The 2015 presidential race is attracting usual interest from foreign powers, who are invariably supporting either the Peoples Democratic Party or the All Progressives Congress purely for selfish reasons to protect their national interest while escalating the tension in Nigeria
| By Maureen Chigbo | Mar. 16, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
OSTENSIBLY, Nigeria is fighting an unconventional war with Boko Haram, the violent Islamic sect which says that Western Education is dangerous. The war has raged since 2010 but got worse recently with the sect conquering territories in Nigeria with the intention of establishing an Islamic caliphate. But a deep look into the happenstance in the country shows that Nigeria is fighting more than an unconventional war. It is in fact being bombarded by numerous foreign interest groups representing America, Britain, Canada, South Africa, on one hand, and Russia, China, Israel on the other. The interest groups battle for or against Nigeria is strictly to protect their own selfish national interest while pretending to be helping Nigerian government either through the opposition political party, All Progressives Congress, APC, or the Peoples Democratic Party, the ruling party.
The reasons for their engagement in the Nigerian enterprise ranges from economic, political to social issues, which affect these countries as they fight to either make Nigeria strong or weak so that it will be ineffective internally, internationally and in regional affairs in Africa. Those who want to weaken Nigeria premise their case on the fact that a strong Nigeria, which is becoming increasingly defiant, will not serve their interest and could pose a threat to their determining affairs in other countries in West Africa and Africa in general.
America and Britain share a common purpose in wanting a weak leader to emerge in Nigeria. That is why they have been most reluctant to offer real help apart from paying lip service to helping the country in its fight against Boko Haram. The reason for their action is hinged on the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan who they perceive as weak and clueless has thumb his nose on them by having the guts to sign into the law the same sex laws contrary to their expectation.
On January 7, 2014, when President Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Prohibition Act, United States, Britain, member countries of the European Union and Canada objected to the law on grounds that it was an infringement on fundamental human rights of people with same sex orientation. David Cameron, British prime minister and American President Barack Obama heavily criticised Nigerian. In fact, James Entwistle, American Ambassador to Nigerian threatened to sanction Nigeria by withdrawing his country’s aid to Nigeria to fight HIV and AIDS. Entwistle, who said he was aware that “the issue of same-sex marriage was very controversial all over the world, including within the United States where 17 states out of 50 had endorsed it, but others still reject its legality”, added that: “the issue that we see and I am speaking as a friend of Nigeria is that as I read the bill, it looks to me that it puts significant restrictions on the freedoms of assembly and expression; in my opinion which applies especially in advanced democracies, once government begins to say something in these areas, freedom no longer applies. It seems to me that this is a very worrisome precedent.”
Entwistle’s worrisome posture and threats of sanctions smacks of double standard from the way America reacted when Russia signed its own gay laws. As Professor Kayode Soremekun, lecturer, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria, rightly observed US never “even when the West had their misgivings about Russia’s anti-gay law, they have not gone threatening them with sanctions and punitive action. We are not reckoned with in the international arena where we are getting assistance for HIV/AIDS, Malaria treatment drugs, polio virus crusade among other mundane issues”.
Apart from the LGBT issues, The Western countries are against the incursion of China into the economic sector of Nigeria, especially in the oil and gas sector and the rehabilitation of the country’s rail sector. The West has dominated the oil sector in more than 50 years of oil and gas exploration in the country. This point was clearly articulated by Chineizu, a classic and iconic author, in his article entitled: Soyinka’s 60 Reasons — An Investigative Report. Chinweizu hinged western antagonism against Nigeria to its signing of a $23 billion oil deal with China in May 2010. Chinweizu posits that the oil deal has much to do with Wole Soyinka’s (whom he implied is working for the British intelligence) pro-General Muhammadu Buhari position, or with the orchestrated momentum of the Buhari campaign despite his being prima facie the Boko Haram candidate.
According to Chinweizu, a report about that China deal concluded that: “Western policy on Nigeria is driven by the super-profits generated from the extraction of oil and its processing. While publicly the US and its allies proclaim the need for democracy and openness, this is window dressing. Anything that impedes their drive for profits, whether from local opposition or from a rival nation, will be dealt with ruthlessly when required.” The report further stated that “the latest moves by China will have caused consternation in the boardrooms of the big oil companies, and countermeasures are all but inevitable.”
Chinweizu links this to the events now unfolding in the 2015 elections implying that Britain and America’s pro pro-Buhari campaign momentum are part of the countermeasures; an effort at regime change by orchestrated propaganda. He traces Western antagonism to Nigeria’s signing of a $23 billion deal with China to build three oil refineries and a petrochemical plant which will be located in Lagos, Kebbi and Bayelsa States. The refineries would have a combined capacity of 900,000 barrels per day (bpd), double the expected domestic demand of 450,000 bpd by the time they are completed in 2015. There was also the report that state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, CNOOC, planned to buy up to six billion barrels of Nigerian reserves in 2009. There was a letter from the CNOOC which expressed interest in the 23 prime offshore fields where Shell, Total, Chevron and ExxonMobil currently operate. “If this were to succeed, it would… mark a significant change in policy for the Nigerian government….. The price of the deal is reported to be between $30 billion and $50 billion… . The Chinese deal may well lead to further tensions with the US,…. He (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GEJ) plans to introduce a sweeping package of reforms that will result in the privatisation of this state-owned company. While this is in line with US demands, it will inevitably open up further opportunities for China,” Chinweizu wrote.
This, according to him, is the real offence by Nigeria “—opening the gate for China to access Nigeria’s resources for the benefit of ordinary Nigerians and, above all, displacing the big boys from their existing oil blocks.” The writer went on to describe how similar offences were dealt with in the recent past by foreign powers in other countries. “In the Democratic Republic of Congo, China’s attempts to get an oil deal were thwarted by the countermeasures of the United States and the International Monetary Fund. But in the more complex situation in Nigeria, the countermeasures would take time to orchestrate and implement–and to disguise so as to fool Nija mumus”, writes Chinweizu.
He did not state if the oil deal had been concluded. But he said that “even if it hasn’t, the fact that it was being considered would be cause for retribution by the Western powers. Nigeria’s opening to China, initiated by these two deals, would be a beginning of Nigeria’s economic liberation. Whereas the case of the DRC was dealt with swiftly by the IMF and the US, the case of Nigeria would call for more elaborate and convoluted countermeasures. Hence, they are manifesting five years later. “You don’t dare jeopardise the super-profits of the oil giants and expect to get away with it—not unless you are a Vladimir Putin, with control over a big nuclear arsenal, which GEJ (Jonathan) doesn’t have,” Chinweizu said.
If the Western countries who own the multinational oil companies are involved in the war against Nigeria for economic reasons, American government led by Barack Obama is particularly interested in what is happening in the 2015 election apart from the ongoing war against insurgency. This is because of the well-known fact that David Axelrod, who was the architect of Obama’s election and re-election campaign, is involved in the campaign efforts of General Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress presidential candidate in the forthcoming March 28, presidential election in Nigeria. Axelrod’s firm APKD based in Chicago was hired by Nigeria’s opposition party, APC to ensure victory for its presidential candidate who was a former military dictator. This may explain why the White house has refused to grant aid Nigeria sought for many initiatives including the fight against Boko Haram.