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Palestinian Statehood: Why Nigeria held back support

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By Jide Ajani

Fresh facts emerged at the weekend on why the Federal Government of Nigeria did not support the motion for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, a decision which has opened the country to some form of insinuation that it has become a puppet of Israel.

Diplomatic sources provided pieces of information to Sunday Vanguard which suggested that the decision not to support the statehood motion was based on a “strategic long term position” by the government of Nigeria.

Information pointed in the direction of a “self-preserving” paradigm as the lynchpin of Nigeria’s decision.

One of the sources said that “since the seeming difficulty by the Federal Government to procure arms in its fight against the insurgency in Nigeria’s North East, Israel has played a (and has been) very useful role”.

That source continued: “The Nigeria is even being able to contain the insurgency is to a large extent due to the support it is getting from Israel.

“Conversely when you place the role that is being played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the politics of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, refusing to reduce production and further complicating matters regarding the downward spiral of global crude oil price, and you interface that with the effect on the Nigerian economy, you would understand that this is international politics at play.

“Meanwhile, the same Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well as Nigeria are members of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, OIC.

“That did not in any way feature in the calculations of these countries to try a protectionist cover for Nigeria’s dwindling oil revenue by allowing OPEC to cut production”.

The latest crude oil price per barrel stands at $56.

As if suffering double jeopardy, another diplomatic source disclosed to Sunday Vanguard that the indirect funding of the Salafist movement in Nigeria by some Arab countries contributed to the rise of Jama’atu Ahliss-Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad (Western education is evil), otherwise known as Boko Haram.

In conclusion, the source made it clear that whereas the Palestinians had a right to bring its statehood proposal before the United Nations, countries of the world body were at liberty to vote any way they deemed necessary in the interest of their individual interests and should, therefore, owe no apologies for voting the way they voted, noting that, in international politics, there were no permanent friends but permanent interests.

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