Mr. Charles Taylor Was NEVER in Nigeria’s Custody! Point of Correction Please!
Tuesday, 28 March 2006
Some Nigerians and their foreign cohorts may engage in great brouhaha or some other dizzying hoopla in connection with Mr. Charles Taylor’s disappearance from his limbo in Calabar Nigeria. Mr. Charles Taylor at the end of his political asylum in Nigeria was surely in limbo!
Nigerian laws and international protocols, conventions, treaties etc to which Nigeria is signatory, have not been violated by Nigeria. There was no warrant presented to Nigeria upon which Nigeria did not act or accord respect. There were no arresting officials or agencies presented to the officials of Nigerian government to which Nigeria did not accept or accede to requests. No one was impeded from taking Mr. Taylor on March 26, 2006 when Nigeria announced that Mr. Taylor’s political asylum has effectively ceased.
President Sirleaf of Liberia in effect refused to take delivery of Mr. Taylor as when President Obasanjo honored his commitment to hand Mr. Taylor over to a democratically elected government of Liberia upon request. Madam Sirleaf “appeared” to have made that request recently. She did not show up to take delivery of Mr. Taylor.
In fact, she engaged in obfuscations and double- speak as she later said that Mr. Taylor was not wanted in Liberia, as he is not facing trial in Liberia but the UN tribunal in Sierra Leone. .
President Sirleaf, President Bush and others, seem to have suffered willful forgetfulness regarding the intractable crises that had bedeviled Liberia before President Obasanjo stepped in to resolve the endless wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, internecine gory everyday life.
Neither the US nor the UK were interested in direct intervention in either Liberia, but Nigeria did so for decades in Sierra and Liberia at great and immense and costs, in Nigerian lives, of Nigerian soldiers and Nigerian Journalists. In Sierra, UK troops showed up, after Nigeria stabilized the country and after Nigeria was there for more than ten years. Nigeria spent billions of dollars! And the UK was now given credit for the work done in Sierra Leone by Nigeria.
Charles Taylor was never in custody in Nigeria! There was no CUSTODY!!!! He enjoyed asylum..... until it ended recently at the pleasure of the government and people of Nigeria which is represented by our President Obasanjo..... and Liberia, Sierra Leone or UN or whomever should have executed a WARRANT of arrest which Nigeria would have enforced!!! But that did not take place.
Mr. Charles Taylor enjoyed a political asylum like Mr. Ferdinand Marcos did in the USA. Liberia's Ms. Sirleaf wanted Mr. Taylor and she did not want Mr. Taylor!
People! Give President Obasanjo a break! And for goodness own sake, give NIGERIA a break!!!!!!!!!!!
Peace is still at best delicate in Liberia. Let us return Mr. Taylor to Liberia for a month and see what happens there! If this is what President Sirleaf wants or if that is what her friends in Washington DC wants of her and Liberia. It may well be that Mr. Taylor is heading towards Liberia now. If President Bush and his government really want to help Madam Sirleaf, they should pour investment and development dollars into Liberia after all, Liberians are as Africans as they are America’s kin.
How and why have some in the world suffered willful forgetfulness or collective amnesia? How can anyone forget how bad it was in Liberia? How can anyone forget the reason for the delicate deal that necessitated asylum for Mr. Taylor in Nigeria?
President Obasanjo made wide consultations with all sides, in Liberia, Sierra Leone and with everyone leader in the African continent. He as well consulted extensively with America and Britain before Taylor was accepted into Nigeria. Asylums are not for saints.
Nitwits wanted Nigeria to go back on Nigeria honor, integrity, agreement and promise, to ease Taylor into exile so that peace could reign in Liberia and the West African sub region. Suddenly, some Nigerians and their foreign cohorts wanted Nigeria to lose credibility by reneging on that agreement that was the basis of the subsisting peace in Liberia. How about Nigeria’s national and continental interests and credibility in the future?
President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have together endangered world peace and stability with their war of choice in Iraq, which is now blossoming into a full scale civil war. There are 30, 000 or 100,000 Iraqis dead, when is President Bush up for war crimes trial? President Bush and Mr. Taylor are moral equivalents!
And when will those who killed Steve Biko of South Africa be coming up for war crimes trials? So many atrocities and monstrosities were visited on Black Africans in Apartheid South Africa, in Zimbabwe, in Angola and in Namibia etc when will the UN establish War Crimes Tribunals to try the white operators of minority rule in Southern African for crimes against humanity?
And could someone explain to me why Africans were not in charge of the trials of the now dead Milosevic of Serbia and yet the Americans are in charge of the war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone? When will all these double, multiple standards and rules of convenience stop?