American arrogance and the Charles Taylor asylum In Nigeria
New York, United States
The two million dollars bounty placed on Mr. Charles Taylor by the Americans has left me asking so many questions, amongst which are: Is an asylum granted by Nigeria only valid, when America approves? What indeed constitute a valid asylum? Does America respect her friends and allies? Does America really need more enemies? Is America asking Nigeria to cede sovereignty and territorial integrity? So many questions have arisen from America’s latest undiplomatic and brazen behavior dujour! Granting an asylum status, is a discretionary measure exercised by countries and usually without the unprecedented and preposterous second-guessing recently displayed by the Americans regarding Mr. Charles Taylor.
For all purposes, Nigeria is a friend and an ally of the United States with existing cordial diplomatic and economic relationships, it was expected therefore, that the USA would use regular diplomatic or back-channel diplomacy in the asylum matter under review, this could have been done before the asylum was granted to Mr. Taylor! The current American provocative efforts and pronouncements, must be seen by Nigerians and all others, for what it really is, hostile action! Hostility is what the Americans have declared against Nigeria, a friendly ally nation. Nigerians who are opposed to President Obasanjo’s administration, in particular and every other Nigerian in general, should see the American action as an unfriendly act toward Nigeria; We should separate the wheat from the chaff, by not confusing the issue with our domestic or internal family squabbles or even the disagreement with the asylum granted Mr. Taylor. The asylum is now a fact and it has been so , since August 2003.
Dr. Bode Olajumoke of the UNCP said it best when he told The Guardian that the American action was sheer aggression and an arrogant one, at that. He also rightly asked the Americans did not invade Liberia and seize Mr. Taylor as the Americans are wont to do? But now, in a volt face, the Americans are seeking to intimidate Nigeria, as they rub the affable President Obasanjo’s nose in it, even though Nigeria’s president just visited the Americans last week.
Similarly, Dr.Wale Omole, the co-ordinator of National Problems and Solutions chastised the Americans for attempting to act in complete disregard of Nigeria’s sovereignty in a roughshod manner. Especially considering the fact that Nigeria has perennially been best buddies of the Americans, and president Bush was in Nigeria in July 2003, while Mr. Taylor’s asylum was being considered by the Nigerian government publicly. President Bush actually, almost earned my friendship because of his visit to Nigeria, as I strongly believe that anyone who engages in the exemplification of the importance and pride of place of Nigeria, deserves my friendship…even if some might say that Mr. Bush visited Nigeria for his and America’s interests.
Our President Obasanjo was in the US only last with to visit with the Bushes and that was not the first his first private and or official visit to Bush the son and Bush the father, why will the younger Bush deliberately and contemptuously embarrass his father’s friend? And with friends like these, who need enemies? When are the Americans going to learn or realize that friends and allies are a necessity for successful diplomacy with some finesse? As opposed to America’s might is right gunship policies worldwide? Meanwhile, Nigerians and the world must be united in opposition America’s latest display of arrogance, intimidation targeted at Nigeria, America must once more be reminded of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other nations in the world, especially, in this instance, as it pertains to Nigeria in the Charles Taylor asylum matter.
Paul I. Adujie is a Nigerian Lawyer and an Information Technology Professional.