Yet, Another Airforce One Trajects Over Nigeria


Last year February, the White House in another of its usual familiar statements announced that President George W Bush will be embarking on what may be his last Presidential trip to Africa. Excerpts of the well published statement emphasized Bush will be visiting countries that are of strategic importance and relationship to the United States. The White House Press Secretary named the countries as Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia and stated in details Mr. Bush's itinerary with the respective Presidents.

Not a few Nigerians were furious at such brazen display of contempt for their country in this latest exercise were three west African countries were visited while the 'giant of Africa' situated in this zone was trajected over. The fury of Nigerians were not misplaced because whether anyone likes it or not, the country as the sixth largest producer of crude amongst other critical natural reserves it exports is a major factor that cannot be ignored or shunned in such a visit especially by the United States which remains a major beneficiary.

But as the database of intellectual knowledge and exchange, discourses amongst those that were in the know kick started and within no time the real reasons for this complete exemption of Nigeria was out.

The United States of America as symbolized by Mr. Bush's government of the time was not willing to have anything to do with the failed and incompetent government of Mr. Musa Yar'adua. The very fraudulent manner he assumed leadership of the country, his high tolerance for corruption, gross ineptitude and the scorn and disdain with which he was held by Nigerians was pointed to as specific reasons why his abode was avoided like a highly infectious disease in the latest trip.

The propagandists of the shameful government led by its publishing outfit – Thisday Newspapers – immediately went to town with the story that Bush was avoiding Nigerian because Mr. Yar'adua bravely rejected Bush's request to site the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) within the country. The publishing outfit whose goal at objective reporting has been mired by the Publishers love for lucre and promptings of vanity, also went ahead to sell a lie that the clueless Nigerian 'President' did the rejection because of his love for the Niger delta people. This ignoble lie was widely bought by the naïve but today we know who loves the delta more. The story sold by Thisday was total balderdash.

The crux and truth of the matter remains today that the major aspects that were used as factors to determine the “countries of strategic importance” to include in the Presidential itinerary were:

1. African countries supporting genuine democratic reform.

2. African countries with high respect for human rights.

3. African countries operating a transparent open investment regimes and

4. African countries with sound and meaningful economic opportunities.

That said and with the Bush era over, a new US government loved by the world recently announced yet another African trip that would bring it to West Africa between the 10th and 11th of July and an easy guess it is – Nigeria is not on the list. The Aeronautic experts manning Airforce One have being mandated to coordinate trajectory points that will see the jet and its latest occupant fly over Nigeria scornfully. What a shame!

What is the reason this time around? Did Obama ask to site AFRICOM within the precints of Nigeria? We are waiting for Thisday to unfurl its latest package of lies in this age that has being smoothened by the Freedom of Information!

The White House Press Secretary Rob Gibbs in a statement said the President would be meeting his Ghanaian counterpart Atta Mills in Accra to discuss a range of strategic issues which he stated emphatically was to be a meeting with “their most trusted partner in sub-Saharan Africa”.

The Obama administration currently reknown for stretching out its hands to countries like Iran, North Korea and Cuba is set to avoid Nigeria like a plague. Official secrets briefly leaked to the press point to President Obama's disappointment with the latest “south west election” held in Nigeria where the echoes of the rigging machinery marshaled by the Federal Government was felt world wide.

Amongst other things, a pointer has being made by the US States department to Yar'adua's underperformance, improper handling of the Niger delta situation, high rate of corruption tolerance, untoward hardship faced by citizens and the unfolding of a highly tainted and compromised electoral reform package which spells doom for the countries 'nascent' democracy.

It is very sad that under the very watch of Nigerians, the most colourless 'President' ever to emerge in history is turning us back into a pariah, all these while they sit quietly and clink glasses to the reality of an Obama emergence. This man Yar'adua is more inept than Mr. Shehu Shagari and yet some have started drumming support for his 2011 re election in a period were Nigerian are being dressed up to pay 100 naira for a litre of vehicle gas, in a period were infrastructure, security of lives and property is at its lowest ebb.

Well I must confess that just as I couldn't fathom an Abacha Civilian Presidency that was to start of 1st October 1998 so also I find it hard to see an eight year Yar'adua Presidency, it just won't and can't work at this knowledgeable age of self determination. Infact it doesn't register on my consciousness.

We are totally faced with a free fall to oblivion because of the current manner of governance we have but I am happy that a motley of activities by Nigerians around the globe which is fast growing will help mitigate and finally exorcise this cancer.

As the rhythms of revolution are gradually being upped globally, we are pleased to say, “Nigeria shall be reclaimed from the hands of the ignoble”.

Lets all meet at the London Metropolitan University on the 29th of May.

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