is; what type of AU? Is it one with less people involvement in the election of the Chairman of the Commission (authority) of the Union or the one with more peoples' involvement, particularly when one of our biggest challenges is democracy in the AU member states?
Our aim here is not to pick on Nigeria or Nigerians, but to talk about facts that are affecting us all in the name of Nigeria. If Nigeria has decided to be openly taking instruction on how to attack a neighbouring sovereign state from the USA government, then we must speak out. Where is the principle of non alignment with any super power that our fathers fought so hard to uphold? A lot are happening in that Nigeria and talking about it will do us all good. Now is the time than any other since it is becoming obvious that the big brother is getting bigger to swallow us all up by the devil that are ridding it from such places like Washington and Brussels. A lot of our people might not be aware that this is just another form of the Cold War for the African natural resources between the Western and the Eastern Powers. What other way could China be control in her big leap to catch with the West given all it technological advancement than by controlling the sources of raw material that feed the Chinese industrial base? How could this be done than by getting certain persons into office by all means to work for the West against the East while certain individuals like Lauren Gbagbo have to be forcefully kicked out, even when that is what the people want? So we are now faced with Western Europe-the USA against Russia-China. Love us but hate our enemy, is that not what the West wants for us in Africa?
It is one thing to have a big brother who is doing something when the need calls for it and it is another thing to have a visible puppet of the western imperialists being employed to do their dirty job. Is it not strange to hear the voice of Nigeria echoing the will and wishes of Washington and Brussels institutions, as the same voice was once known as saying that “THE FOREIGN POLICY OF NIGERIA IS NIGERIA”? Why the big shift from the Yakubu Gowan's Nigerianized foreign policy to the Goodluck Jonathan's Americanized UN-USA foreign policy? Yesterday, the foreign Policy of Nigeria is Nigeria and today the foreign policy of Nigeria is the Americans' Yes, it is a common saying that in politics, nothings is permanent as everything changes with interest. What then could be the interest of the cow when the famer is desperate to get some cheese and beef to the market? What exactly is the interest of Nigeria in this to the extent of exposing Nigerian nationals to danger when things could have been done better? How many Americans are going to be victims than the poor Nigerian population all over West Africa in the interest of the west?
Nigeria from the modern day nation has been more of a problem than a blessing to the neighbouring West Africa states. As a nation, Nigerian is a conglomeration of volatility that makes it susceptible to manipulations which is dangerous to the whole of West Africa, whenever the manipulator is an external interest. In fact, this is the only reason why the British Empire encouraged the fussing together of entities with extremes in their characteristic into a single modern day entity referred to as Nigeria. The Name Niger-Area might have been a mistake but to Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, the purpose of fussing together the different entities into a big genie was exactly to have something in place to get other African colonies into obedience in such a time like this.
The natural instinct for suspicions towards Nigeria by other states within the sub region is of two causes. One of this is the size of Nigeria and the other is the historical attitude of the nation in her relationship with her neighbours that has been pro external forces than an independent one. In the days of Ghana under Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Nigeria was his biggest problem and now here is the same Nigeria being the problem of another freedom fighter, Lauren Gbagbo. In fact, Nkrumah was very lucky if not for that unfortunate 1963 Military Coup in Nigeria that was followed by the Civil War, because the imperialists were losing patience with Nkrumah at the time and the military option was being considered.
There is no doubt of Nigeria having the BIG BROTHER characteristic in West Africa. The size of Nigeria in terms of land mass, population and natural endowment make the nation naturally a threat to her neighbours, even without any external interference. With a population of 158,259,000 people, Nigeria enjoys 14,710,804 people as a single entity more than the entire West African population of 143,545,196. So Nigeria alone of the 51 countries has a population more than the remaining 14 ECOWAS countries. Nigeria has more of her people as communities in every one of the West African countries which unfortunately, makes it a shame when the number of all the nationals of other West African states combined that reside in Nigeria, is not up to the population of Nigerians residing in just one of the West African neighbours. In other words, the whole number of nationals of all the 14 member states of ECOWAS in Nigeria is not up to the population of Nigerians leaving in Ghana alone, despite all the wealth of the land. So instead of a blessing to other West African states due to her natural endowments, we are in fact talking about a parasite on her neighbours, because the imperialists have sunk their tentacles of exploitation so deep into the being of Nigeria that her resources is only there for the external interests than herself. In fact, there is just nothing left for her people to live on. As if this on its own is not enough, Nigeria is now being used as a proxy front by the imperialists' invasion of the rest of West African states to bully every one of us into submission, for exploitation by the external forces. In fact, every form of evil is a normal way of life in Nigeria. Interestingly, these formalized evils are replicating them selves in other parts of West Africa. Our prayers are that it must be limited to Nigeria, and not in our back yards! But how is that possible? This is exactly what the saying “first get the big monkey and use it to catch all the other monkeys” about.
Yes, just get the bird, train it into a tool of catching birds and all the other birds will come with time!
On the land mass, Nigeria is the fifth after Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania in West Africa. Unlike the other four nations that are more of desert and less rich on vegetation and mineral resources, Nigeria enjoys a very good portion of the rain forest as well as the Savannah and the Sahel vegetations. Nigerian also access the Atlantic Ocean through an enriched area of oil deposits in form of a delta created by rivers struggling from their far away sources, in the heart of the desert of other mountainous land locked Africa states. Among the coastal states that stood guard on the Atlantic Ocean, with each squeezing to position itself right on the edge of coast as if their lives depends on facing the sea, the dominance of Nigeria is easily felt as it dwarfs all the other nations with its population and land mass.
Of course Nigeria, or any other African country, did not chose to be what she is today than what I will honestly referred to as an Act of Nature that turned us all into what we are today. Like the wild horse that Nigeria has become, what is our fate when she is now being ridden by the devils of Washington and Brussels? Is the problem here the “wild horse of West Africa” or the devils from the faraway lands that are ridding the wild horse? Maybe if we can ride this horse our self, she will be of a blessing to us all than the curse of Africa.
Nigeria in the Africa Union is supposed to be like Texas in the USA. Texas is said to be the 4th World largest economy in the USA which is the first world largest Economy. The US comprises of 50 states of which there are some states on the 17th position of the global economy class. Is it not interesting to have both the world's 4th and 17th economies all within the 1st world largest economy?
Can you ever imagine the governor of Texas openly expressing a view internationally on another state of the USA than having the Washington administration to do it all? In the colonies of Africa, the story is different. Abnormality is the order of the day. A colony in the first place of abnormal phenomenon and nothing is expected from a colony than abnormality, and Nigeria is doing exactly that in the AU. In colonies, the norm is that no colony discuss with the other. Rather all concerns are communicated to the colonial master that then decide and feed back with instruction for the colony to carry out what kind of action it is expected by the masters.
It is true that the modern Africa states were formed and ruled by the European states for nearly 200 years. It is just unfortunate that the bond or contract of ownership of these African states were relocated, at the end of the World War 11 to the UN, after the original colonial masters were conquered by Adolf Hitler. Was that not what happened when the Germans were conquered in the First World War when the German colonial possessions, like Togo and Cameroon, passed on to the winners as British and French by the League of Nations? Equally, the 1945 Agreement did not only signify the formation of the UN but also the transfer of the ownership of the colonies to the USA. The time actually marked the departure of the ownership of our sovereignties to the Americans as is expected of defeated nations of the Second World War. The headquarters of our new colonial masters did then move from Europe to the USA where the UN is located. But who controls New York than the Washington institution? European states are just struggling to get something out of their past relationship with us, but we are all at the mercy of the almighty USA. The beauty of it all is that USA is not rushing but rather, building abnormal embassies in every country of Africa.
In fact, those of us who have carefully been keeping record of the unfolding events in Nigeria from 1960 to date are fully aware that any Nigerian leader that is not willing to be use as a big bully by the imperialists to cajole other West African states into toeing the line of the external controllers of our destiny, civilian or military, never survive long. All the civilian governments of Nigeria from Sir Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have all been openly pro West. The military governments have mostly been openly anti west, particularly the case of Ibrahim Banbangida and Sani Abacha. The West have also camouflaged behind “democracy” and “human right” to make Nigeria ungovernable for these people.
Last week it was reported that Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria spent endless hours with Barak Obama on a phone conversation receiving detailed instruction on what to do next regarding Cote d'Ivoire, as if Cote d'Ivoire is a state in Nigeria. Of course the conversation was said to be a form of assurance to the America president after the flocks of USA diplomats that daily hounded the Nigerian president in Abuja to coerce him into taking the irrational action of pulling the ECOWAS into fighting an unnecessary war to protect the interest of the Americans and their allies. The next day, Goodluck was heard personally condemning the Gbagbo government and openly taking side with the IMF man. Like a school boy that has spend the whole night memorising exactly what the CIA have gone through with him several times on what to say, the Nigerian president was heard calling for military action. What exactly is the difference between this one and Saddam Hussein engaging in an unnecessary war with the Iranians just because the USA wanted him to do that? The natural reaction for the Ivoirians towards the Nigerian president biased position is attack on the Nigerian Embassy in Abidjan.
To start with, is it not fair to talk about the credibility and legitimacy of Goodluck Jonathan as a president of Nigeria? When was Jonathan elected into office that makes him democratically more of a decent man than Lauren Gbagbo? The man that was elected into the office of the Nigerian presidency is not Goodluck Jonathan but the late Musa Yar'Adua. In the election under Ex Nigerian president Olusegun Obassanjo that brought Yar'Adua into office, how many of us recalled Obassanjo threatening “I will use every force against anybody who stands in the way of the election?” In other words, everything will be employed by the government under PDP of Obassanjo to make sure that it is only their candidate that wins the election and that is exactly what the case is today. Millions of Nigerians will not want the PDP or Goodluck Jonathan to be in government but with the Western backing, the oppression continues. Here we are with an illegitimate head of government talking about a legitimate force. How many people got slaughtered in the election that brought Yar'Adua into government with Goodluck Jonathan today is claiming to be the angel of democracy? Is this not a desperate way of appeasing the Americans and the UN into siding with him and legitimizing his government after the rigging of the coming Nigerian election against the will of the majority? So the price to pay by the Nigerian president in the name of ECOWAS now is openly leading forces into Cote d'Ivoire to remove a sitting government to put in a person that is favoured by the west. Whose dirty job?
The big question we all must be asking ourselves is could this be the best approach to the bad situation? What are the opportunities and limitations in this situation? What exactly are the chips on the table? First and foremost, we are not dealing with military men that have forcefully taken over a government and intimidating the people. We are rather dealing with a civilian government that is holding on to power due to a contentious election result. Equally, the individual in question is basing his action on the irregularities in the election and there by calling for recount of the election results. The individual is also strongly calling for a peaceful negotiation for a way forward that means there is every chance of an amicable settlement than the use of force.
On the other hand, the opposition is calling for the use of force by the external forces to remove the incumbent government from office, even if it is going to mean killing the entire military of the whole of Cote d'Ivoire, to put him in government by force. What is democratic about this? What is sensible about this? Where is justice here? Where is love for ones nation? Where is patriotism in this case? How on earth should any man stand by the position of having foreign forces to kill even one person, talk less of millions that will be losing their lives, just to occupy the presidency of his nation?
What is the difference between the June 12 election in which Mashood Abiola was said to have won but had Babangida annulling the result and had him self staying in power? In the case of Abiola in which both Ibarhima Babangida and Sani Ababcha were all military men, the best option would have been the use of military forces to remove them and have Abiola install as the president. Could there be any other reason for Babangida and Abacha refusing to handover power to Abiola than the obvious fact that they associated him with the Western means of getting to the country's power and resources? Could that objective be said to be achieved after Abacha's death with Goodluck Jonathan's currently attitude? Could that be what Abacha was killed for?
On a reflection, what would have been the case if the rest of West Africa or the West had employed the military means to remove the illegitimate government of Nigeria at that time from office to impose Abiola on them? How would the Nigerians be feeling today if Benin Republic, Niger and Cameroon had allowed the West to use their lands to attack Nigeria at that time, in the name of ECOWAS? How would Nigeria under Babangida feel having her neighbours allowing foreign solders to be engaging in bloody battle with their army just to remove Babanguda and have Abiola become the president of Nigeria? Can you imagine the millions of innocent souls as military men who would have been unnecessarily lost? So without Alhassan Quattara being the president of Cote d'Ivoire, the country can not continue as a state?
Maybe some of us should start telling the president of Nigeria that the position he is taking is wrong and posterity will never forgive him. Sad enough, nobody will ever have access to Goodluck Jonathan but what about the unfortunate Nigerians that litter the whole of West Africa as soft targets? What is going to be the fate of those in the most remote parts of Cote d'Ivoire who do not speak Nigerian languages anymore but are still identified as Nigerians and very vulnerable? What will become of these soft targets in the hands of the agitated Ivoirians? Does the Nigerian government even care about these people, both in and outside Nigeria?
This is another obvious reason why we in the AGA are doing everything to get the Chairman of the AU Commission getting his/her mandate thought the ballot box in an election involving everyone of the 986 million citizens of the AU. This kind of election will be about what should be the fates of those who will become the victim of decisions like this, as the election will be about the standard of approach to such situation. The Nigerian government has evacuated only those formally known to be residing in Cote d'Ivoire from Nigeria. Interestingly, the West has also removed their nationals from Cote d'Ivoire. But here is Nigeria behaving like Cote d'Ivoire is a form of far away land to her citizens on one hand like the European and the American states do on the land of Africa, and the same Nigeria on the hand pretending she is unaware of the thousands of her poor citizens that are on the same land.
This is exactly typical of all the AU member states. Some citizens, in the minority are recognized formally with all forms of citizens' right while majority of the citizens of the same state are left to their fate. That is what is happening in the AU election where minority are recognize as human being for participating in the decision of who become the Chairman of the AUC while the majority are as good as monkeys.
Our position recognized the complications of the ECOWAS region with 15 countries in which 5 are British controlled, 2 Portuguese and 8 French strongly controlled. The problem of the fear of Nigeria by population is annulled by a combination of Egypt and Ethiopia alone. The two make up a total population of 158,965,634 which is 706,634 more than that of Nigeria. The AU election is the answer to it all, and every one will now be under control without any big brother bully.
There is every reason for us to have comparative analysis of the Liberian/Sierra Leonean wars and the circumstances that justify the use of forces at the time. We shall also be looking at the Kenyan/Zimbabwean elections with how the crisis was brought under control and the aftermath of the events to see how the employment of military solution as legitimate means in the Ivoirian crisis in later date, could be a justifiable option. Finally, as the Sudan's referendum approaches that will be resulting in the birth of another African state, it is very important to reflect on the future of our Union and the role the Union is playing in the birth of the new nation. Is it a bright future or a bleak one for us all?
Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin
Action Group of Africa (AGA)