Obama Is Wrong On Nigeria, On Visit Snub, On Agents Meeting Babangida, & On Terrorist List
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States
President Obama is wrong on Nigeria, wrong numerous times
Wrong on matter of snubbing Nigeria without the flying stop over “visit
Wrong on the matter of putting Nigeria on a so-called terrorist haven list
Wrong on meeting Ibrahim Babangida instead of pro-democracy groups, intelligentsia and professionals
President Obama’s administration does not have a policy on Nigeria, The only semblance of US policy toward Nigeria can be summarized as snubs and slaps and collusions with unsavory characters in Nigeria
Obama On Nigeria, Is Wrong Again And Again And Again In One Year
Snubs And Slaps As Substitute For Well Reasoned Long Term US Policy On Nigeria?
First, President Obama, in his infinite wisdom, decided to act and go contrary to traditions, as far as American African Policy is concerned. Mr. Obama ostentatiously ignored Nigeria in his maiden visit to the African continent, a “visit“ which should actually read as a stopover for a two hours, while on the way back to Washington DC from Italy, via Accra Ghana. Motivated by Nigeria’s stance on AFRICOM?
And the monumental mistake and error in judgment , on the part of the Obama administration, was explained and was justified by spin-doctors as an action necessitated by the imperfect elections which took place in Nigeria in April 2007, even though Mr. Obama did not become president of the United States until January 20, 2009 and this stopover in Ghana occurred in July 2009, more than two complete full years after the April 2007 elections in Nigeria. President Obama assumed the US presidency bearing grudges against Nigeria? It will be recalled that President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, visited Nigeria for more than a day in 2000 and ditto President George W. Bush a Republican, who of course, also visited Nigeria in 2003.
It is crucial to mention here that President Obama and his advisers actually visited Egypt, a nation which has had the same President Hosni Mubarak for several decades, and has run political oppositions underground in the most repressive and draconian ways. Similarly, President Obama and his advisers, apparently forgot to tell the world as Mr. Obama visited Saudi Arabia, the last time the Saudis had elections and when the next elections would be in that Kingdom? And of course, President Obama also visited China and spent days there… China, that industrial and military behemoth. But we must ask Mr. Obama whether China is an exemplification and epitome of democracy, elections and the rule of law or constitutionalism? Is America’s definition of democratic and constitutional idealism so fluid, fleeting and ephemeral, with vagaries of military, economic and strategic strength in different localities?
Ironically and quite paradoxically, Mr. Obama is an African American descent and a first generation American whose father was born in Kenya. Whereas, both President Clinton and President Bush are Caucasian Anglo Saxons. Brother Obama will not talk to us, because he thinks that we are going astray or not threading the right path?
Meanwhile, in sharp contrast, this same Obama, both as presidential candidate and actual president, made so much hay of what became his signature foreign policy thrusts, to the effect that he would negotiate and dialogue, even unconditionally with those hostile to American interests, or so-called American enemies, including North Korea, Iran and even the Taliban! The world knows that Nigeria has been friendly with the US, with excellent diplomatic and trade relations, even arguably against Nigeria’s best interests.
Listing Nigeria As If A Terrorist Haven, While Excluding Britain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Qatar
Secondly, the American government under President Obama, barely five months after the blunder of neglecting Nigeria and loudly snubbing Nigeria, as an undemocratic nation due to imperfect elections, President Obama presided over the listing of Nigeria, among nations, within which terrorism or extremism is home grown cottage industry.
Again, President Osama’s listing of Nigeria as if some sorts of haven for terrorists, run counter to the facts, the evidences and good judgment based on the one-off failed-foiled amateurish acts of the underwear Christmas Day wannabe bomber, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab over the skies of Detroit, Michigan, in US
Again, it must be stated and restated, as it bears repeating for emphasis, that Mr. Obama is unduly and unfairly hostile to Nigerians and Nigeria. This stances by Mr. Obama, are quite unlike the historical cordial American-Nigerian diplomatic and trade relations.
Furthermore, it must be pointed out, that President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush had their fair share of terrorist attacks, events or activities during their combined 16 years in office. And apart from Mr. Bush’s so-called axis of evil, Mr. Bush, as gung-ho cowboy diplomacy expert as he was, never labeled Saudi Arabia a terrorist haven or country of interest regarding terrorism. This even though the Osama Bin Ladin is from Saudi Arabia by way of Yemen. And additionally, a majority of the September 11, 2001 hijackers who attacked locations within the United States, were Saudi Arabians.
Moreover, Britain is not on any country of interest list in connection with terrorism, even though Britain has a citizen in American jails, Richard Reid, the so-called shoe-bomber, tried and convicted for terrorism and besides, Britain has had several of her citizens detained and held without trial in Guantanamo Bay since 2001. And, it must be mentioned as well, that Britain is home to extremists who attacked the British trains or the Tube or Underground on July 7, 2007 and other such terrorist attacks at British airports and yet, Britain was never castigated and labeled by the then US president Mr. Bush as a terrorist haven, because Britain is a friend and ally of the US, just like Nigeria!
Clearly, Nigeria is not a haven for terrorists or terrorism and labeling and castigating Nigeria as such, simply flies in the face of good policy, common sense, logic and good judgment. This is particularly so, bearing in mind that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab left Nigeria when he was ten years old. He thereafter variously schooled in Togo, Britain and then, lastly, in Yemen, he is therefore arguably a Nigerian almost only, in name. But the more profound point is that Umar Mutallab received his radicalization and training in extremism, outside of Nigeria, notably in Britain and then perfected in Yemen. Again, Britain does not enjoy the “privilege” of being on the list of 14 nations of interests to the Americans, regarding terrorism?
The nation of Qatar also had citizens who participated in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in USA, and Qatar is not on the infamous list on which Nigerians and Nigeria have been placed for special treatments of the disparaging and denigrating types. So, what is the rationale behind this disparity and double standards to which Nigerians and Nigeria are being subjected?
Obama Agents Are Reportedly Meeting And Cavorting The Evil Genius Ibrahim Babangida
Since November 23rd 2009, President Umaru Musa YarAdua, Nigeria’s substantive president, has been hospitalized and remains incommunicado in a Jeddah Hospital in Saudi Arabia. As a consequence, there have been a seething anger and rage among a majority of Nigerians. This is mostly because Mr. YarAdua failed, neglected and refused to follow the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria, in particular, section 145 which stipulates specifically and in a mandatory manner, that a Nigerian president desiring to be absent from presidential duty, must in writing inform and intimate the president of the Nigerian Senate with the National Assembly, such president’s intention to be absent from presidential duty. Such information when transmitted to the National Assembly, properly and promptly triggers the assumption of presidential duties by the vice president, who deputizes for such an absent president, until the substantive president returns and resumes her presidential duties, after, understandably, a short or medium duration.
As President Umaru Musa YarAdua inflicted his absence on Nigeria for an extended period of over 80 days, a political and constitutional crises collided and festered. Everyone, Nigerians at home and abroad, and others, even non-Nigerians who became aware of the power vacuum and power void, were alarmed, as it portended harbingers of violence, anarchy, coup or even war and disintegration. The deadlock and impasse were palpable.
Eventually, after much dithering by political actors in Nigeria, the America, Britain, France and the EEU, issued a terse public statement imploring, nudging and admonishing the Nigerian political class to follow Nigerian laws and the Constitution of Nigeria, and to act quickly to end what was then a frightening lacuna in the Nigeria political and constitutional space. The aforesaid statements was not meddling.
Not too long after that, the Nationally Assembly acted, by passing a resolution to empower Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President until President Umaru Musa YarAdua, the substantive president of Nigeria returns to presidential duties or until further notice, thereby, at least temporarily, staving disaster off and avoiding a fall of the cliff or precipice or head-on collusion with calamities. This action by the National Assembly were not in perfect compliance with the Constitution of Nigeria, which clearly states various specific procedures and methods for ascending and to and from, the presidency and vice presidency, in ideal circumstances. Or when all the stars are perfectly aligned, constitutionally speaking.
Since the action by the National Assembly, some have brilliantly argued, that necessity or exigent circumstances and political delicate balancing acts, made the National Assembly’s resolution an a necessity if not an imperative. This is because, Nigeria was in a half-loaf or no loaf situation, and the National Assembly offered a half-loaf, and everyone saw it as a respite and breathed relief.
Then came the shocking news that foreign elements, including agents of the United States government were sent as emissaries to Mr. Ibrahim Babangida, a man who is known and associated with all of Nigeria’s recent political, social-economic malaises. These ranging from the senseless devaluation of Nigeria’s national currency, the Naira, to the imposition of the IMF/World Bank fashioned bitter and economic growth arresting and stunting policy, formally known as the Structural Adjustment Program, imposed on Nigeria at the behest of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan of the Britain and US respectively.
A Pattern Of Undermining Democracy, While Publicly Pretending to Advocate and Promote It
On the heels of all these, comes an article, written by a two time former US ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Campbell, in which, he generalized about Nigeria, made provocative and even inaccurate statements about Nigerians and Nigeria, and the current state of affairs on the ground in Nigeria. And this is compounded, by the very fact that the Americans are meeting with Mr. Ibrahim Babangida at this crucial time.
This cavorting, by the Americans, with a former military dictator, and a thug, Ibrahim Babangida, a man who wrought ruinations upon Nigeria, a man who is quite unpopular with the people of Nigeria, for his ineptitude and for perpetrating gross economic and political frauds is quite suspect. Meeting with Mr. Babangida, confers respectability, integrity and clout, which he does not have and does not deserve. And, it runs counter, to the loud proclamations regarding America’s well advertised desire to advocate, advance the exportation and promotion of democracy in Nigeria, and everywhere else worldwide. General Gowon is a former head of state, so is General Buhari etc, why are the Americans not meeting with them? Mr. Gowon is said to possess a PhD in political science too! How about meetings with Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka and Femi Falana or some members of the National Assembly who are progressive, how about the US meeting with middle class professionals in medicine, law and academia? Or the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigerian Medical Association, the Nigerian Labor Congress etc?
The Ambassador Campbell's article is very vexing for several reasons, it is full of too many generalizations and oversimplifications about Nigerians and Nigeria. He asserted that Mr. Jonathan is weak, how could anyone determine Acting President Jonathan weak so soon? Why the rush to judge him? Why so fast? What was Mr. Jonathan expected to do or have done, before power "officially/formally" devolved? Besides, Mr. Campbell’s current article is reminiscent of another recent article of his, in which Ambassador Campbell engaged in doom and gloom about Nigeria, including his portrayal of Nigeria as now consigned to irrelevance, and of no significance to the Americans and to the world scheme of things. Ambassador Campbell is trenchant and pedantic, and I suspect that he has an audience for his pedagogy?
What could any reasonable person have expected Mr. Goodluck Jonathan to have done during these past 80 days? Mr. Jonathan was supposed to have been carrying placards? Or was he was expected to behave in an uncouth manner and engage in power grab? Other than give, at minimum, the outward appearance of neutrality? Lest he is accused of power mongering?
The National Assembly waited for 80 days as the power void and power vacuum subsisted. Necessity and exigent circumstances dictated their action... albeit, imperfect constitutionally. And is it better in the circumstances to throw the baby with bathwater?
Perhaps it is also now appropriate to ask, whatever happened to president Obama shrill-shouting talk about why Africa Does Not Need Strong Men But Strong Institution? I suppose for Ambassador Campbell and Mr. Obama, Ibrahim Babangida represent the strong institutions which they wish for Nigeria, encapsulated in one dictator?
Who exactly is advising Mr. Obama regarding Nigeria? Could it be Ambassador Campbell? Why is America current policy toward Nigeria merely limited to snubs and slabs? How did Nigeria leap unto terrorist haven? AND, why are diplomats giving the appearance that they are canvassing and advocating coups as solution to political and constitutional crises?
Could these provocative, and inflammatory actions and pronouncement be predicated on the unquenchable thirst for our nation’s black gold? Could have something to do with the idea that whomever can turn on a steady SPIGOT flow of crude oil is good enough for the American government? Aren’t some people tired of short term benefits at tremendous costs or great immeasurable price? Here they go again with the “standard” myopic, parochial and expedient policy... which will soon enough, blow up in their faces, while feigning surprise. How come the Americans are not interested in meeting with pro-democracy movements and non-government organizations? The Nigerian intelligentsia, professional organizations, opposition political parties, the real stake holders, instead of Ibrahim Babangida? Why the preference for him? A coup expert and consultant for the United States in that regard?
Why the preference to meet with thugs and enemies of the electorate? Are these in efforts to undermine the electorate and democracy? Nigerians should be very alert, and awake and if a coup does occur, as Nigerians now know, must know, on whose doorsteps we lay the consequences. I personally find the Christian/Muslim, North/South comments by Ambassador Campbell, provocative and inflammatory. And perhaps meant to stoke the fires and to incite segments of our national population in Nigeria, in an already volatile time such as Nigerians and Nigeria have been experiencing recently.
Are there subliminal messages in this article by Ambassador Campbell? And the alleged meetings taking place between agents and emissaries of the US and Mr. Babangida?
How can the US government, and Ambassador Campbell, convince Nigerians and Nigeria, that they mean well for us? How can they convince us that they are advocates of democracy, the rule of law and constitutionalism? How can they, particularly, in view of all these shenanigans which are public?
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