Who Is Afraid Of Nigeria? By Sola Ademiluyi

Nigeria’s status as the most populous black nation on earth has affected the African continent in several ways essentially as a key component in the crafting of foreign policy since Nigeria obtained political independence from Great Britain in 1960. She was actively involved in the liberation struggle of other countries from the sinister forces of imperialism and backed decolonisation efforts with both military and economic support. Nigeria supported the African National Congress with regard to its efforts to free South Africa from the strangle hold of apartheid. She was a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity now known as the African Union. She was also instrumental to the founding of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) which it used to bring economic prosperity and military stability throughout the West African Sub Region.

When Angola was engulfed by civil war in 1975, she mobilised support for the MPLA that led the then OAU to recognise it over the rebel UNITA. Sam Nujoma’s cause was greatly aided by the ‘Giant of Africa’ as his SWAPO movement was used to throw spanner in the works of the attempt by the apartheid South Africa to install a puppet government in that country.

The military government of General Olusegun Obasanjo gave the then Rhodesian government a donation of $20 million to the Zimbabwean movement which moved against the government of Rhodesia. She also gave material support to Joshua Nkomo’s and Robert Mugabe’s guerrilla forces who were bent on dislodging the unpopular rule of Ian Douglas Smith who had the backing of the South African government, during the heat of the Rhodesian Bush War

It was not with shock when I read the news of the order by the Robert Mugabe led government for Nigerian traders to shut down their businesses by January 1, 2014. New Year’s Day is fast becoming Dooms Day in the African Continent. It was on this same day last years that the GEJ led government gave Nigeria a death wish gift which gave birth to the Occupy Nigeria Movement – a miniscule clone of the Arab Spring. Why the needless persecution of honest and hardworking Nigerian traders who were pushed there as a result of the anti-people policies of their home country? Mugabe came to power in 1980 with great promise as he was a hero in the liberation struggle and spent ten years behind bars as part of the price he paid to have his people free. He was able to use the advantage of belonging to the Shona majority tribe to grab power at the expense of the more popular, urbane and charismatic late Joshua Nkomo. The legacy of colonial rule was prosperity especially in the area of agricultural production which earned her the sobriquet ‘Food Basket of the Nation.’ The history of the hostilities between the two countries dates back to 2003. It is a coincidence that Obasanjo was in power at the time. Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth as he suspected there were plans to expel the country from it. He blamed Nigeria for being behind the purported expulsion because of a misinformation of the true situation in Harare.

When the old man nauseatingly attached to power ran out of ideas and wanted to whip up racial sentiments, he instituted a state policy of expelling white farmers from the country. I share his dream in returning the lost lands to Africans which were stolen under colonial rule but the motive was political and the modus operandi heavily flawed. Were the black farmers who succeeded the Caucasians adequately prepared to manage the farms? It was political as it was just another way of rewarding the loyalists of the ZANU-PF and creating more jobs. The policy led to severe famine and hunger in the country. The hyper inflation in the country has made total nonsense of the local currency. There is a joke that it makes more sense to steal a loaf of bread than a truckload of the Zimbabwean dollars. The then government of Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara government took advantage of the lacuna and brought them into the country to develop his state. The old man then became aware of his folly but the hubris of his pride wouldn’t make him publicly admit it. His latest onslaught is to sustain his campaign of hate against a country he fears because of the ability of its citizens to make things happen wherever they find themselves. He knows no retaliatory measure can be taken against him since the population and clout of Zimbabweans in Nigeria is too miniscule to warrant the country with the largest population of blacks on earth waste its resources to order a counter attack.

It is high time he reflected on his life since he would be 90 next year. Nature has been kind to him by giving him close to an extra two decades in the departure lounge. The country even overlooked his Malawian nationality to give him the chance to lead them. The Gukurahundi campaign of the 1980’s which saw the liquidation of thousands of supporters of ZAPU supporters in Matabeleland is enough grounds for him to fact the International Criminal Court!


Robert Mugabe’s government orders Nigerian traders in Zimbabwe to shut down their businesses by January 1, 2014