The United States has been in Africa for decades. For years America has taken Africa for granted. They demand this and that in order to give aid or support to African nations in the most derogatory and demeaning of manner, so demeaning it breeds resentment. But at the same time the narrative to the average American is that the U.S giving out aid out of the goodness of their benevolent hearts and expects nothing in return. In recent times America has become a nation that buys friendships with preconditions attached.
Then comes China. The Chinese are not interested in feeding the world, the have a billion mouths already to feed. All China wants with billions of dollars is to make deals beneficial to both parties. The Chinese never mention politics, never criticising or trying to influence the domestic politics of the nation, never giving preconditions. The are deal makers and treat partners with respect and dignity. They are not trying to take over the world.
The Obama administration ironically has been the worse in terms of U.S Africa relationship. For decades the United States provided a myriad forms of aid designed to help Africa in its socio-economic challenges. Indeed the biggest donor to Africa was the United States. America was truly the loved and respected.
Then came Obama, the son of an African migrant. Obama’s victory sparked celebrations on the streets of Africa, from Lagos to Nairobi to Pretoria. Finally, Africa will benefit immensely from a black man in the most powerful office in the world right?
The Obama administration’s foreign policy objectives for the African continent was appalling. Under the Obama administration, humanitarian aid came with a price tag: Abandoning traditional values, especially those related to contraception, abortion, and marriage. Africa was stunned. In 2011, the most powerful black man in the world, Barack Obama issued a memorandum that directed all U.S. embassies worldwide to promote LGBT rights, which he said were “central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights.”
In his own words he proudly proclaimed :
Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere.
That same year, the administrations military aid to Nigeria was dependent upon its not enacting the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. At the annual the U,S Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both suggested that Africa’s war-torn, impoverished nations could attract economic and development aid from the West by becoming more gay-friendly, a speech that infuriated African leaders.
The attempt by the Obama administration to push the Nigerian government to redefine marriage was rejected. During his visit to his native Kenya, Obama publicly lectured president Uhuru Kenyatta on his nation’s laws against same-sex sexual relationships.
Now here’s the funny thing, this is the same Obama that has spent substantial political capital on a deal with Iran that includes scant reforms in that dictatorial, terrorist-supporting nation were women are the most oppressed. He also opened relations with Cuba, a Castro dictatorship to the dismay of Americans.
Nigeria led Africa’s resistance to Obama’s insane 21 Century imperialism with its legislation that criminalize gay marriages. The Nigerian position was clear :
Despite threats of denial of much-needed aid, Nigeria will not capitulate to the demands. These are our cultures, and we’re not going to compromise over them.Marriage is between a man and a woman… even outside of scriptural support, our culture tells us that, nature tells us that.
Nigeria’s anti-gay law became effective on January 13, 2014. The law, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the national assembly int May of 2013.
Spurred by Nigeria’s bold stance , Uganda followed suit.
RETRIBUTION : One Two Punch
Nigeria was to pay a terrible price for this defiance. The first punch to the face came when America suspended buying Nigerian crude oil in July, a decision that helped plunge Nigeria into one of its most severe financial crises as oil price falls to a seven-year low. Before
Nigeria could dusts itself and rise to its feet, Obama landed what he hoped will be a decapitation punch below the groin by purposely withholding aid to Nigeria to fight the terrorist group Boko Haram. This action came because the United States demanded Nigeria change its laws on marriage.
Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States made a formal complain. To quote Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye : a
the U.S. government has up till today refused to grant Nigeria’s request to purchase lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time.
shortly afterwards Nigeria’s ambassador to Washington dies.
In its response, the American government said it has supported Nigeria to the extent its law permits, and accused the Nigerian security forces of human rights violations. It is ironic that a president who first port of call was to passionately apologize for America’s 19th and 20th century imperialism has adopted a twenty-first century imperialism toward Africa by forcing nations to change their beliefs on marriage, abortion and contraception in exchange for basic humanitarian aid, and waging economic, political and military war on those countries that refuse to kowtow to this insanity.
The Obama administration deliberately frustrated former President Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts towards ending terrorists’ activities in the Nigeria. Nigeria’s president wrote 25 letters to the United States of America and other Western nations, seeking to acquire state of the art weapons to deal decisively with the terrorists
However, they all turned down the requests, the source said.
What was most painful was the fact that Nigeria was not begging to be given those weapons as gifts. We were ready to pay for them but they turned their backs on us when we needed them most.
The same people who made all the promises about assisting us to bring an end to the Boko Haram attacks and bring back the abducted Chibok girls did everything they could to frustrate Nigeria’s efforts. America’s only excuse for refusing to sell the much-needed weapons to Nigeria was that Nigerian troops were reportedly not adhering to the fundamental human rights of the terrorists, in the prosecution of the Boko Haram war. Think GITMO.
Citing human rights abuses and widespread corruption, the United States blocked the sale of combat helicopters to Nigeria by Israel. Even though the gunships were decommissioned and were slated to Israel’s version of the boneyard, Washington stopped the deal over concerns that the Nigerian government was not doing enough to avoid civilian casualties in its ongoing fight with Boko Haram.
Why Israel succumbed to Obama’s pressure despite knowing this decision will impact innocent lives in NIGERIA is a subject for debate. It should be noted that Nigeria’s largest arms purchase ever reported was from Israel, in 2007, in a deal with Aeronautics systems worth $260 million.
Two attempts by Nigerian authorities to buy arms from South Africa and Israel were stopped and over $24 million of Nigeria’s hard earned foreign exchange seized by South African authorities in two separate instances in that country.
South Africa, incensed over the death of 115 South Africans in the collapse of a guesthouse attached to a Nigerian church owned by televangelist TB Joshua finally had an opportunity to settle scores with Nigeria.
In two separate incident the South African government seized millions of dollars meant for legitimate arms purchases. In one first incident South Africa froze $5.7 million worth of funds that it had been alerted to as suspicious by Standard Bank, money which was purportedly to buy arms including 50 M-75 cannons and 200,000 rounds of ammunition.
The move followed the seizure months prior of $9.3 million in cash from a private jet carrying two Nigerians and an Israeli.
Nigeria, which says it needs the arms to fight an Islamist insurgency raging in the northeast, said both payments were intended for deals between private companies procuring weapons for Nigerian forces.
When it became very clear that the nation’s long-standing traditional allies were not prepared to assist, Nigeria had to turn to Eastern Europe and Asia for weapons.
Russia and China aware of a Franco-American ploy tp make fracture Nigeria did not only receive Nigeria with open hands, Nigeria also got other forms of ‘technical assistance’ as those who provided some of the equipment also entered into agreement with us to have some of their military personnel join our troops for the purposes of ensuring optimal performance of all the equipments.
A few years ago Boko Haram was on the offensive, pushing Nigeria’s army back, but a series of reforms by the Nigerian government and weapons from Ukraine, Russia and China turned things around. Not America. Not Britannica.
Why do we need America? Why are we still buying arms from the same country that years back predicted Nigeria’s break up and was practising war games on Nigeria.
Why is Nigeria still maintaining strategic relations with countries that supports authoritarianism and turns a blind eye to the repression inflicted on the people by those regimes?
In 2014, for instance, a military officer who had received training in the United States led a coup which overthrew the elected government of Burkina Faso, a front line state in the struggle with al-Qaeda affiliated extremists.
After setting up a multi-million dollar Reaper Drone base in Garoua Cameroon, The United States has begun training elite counterterrorism forces in Cameroon, A country whose people have never tasted what its like to live in a democratic state.
America’s foreign policy in the most diverse continent on earth is entirely a security-driven policy. While the United States is busy propping up dictatorial regimes, encircling Nigeria, there is virtually no economic or infrastructural engagement with Africa.
The Chinese are long-term thinkers naturally, and its foreign policy is a reflection of that. China understands the continent’s economic promise and is keen to be at the forefront of this renaissance.
Over the next 35 years, Africa will account for more than half of the world’s population growth, and Nigeria will surpass the U.S. as the third most populous country in the world.
As U.S economic influence continues to wane, China has been shoring up its efforts in Africa. China has expanded trade and infrastructure projects, increased its commitment to peacekeeping missions and strengthened its military presence on the continent. China has recent years sent warships to Djibouti to establish its first overseas naval base.
China sold five CH-3A Rainbow armed drones to Nigeria without preconditions but with respect. Likewise Mi-35 helicopter gunships and rocket artillery from Russia and Eastern Europe has played a great part in helping Nigeria’s war effort against Boko Haram.
While the United States was busy trying to impose LGBT culture on Africa, blocking arms sales to countries it doesn’t like and propping up dictators, China was busy building a $200 million edifice to Africa as a gift from China.
It represented a real turning point in China’s growing influence in the continent. After decades of being patronized by the West, most African leaders are now facing east. Western countries are no longer the only game in town.
China is the richest country in the world, and Africans are seeing the tangible benefits of infrastructure development financed by China. In the last three years Chinese credit to Africa to has exceeded $30 billion, with an additional $5 billion in development assistance.
It is time Nigeria replaces the West with China and Russia ad its strategic economic and military partner. Nigeria will be better off it.