VESTED self interest has always been a dominant factor in politics and in the use and application of power in any political system. Today we look at how this is manifested in the passing week’s events in the light of today’s topic. We scrutinize why those who have chosen to be pragmatic in their political decisions, have not stuck to their guns and known values, this time around. We wonder why those who have always worshipped human rights at the expense of state and regional security, suddenly see the wisdom in defending their collective security in the face of an invasion that threatens their collective security, culture and existence. We also lament a situation when a nation turns to religion to disarm a very dangerous and seemingly indestructible enemy facing its army, in defiance of the timeless wise saying that the ‘ leopard can never change its spot ‘.
It is really not difficult to decipher my woolly introduction if you follow events in the news media this last week. The issues revolve around the just concluded presidential primaries of the US Democratic Party on’ Super Tuesday ‘and the results as well as their consequences for Black Americans who we somehow think are our kinsmen in Nigeria. These issues include the reason why the EU leaders now realize that International law on migration if observed would to the letter, could lead to an invasion of Europe through Greece ; and why the Greeks are being commended by the EU for acting as the ‘ Shield of Europe ‘ against a flood gate of migrants, unleashed by a malicious Turkey that has been denied EU membership for decades. We also consider the security implications of the de- radicalisation and accommodation strategy of the Federal government set up to look after the welfare of hundreds of Boko Haram fighters who are said to have repented and laid down their arms which they have used to butcher innocent Nigerians in the past and present.
We start with the Super Tuesday Democratic Party president primaries won by Joe Biden with Bert Sanders coming second and Mike Bloomberg losing, quitting and backing Biden for the election in November. What is important here is that Biden rode on the back of Black votes to victory for now and we look at three views trying to explain why this is so. The first view says pragmatism is the explanation for Biden’s win, and to defeat Trump in November is more important than who champions racial equality and justice amongst the candidates, because the reality on the ground is that White America is not prepared for racial equality and justice now or ever . This was the pragmatic view of CNN’s analyst Isaac Bailey after Super Tuesday results. A second is totally opposed to the Democratic Party or its choice and thinks Trump is the best’ Black President of the US’, an appellation purportedly used for Billy Clinton before, now given to Donald Trump by a delegation of Black Republicans who visited the White House this week. A third view by Trump himself while speaking to Black Leaders on US Blacks Week, wondered why Blacks put their eggs in one basket in US elections and vote for Democrats while he has made laws that have freed Blacks from prison and that it could not be worse for blacks voting for Democrats. The three views speak for themselves and it is up to the black electorate in the US to know how to paddle their own political fate and future. The perceived chain or affinity with Nigeria for American blacks is the slave trade but then Biden cited gay rights as an achievement of the Obama era and a gay man contested for the presidential election of the Democratic Party that is on going. That I think is enough for us to part company. That broke the chain of kinship with American blacks because Nigeria has a law that is proudly anti gay and that is enough for now to show that Nigerians are really not kinsmen of American blacks. Nigerians really should stay in their nation, respect its values and let black Americans paddle their own canoes in their nation.
When EU leaders visited the border in Greece between Europe and Turkey last week the EU boss von der Leyen in her speech surprised even the Greek PM when she noted that Greece’s border with Turkey is now Europe’s border and used the Greek word ‘ Aspida ‘ which means shield to show that Greece is now the shield of Europe to prevent migrants’ invasion of Europe. Now, that is vintage pragmatism. Now Greece, a nation pauperized with stringent monetary and budget policies of the EU to date is being given millions of euros to police the border with Turkey and prevent the Turkish orchestrated invasion of Europe on account of migrants fleeing war in Syria. But still the EU says Turkey is not an enemy and that it is still in agreement to give Turkey money to keep the migrants in place inside Turkey and negotiations must continue. Surely the wily Europeans have shown aggressive Turkey and human rights advocates on migrants and international law, that on both issues and in practice this time around, on the Greek border with Europe where Greece is the European shield and armour, their freedom of articulation and expression ends, where EU’ nose of survival begins. In a way the EU has taught the world a lesson that there is a world of difference between legality , diplomacy, self –interest and regional survival in world politics. I remain an admiring and perpetual student of such lessons now and ever.
We now coast home to Nigeria where governments’ programme to accommodate and deradicalise Boko Haram takes shape with enabling legislation in the legislature. The strategy is fraught with serious real and potential security implications. The first is that it gives incentive for insurgency against the Nigerian state. The second is that it shows the leadership of the North East is profiting from the insurgency. This is borne out by the fact that the last governor of a major state in the NE is now rewarded with a seat in the senate after failing to secure the state against the insurgency during his tenure. Thirdly we can learn from the Afghanistan experience where the US signed a peace agreement with the Taliban and the Taliban celebrated victory only to attack 43 Afghan army check points this week. Of course the US retaliated with air attacks inspite of the peace deal which it say it can reverse if Taliban terrorism continues. That is because the US has the military and technological deterrence that even the Taliban respects. With the Boko Haram insurgency the terrorist leadership is still spitting fire and insulting our president. How can we believe terrorists who have laid down their arms when we know they are fighting for their faith? Nigeria is a secular state constitutionally and it is wrong to single out Boko Haram drop outs for accommodation and assimilation in the hope that they will change. This is like adopting Assimilation and Acculturation which the French colonialists adopted for their colonies by making them black white men and it has failed. In accommodating Boko Haram so called repentant fighters we bring a Trojan Horse into the Nigerian state and the security consequences are predictable. Our government should do a rethink and learn from history. The leopard cannot change its spot and this Boko Haram accommodation is such a leopard which is lethal for our security. It is unlike Amotekun in the South West which is for survival and security. Once again long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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