By Ibiba Don Pedro
The unsolicited interests and highly antagonistic actions by certain foreign interests in the 2015 elections in Nigeria and specifically towards the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be easily discerned by keen observers in the unfolding events related to the Nigeria 2015 elections. Any patriotic Nigerian, concerned about the wellbeing and sovereignty of the country must think and ask questions now.
Nigeria by any standard, is the leading light on the African continent by virtue of her huge size, highly educated, highly mobile population, landmass, and extensive natural endowments including huge deposits of oil, gas and solid minerals. Based on all these, the interests of the international community in the country, especially in an election year, is understandable. The concern raised by countries and international development agencies about the possibility of violence and instability, is reasonable in view of the likely impact of an unstable Nigeria on the stability of countries around her and possible implications for global peace and resources.
However, the tone of the concerns raised, the calibre of persons, countries, and organisations involved, expose an unnecessary underlying bias against President Goodluck Jonathan and the present administration. First, in the build up to the subsequently rescheduled February 14, 2015 elections, US Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry, flew into Nigeria in a huff, to meet the main presidential candidates, warning that the elections must hold on the said date, not minding that even at that point Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not fully prepared for the polls and over a third of registered voters, about 23million persons, who had not accessed their permanent Voters Cards (PVC), stood to be disenfranchised if the elections had held. INEC also at that point had neither tested the newly introduced Card Readers to be deployed for use during the elections, nor had the body conducted training for its over 600,000 ad-hoc staff to be used during the elections.
Curious indeed that the Chief Policeman of democracy, the US, did not see any ill in these processes that threatened the growth of democratic practice in Africa’s largest country. Discerning and thoughtful Nigerians are puzzled that the above evidence of INEC’s unreadiness and its documented plans to rig the elections for the APC are of no interest to Senator John Kerry and his US policemen of democracy.
Only the undiscerning could not see the pointers to the hardening anger of the West, especially the US, in the reports that followed soon that General Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator and a man with a long list of serious violations including murder by military decree, was suddenly the darling of the so-called democratic US and the West and their favoured candidate in the coming elections. Buhari was shortly reportedly billed to visit the US soon after Kerry’s visit.
When we saw Buhari masquerading at Chatham House in London as a born-again democrat, we could only laugh. We know that he sponsored post-election violence by his followers after he lost to President Jonathan in 2011. Later he threatened that "the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood"—i.e. more post-election violence--should he not be declared the winner in the 2015 elections. After that threat, how can any unbiased person believe that Buhari is a genuine convert to democracy, let alone a poster boy of democracy? In this regard, we note the ignoble role of two former British Prime Ministers- Messrs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown- whose recent secret meetings with General Buhari exposed their sinister plot to interfere in Nigeria’s democratic process. If the US and her allies chose to pretend that they believe Buhari’s false claims at Chartham House, they must have their selfish reasons. But the Nigerian voters, are not fooled. We know Buhari very well. He is an incurable Caliphate supremacist, and dictator.
The hostility of the West, grounded in the destabilizing antics of its Nigerian and US-based allies, is easily seen in the obviously jaundiced reports about Nigeria, such as the February 16, 2015 editorial in the New York Times captioned "Nigerian’s Miserable Choices" in which President Jonathan was rudely and unnecessarily insulted.
President Jonathan’s administration has recorded high performance and he is determined to restructure and reposition the country away from corruptive centralism to accountable and just federalism. By doing so, President Jonathan has placed the interest of Nigerians over and above those of foreign exploiters and their domestic collaborators. President Jonathan’s patriotic effort frightens the west as captured in the 2010 report by Trevor Johnson that notes: "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 latest moves by China will have caused consternation in the boardrooms of the big oil companies, and countermeasures are all but inevitable". http://www.globalresearch.ca/china-signs-23-billion-oil-deal-with-nigeria/19390
By Trevor Johnson, Global Research, May 28, 2010.
Why is the United States, the global promoter of democracy, lining up with the anti-democracy Caliphate that annulled June 12 1993 Presidential election? Why are the western powers colluding with the Caliphate politicians who allegedly sponsored the Boko Haram anti-democracy terrorists, organisation which the US herself has offically declared a terrorist organisation? Shouldn’t we conclude that the pro-democracy image of the US is just "window dressing" as Trevor Johnson said in his 2010 article quoted above?
No country or foreign interest has a right to meddle in Nigeria’s internal affairs the way the US and her allies are doing. The US, in all its economic,diplomatic choices, places its and the wellbeing of its citizens above all else. For Nigeria, perhaps for the first time, since the return to civilian governance in 1999, President Jonathan who did not rise to power through the scheming of the US and her allies as well as Nigeria’s ex-military cabal, has adequately taken charge of Nigerian affairs. He has courageously moved in the noble direction of doing what is right by his country and her people by choosing wisely to do business with the East, including China, to build refineries and stop the massive decades’ long capital flight in the petroleum and gas sectors. The President has also implemented policies and programmes to engender transparency in the petroleum sector through reforms in the sector and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Nigerians must support such a man by any means necessary.
It is often said that a man can weather the storms of life no matter how hard they blow if he has internal strength and integrity. The same is true of countries. Nigerians must open their eyes and minds to see their true friends and note down their enemies both local and foreign, whose eyes are red, maddened by greed and anger over their growing loss of control over Nigeria’s destiny.
(Don Pedro is the Nigerian journalist who in 2003, won the CNN African journalist of the year award)