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Nigerians Warn Against Foreign Intervention

Published: 16/05/2014 03:47:52 PM GMT
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LAGOS – Warning of global opportunism, Nigerians have been casting worries that direct foreign intervention in their country's counterterrorism measures may have “far-reaching consequences” on its security and stability by turning the country into western military outpost. “Those foreign countries do not have impressive record in ter...(more)

LAGOS – Warning of global opportunism, Nigerians have been casting worries that direct foreign intervention in their country's counterterrorism measures may have “far-reaching consequences” on its security and stability by turning the country into western military outpost.

“Those foreign countries do not have impressive record in terms of intervention and there are instances you can point to: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo. Count it,” Reverend Bunmi Olusona, a public affair analyst, told OnIslam.net.

“The experiences of other nations have not been palatable. Sometimes such intervention leads to many things which in turn precipitate civil wars. We don't want this please.”

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Nigeria has been thrown into turmoil a month ago after militant group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls last April 14.

As the Nigerian government failed to release the girls, international mediation was urged to rescue the abducted students.

The United States, Britain, China and lately Israel have sent in either military personnel or assets to help in the search for the abducted girls.

Nigerians have warned that foreign military intervention would deepen tension in the restive country, triggering unprecedented waves of terrorism in the West African country.

Moreover, many in the country's intelligentsia allege that the insurgency could be US’ way of realizing a prediction in a report by its agency - National Intelligence Council - that Nigeria may descend into chaos and break into different parts by 2015. The report surfaced in 2005 but was later denied by Washington.

“Nigeria must watch its back in allowing American troops especially to come into the country. I am not satisfied. I am worried,” Sunday Igboanugo, a former political editor of a Lagos-based Daily Independent, said.

He agrees with Olusona that the so-called foreign powers “not least the US have no satisfactory record about helping other people without strings attached.”

“The multibillion dollar question is: what is American interest? What will this intervention cost us as a nation? I see far-reaching consequences,” he added.

Incompetence

As many Nigerians expressed doubts over the foreign intervention, Mallam Abdullahi Shuaib believes the “incompetence” of the Nigerian leaders necessitated their deployment.

“If the wall doesn't have a hole, it will be impossible for the lizard to penetrate. She brought this on ourselves,” Shuaib, the chief executive at the Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation, told OnIslam.net.

He added that world powers see the insurgency in the country as a threat to their own interests in Nigeria and so cannot ignore it.

“Nigeria position in the scheme of things in the world makes it a bloc to be respected,” Mallam Shuaib said.

“In the west African and African regions, Nigeria is a major power. In the global village, Nigeria is a major power. To that extent, it would be very difficult for the world to ignore Nigeria or not show a very serious interest in what is happening.

“That is because the leadership in Nigeria has demonstrated weakness and inability to tackle this domestic challenge. This has opened the door for different nations whose interests are represented in Nigeria. This is why they are coming in: to protect their own interest. When you see such a thing, you cannot blame the foreign countries coming in, regardless of the fact that we don't like it,” he added.

Mallam Shauib nonetheless expresses the fear that the foreign intervention may well deepen what he called the “neocolonialism agenda” of many foreign powers which he believes often pit people against one another.

“We don't like it considering the experiences of different counties that had gone through foreign interventions. Their history has never been good. The experiences have never been good. They don't have good stories to tell,” he said.

“Because of the political and economic interest of the super powers, they tend to end up causing more harms. Let us look at Iraq. Are they better off than they were before the intervention? You have civil strife and ethnic clashes here and there. Go to Afghanistan. Go to other countries where you have foreign intervention. The story is usually very bad and I hope it will not be the same experience for Nigeria,” Shuaib added.

He said Nigeria rather than let foreigners put foot down on the Nigerian soil, government should restrict them to giving their technological know-how and equipment.

“If they are coming in to provide us with technology to be able monitor and detect the terrorists and stop the carnage, that would be OK. But I just hope it stops at this. I hope it will not snowball into something else that Nigerians will later regret and say why did we open our doors to allow them in,” he said.

“This is because we are in the era of imperialism. This is what we are seeing from the north to the south, to the east and to the west. The so-called developed countries are again reenacting colonialism in another form. Physically, they are not enslaving us but material-wise, Intellectual-wise, cultural-wise, scientific-wise, they are enslaving us and taking away our resources. We hope it won't come to that.”

Danger

Similar concerns were shared by other analysts about the delpoyment of American forces on the Nigerian soil.

Musadiq Aruwa, a graduate of diplomacy, told OnIslam.net that he “sensed danger in allowing the Americans and indeed others too” to send soldiers to the country “purportedly in search for the abducted girls.”

“The preponderance of opinions among Nigerians especially in the north here is that our army can do the job, if they are provided with the needed weaponry and political support,” Aruwa told OnIslam.net, referring to what he calls “frustration within the military that soldiers are being sabotaged and needlessly held back.”

Last Sunday, a prominent Christian preacher Pastor Tunde Bakare blamed the Americans for the insurgency ravaging Nigeria.

“I hope this is not the fulfillment of a vision I had some nine years ago where I saw that the Americans are plotting to disintegrate Nigeria for their selfish seasons. So Nigerians must pray against the terrorists and their supporters. This is a test for Nigeria,” said Bakare, who was also a vice presidential candidate to the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Nigeria's last presidential election.

Yesterday, umbrella body of northern governors also called on the central government to not sign any agreement that allows perpetual foreign intervention in Nigeria, warning of its “dire consequences.”

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here

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