America’s interest in Nigeria: Dangers ahead

By By Sunny Igboanugo on 28/03/2015

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I find it most difficult to understand why America is bent on regime change in Nigeria at the moment. What is it that has made them hate President Goodluck Jonathan so much that they just can’t wait to see his back from Aso Rock?

I’m not only confused but totally disturbed as well. I’m disturbed because it is as dangerous as touching a naked wire. The case of Iraq, Libya and Syria, which are quite recent is a quick reminder to underscore what American interest means to most countries.

Not that I have not heard some of the reasons some well-connected local and international analysts have provided. One of these reasons is that they want to punish the President for not heading the warning not to sign the anti-gay law passed by Nigerian lawmakers, which prescribes a jail term of 14 years for lesbians and gay couples. Ordinarily I would have quickly dismissed this as mere talk, but the vehemence with which President Barak Obama and David Cameron, his equivalent in Britain protested and threatened the President and his officials restrains me from being too dismissive.

Mind you, it is not that we have not been living with these odd species of human beings all our lives. We have. Our quarrel with them is when they wanted to advance their eerie behaviour further by formalising it through marriages and open sexual behaviours. That was when we said no, because, just as it is the way of the white man to forbid certain acts, there are behaviours we, as human beings created by God, must also see as a taboo. It doesn’t make us humans to accommodate just anything and everything. After all, have we not imbibed their ways enough? Now our women watch television while their husbands are busy in the kitchen; we now serve our wives tea or coffee in bed; our men have gone from frying their hair to sagging their trousers while our women now practically go naked in the streets. Haven’t we done enough to show them how much we love their ways? Can’t they simply leave us with this particular sin we have all chosen and agreed to commit together – this sin of not allowing our land to be desecrated by choosing abomination over normal living.

I have also heard that Jonathan did the unthinkable by looking towards Asia for companionship. But did they leave him with a choice? In fact, one of the bones of contention as I gathered was that the Americans were the first to submit a bid for the rail contracts currently being built in parts of the country by China. However, as is usual over the several decades they have been here, the bid was about five times the cost and they came with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude before the Chinese came calling with a far lower bid? Now, why should they blame Jonathan for saving money for his country, when it is obvious that our past experience with them has shown that had such contracts been awarded to them, we would still be talking about variation by now?

Then, there is the one virtually everybody knows – the American prediction that Nigeria would breakup by this year? Is it that they are angry that the prediction has not come through already that they want to create the condition for it to happen? We have all heard how they refused to sell weapons to our country to fight Boko Haram and blocked our efforts to get the weapons by other means. We were all witnesses to the reasons they adduced. They told us about human rights. Human rights! When hundreds of fellow human beings were being slaughtered daily and their limbs being decapitated in the most bestial manner? Human rights; what human rights? Is it that they are angry that Jonathan dared look elsewhere for this weapon to crush the insurgents? What is truly their anger? There is even whispers that whilst Nigeria was being denied arms, the terrorists were getting supplies from the same source.  

Now, why do they hate Jonathan so and love his opponent in this contest? Don’t tell me it is because Jonathan is clueless, inept, incompetent, corrupt and visionless or because he is a failed President as they have been saying. These are actually what America and the West love in African Presidents. If you are the opposite of these flaws, how then would you be their lackey? How then will you create war in your country and buy arms from them to prosecute such a war if you are a thinking and focused African President and how would the American economy thrive without the sale of arms and ammunition?

The America I know, would definitely have chosen a Jonathan over his opponent, General Mohammadu Buhari any day. Not with Buhari’s record as a former military head of state who toppled a democratic government. That would have cast a permanent slur on his person. Add this to the suppression of press freedom, the judicial murder of some Nigerians and other gory activities of his era, they wouldn’t have touched the former Head of State with a long pole.

But what do we have? They are now choosing a dictator over a democrat in the guise ofincompetence. Surely, this is not America! I know them. Even more intriguing is the manner they have gone about the support to the APC. Virtually everything the party does resonates in Washington. At the time almost half of eligible voters wre yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and the Nigerian electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission was clearly not ready, Washington was calling for the election to go on willy-nilly. And when the election was shifted, we were told that it was unacceptable, notwithstanding that the new date was still within the stipulated time in law.

Again, when many Nigerians, except the APC and INEC, were complaining about the card readers to be used for the election and its functionality, it was yet the same America that breathed down our neck that the device must be used, irrespective of the obvious fears.

The question every Nigerian must ask, no matter their political leaning is what is the reason for this massive support for APC and resentment for Jonathan? The next that will follow quickly is at what cost is this support coming? The next is will Nigeria survive it?

Now, the latest information is that they are already amassing arms in nearby Ghana in response to the election. What do we stand to lose or gain by an American invasion of Nigeria? At best, what is the reason for this peculiar interest?

Of course, the answer is not difficult. We don’t need to look far. What did they tell Iraqis and the world? Saddam Houssen, the same man they created and armed was painted as the worst person that had ever lived. By the time the last bomb was dropped in their cities, virtually everything the country spent eons building became mere rubbles. Today, not only that Iraq is paying for every bomb that was used to destroy their land, they are also paying for the rebuilding of their infrastructures deliberately destroyed for that purpose. Yet, the peace promised them has disappeared. Today if Iraqis don’t die of bomb blasts, they are beheaded by terrorists.

Today, Libya, a once prosperous country and one of the prides of Africa stands in ruins, after they listened to the change music from the same America. At the time they were dancing to it, many of them believed that were in paradise. How were they they to know that their entire history, centuries old historic places, water facilities constructed right inside the desert that earned the country a place in world history and other edifices deliberately destroyed. Today as citizens gun down each other in the streets, American contractors are at work rebuilding places they destroyed as “command and control places,” so designated so that they could be used to test the latest missiles. Today as the booms of guns and other weapons are heard far and wide, barges of crude leave Libyan production facilities en-route Washington, Chicago or New York to fire industrial machines that keep America going, because every weapon that was fired to remove their former leader, Muommar Ghadaffi, must be paid for a million fold.

Are Syrians still in jubilation today after hearing and swallowing the change song? Were they not told that their country would become paradise? Has it become so?

Today, the same breeze is blowing the way of Nigeria. Perhaps, ours will be different. Ours may not be an evil wind as we have seen in other places. It is difficult to ascertain the source of the current affinity between Buhari, the APC, INEC and America. How I wish they could share this secret with Nigerians and save us the nightmare of finding out too late.        



Posted on March, 28 2015

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