Is’haq Modibbo Kawu
LAST Tuesday, December 30, 2014, will go down as one of the darkest days in the practice of Nigerian foreign policy. That day, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, BETRAYED the proud history of Nigeria’s support for the rights of oppressed peoples, long regarded as the central core of our country’s foreign policy since independence in 1960. By courtesy of a last-minute decision to abstain from voting, after earlier assurances, Nigeria helped to defeat a resolution at the UN Security Council, calling for an end to Zionist Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by 2017.
Nigerian “YES” vote would have paved the way to compelling the racist Zionist Israel state to end the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, occupied since 1967. The resolution needed nine votes from the 15-member Security Council but it fell short by a single vote, the promised Nigerian vote. But the Nigerian envoy, Joy Ogwu, at the prompting of Goodluck Jonathan, ABSTAINED along with Britain, Lithuania, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda!
It turned out that Nigeria’s volteface was a result of telephone calls from the Israeli Prime Minister, the utterly reactionary Benjamin Netanyahu and the American Secretary of State, John Kerry. To underline what transpired, Netanyahu said after the vote: “I want to express appreciation and gratitude…to the President of Nigeria, my friend Goodluck Jonathan”.
He added that: “I spoke with (him) personally that (he) would not support this decision, and (he) stood by (his) words. That is what tipped the scales”. Like a typical SLAVE conducting Foreign Policy, President Goodluck Jonathan SURRENDERED to the DIKTAT of the Zionist Israelis. In the process, our nation’s proud history was set to naught and the Palestinians that we first recognized in 1988, and who we had promised to give our vote, were similarly betrayed! The Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Montaser Abuzaid told DAILY TRUST that his people and country were shocked by the Nigerian decision: “We respect Nigeria so much because it was one of the first countries to recognize the Palestine State…” The Ambassador added that: “More than a month ago, I contacted the Nigerian ministry of foreign affairs and asked them if they will vote for us and they promised to do so”.
Goodluck Jonathan has been particularly close to the Israelis especially in the security sector. The Zionists are completely embedded in the Nigerian security system regularly creaming off millions and millions of dollars in all kinds of open and hidden security contracts. And in a desperate effort to smoothen his re-election process, he has been going back and forth to Israel on pilgrimage, as part of effort to manipulate religion.
The Zionists have therefore tapped into the desperate desires of the Jonathan administration to further their own agenda in Nigeria. But Zionist Israel has NEVER been a friend of Nigerian foreign policy nor has the Zionist state been on the side of the African people’s struggles for freedom. It is important to remind our compatriots that Zionist Israel was a STRATEGIC PARTNER of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa, during the African struggle against racism. Israel jointly developed nuclear weapons with its fellow racist regime all through the time that Nigeria was one of the Frontline States in the struggle against colonialism, racism and apartheid. It is also remarkable that Israel has continued policies against the Palestinian people, that major international figures like the former American President, Jimmy Carter and the highly respected Bishop Desmond Tutu, described as apartheid policies.
Divestment and sanctions
It is the reason why an international movement for boycott and divestment and sanctions has built up against the racist policies of the Zionist state of Israel. Unfortunately for Nigeria, it is this state that has become so central to Nigeria’s security architecture under Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency. This is the state that Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency SUPPORTED with its abstention from voting at the UN Security Council last week. Slaves cannot make foreign policy for a proud and independent people.
We have dignity and we respect the rights of peoples to self-determination and independence. Goodluck Jonathan did NOT VOTE FOR ME last week and he DID NOT VOTE FOR NIGERIA! Even the “conservative” Tafawa Balewa government in the 1960s broke diplomatic relations with France after it dared to test nuclear weapons in the Sahara Desert in the 1960s. The same administration was one of the first in Africa, to support the armed struggle against apartheid, by giving money to the ANC and Nelson Mandela, in the 1960s, at a time that Goodluck Jonathan’s Zionist Israeli friends were actively supporting apartheid! Under the military regime of Murtala Muhammed, Henry Kissinger’s letter directing Nigeria and Africa to betray Angola’s liberation was rebuffed. Murtala Muhammed led Africa’s support for the MPLA against the puppets of imperialism, apartheid and Zionism in the FNLA and UNITA. While General Obasanjo nationalised British Petroleum assets in Nigeria to help hasten the independence struggle in Zimbabwe! This is the proud tradition that Goodluck Jonathan’s mentality of the slave abandoned and betrayed last week.
And it was not the first time! In 2011, the African Union opposed the Anglo-American-French and NATO invasion of Libya. But in tune with the mentality of the slave, Goodluck Jonathan betrayed the African consensus and threw support behind the invasion of Libya. Today, Libya has effectively been destroyed. But the consequence has been the massive exportation of arms from Libya to fuel insurgency in West and Central Africa: from Mali, Niger, CAR, South Sudan and Darfur through to the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
Blinded in the way that only a slave could, Jonathan was eager to be in the good books of the imperialist powers without appreciating the interconnectedness between the various African countries. As the African proverb said, he brought home an ant-ridden faggot and welcomed the visit of lizards of destabilization of our country. By betraying the Palestinian people at the UN Security Council last week and surrendering to Zionist Israeli diktat, Goodluck Jonathan betrayed a major plank of what makes us a proudly independent people!
It has been a cold year in Northern Nigeria
OVER the last weekend I was back home in Kaduna and I also travelled to Daura, passing through Zaria and Kano. It was a particularly cold weekend in these different places and for my stay in Kaduna I had to be dressed as warmly as I literally did in London last month.
It was amazing that by early this week, Mouftah Baba-Ahmed was reporting that temperature had dropped to 8 degrees in Zaria, the same as in London!
This is a very cold year in Northern Nigeria indeed and it is looking like the patterns of the world’s weather have become particularly severe. One point that most people have missed though is the plight of street kids in many Northern cities. While we wrap ourselves and wear layers of warm clothing, these kids are exposed to the elements.
Their plight has moved Jeedah Modibbo so much, that when she returned home to Kano for the holiday, she decided to organize a fund raising to purchase blankets, caps, socks and cardigans for Kano’s street children. I think such an initiative is very worthy in this very cold period in Northern Nigeria. These children deserve warmth too.
The insurgency and the 2015 elections
THIS week, President Goodluck Jonathan held a meeting with Nigerian security chiefs and governors of the North eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, where there is the rampaging Boko Haram insurgency. At the end of the meeting, it was announced that despite the insurgency, elections would be held in those states in February 2015. That is how it should be! Nigeria must refuse to be intimidated by the insurgency to the point of abandoning the democratic electoral process in those states. We must show that our institutions; our political and electoral processes are central to the content of our nationhood. That the federal and state governments can come together in defense of the electoral and democratic processes deserves the support of all Nigerians. We must not allow the insurgency to truncate the pace and process of democratic development. When people are able to cast their votes and choose who would lead them, it would be a major statement of the intentions of people to build a democratic system.
It is imperative to remind ourselves that in countries with far more serious insurgencies than the Nigerian variant, elections have been held in respect of the democratic processes in these countries. Afghanistan has held three elections in the years since the war against the Taliban insurgency commenced. Similarly, in Iraq, they have gone to the polls at least three times since 2003, while recently, the Syrian people defied the rebels and insurgents of all hues to hold elections. The Nigerian people in the Northeast must similarly be assisted to cast their votes.
Those in the IDP camps can be reached and it is important that INEC has also been making preparations for elections in the Northeast. I travelled in the region in the last two weeks of 2014. And it was remarkable to see the level of political mobilisation and activity that is taking place in Borno and Yobe, where I visited.
People in these states are warming up for the elections and members of the political elite in these communities are meeting people; holding party caucuses and addressing the party faithful. There are posters of candidates of the different political parties and of individuals looking forward to becoming elected for various positions. The momentum is one that cannot and should not be stopped or be subverted. The 2015 general election is going to be the most important in Nigeria since the 1999 transition to civil rule. The stakes have never been as high at any point in the past sixteen years.
Nigerians are very expectant and more so in the Northeast, where the insurgency has destroyed the basic process of existence for millions of people in communities and states. These people have the fundamental right to exercise their democratic rights as citizens of a democratizing country. It is therefore a most welcome development to notice that President Goodluck Jonathan is meeting with the governors of these states as well as the leadership of the nation’s security forces in order to work out the best ways to secure the country in general and the Northeast in particular, so as to provide the enabling environment to ensure that the people in these states can actively exercise their franchise during the 2015 elections.