Nigeria 2010 - A Season of Foreign Interventionists and their Nigerian Collaborators
Since Nigeria's historic return to multi-party electoral democracy in 1999, successive administrations, unlike the military before them, have granted generous access to foreigners, notably the United States and EU, to project themselves and their views on mundane (and important) matters of Nigeria's internal state policies.
It is understandable that Nigeria, convinced that it is but a young democracy, will in good faith look to experienced foreign democracies for mentoring; and for legitimacy especially in a world economic and political order that is dominated by these nations.
Of the two Western' powers, the United States is more aggressive and gung-ho; and has of recent, outmanoeuvred the EU to emerge as the sole foreign power that is now seemingly intent on dominating Nigeria wholesale in the conduct of her domestic policies.
Important policy subjects to Nigeria upon which it has permitted a lot of access to Americans comprised primarily of the matter of Niger Delta, election policies and procedures; and lately, combating terrorism. America tried to weigh-in on Nigeria's alleged 'romance' with China but a 'proud and patriotic' President Yar'Adua would not allow it. Most Nigerians were not aware of the private battles Yar'Adua fought to guard against what he perceived as “unwarranted interference with Nigeria's unfettered sovereign rights to choose her friends”.
To America's chagrin, Yar'Adua would neither confront Sudan (for her open and 'notorious' romance with China), nor would he allow Africom as a covert Atlantic buffer to intimidate Chinese incursion in the Gulf of Guinea. It does not matter that Africom was 'diplomatically' sold to Yar'Adua as the only panacea to militancy in the Niger Delta; and supposedly, the next best alternative to Yar'Adua's push for amnesty in the Delta.
But while Nigeria has been quick to assert her sovereignty on 'security' issues dealing with the Niger Delta (by flatly rejecting Africom and other forms of direct military collaboration with the United States); and whereas Nigeria has railed against US 'over-belligerent response' to the “perceived threat” of terrorism from Nigeria (because of the single and isolated incident of Abdulmutallab), the country has sadly remained porous to protecting “her sovereignty to nurture her democracy at her own pace”, says Pierre DeVine, a French intelligence veteran in Sub-Saharan Africa.
DeVine points to India as a 'proud third world' democracy that “has proven resilient to foreign interferences even when Indira Ghandi declared a state of emergency in the midst of dynastic electoral transitions that saw three generations of Nehrus ruling India from the 1940s”.
DeVine added that: “This evident lax is possible partly because Nigeria appears to have been convinced by the United States that Nigeria's electoral achievements, despite being young but producing three straight transitions, is the worst in the world. And within the United States itself, Nigeria's Foreign Ministry has made a zero defense of the regime and country; but has instead, in many some instances, made damaging remarks”.
Reliable Intels indicate that despite gentle warnings from the French (and Germans, to a less extent), the United States appears to have become more and more overbearing (and neo-colonialist) in projecting itself into Nigeria's domestic affairs by –
1) Sponsoring so many anti-Nigeria conferences/colloquiums/congressional hearings in the United States; and
2) Earmarking millions of dollars to Nigeria's “domestic professional activists and disaffected political class to dictate to the government of the day on all manners of domestic policies, with Nigeria's elections and internal crisis management taking centre-stage.
“American neo-con strategists have come to recognize that 'Elections and the lustre of public office' is Nigeria's 'soft underbelly and the strongest link' to cultivating an army of disaffected Nigerians to unwittingly destabilize their own system from within. Consumed by the lust for power and personal animus, many otherwise patriotic Nigerians have become easy prey to a burgeoning foreign design to undermine their own country”, says an extract from an EU 'soft Intels' Memo obtained by 'Concerned Friends of Nigeria' in Washington.
In all of these, it is needles to add that the nation's image has plummeted, more from this avalanche of American orchestrated 'bad press' and less from the so-called Nigerian 419 and other social/political vices, which cannot be said to be unique to Nigeria but are instead manifested in greater degrees in other countries, including even the “morally rampaging” United States.
The French and Germans, noted for their Realisms as opposed to American Idealisms, are concerned that “a Nigeria pressured and pushed to the precipice will spell disaster in the greater Gulf of Guinea, with the result that Nigerian tribes, formerly held together on fragile social/political compacts, will rise against one another and give the West its first 'intractable' challenge of containing 150 million Africans grabbing at each other's throats. The 'end-game' is better imagined than real”, says agent DeVine.
2. The Gathering Conspiracy to Overawe Nigeria and Why?
'Marvin Singleton', an undercover intelligence consultant and a veteran 'Intels mercenary mole' in Lagos (when it was capital of Nigeria) told these writers that “America's resurgent interest in who wins elections at the federal levels in Nigeria is motivated by the strategic realization by America that election is the only way it can hopefully exert some control of Nigeria (even though by proxy), given that the political will to procure coup d'état is all but gone. Besides, the radical professionalizing of the Nigerian military brass by Obasanjo has dramatically reduced prospects for coup in contemporary Nigeria.
Continuing in his thesis, Singleton says: “America knows that if it determines the winner of elections in Nigeria, it will have all the leave and license to determine major policies, including –
1) Policies that will be directed against Chinese business (and diplomatic) incursions in Sub-Saharan Africa (having the mineral-rich Gulf of Guinea as the ultimate prize);
2) Policies that will ensure uninterrupted flow of easy-to-refine, environmentally friendly Bonny light sweet crude to US fuel stations; and
3) Policies that will isolate Northern Nigeria as a terrorist outpost to be given the Iraqi treatment”.
“China, fuel and terrorism are considered matters of direct impact on the United States and thus held by America as sufficient cause to wax imperialistic on Nigeria. It appears that Nigerians remain clueless to these designs and have therefore fallen for what America passes off as altruistic idealism and genuine interest in nurturing Nigeria's democracy, using the mantra of free and fair elections as cover, sounding as if Nigerians themselves do not want free and fair elections for their country”.
ontinuing, Singleton queried: “why is it possible for America to be romancing Kuwait, Saidi Arabia, Egypt, China, and a host of other nations which do not have any democracy? Why would a Nigeria that has scored three straight multi-party electoral transitions allow itself to be distracted from scoring its fourth transition by a bunch of foreign counterintelligence mercenaries scheming to have the final say on who rules the 'Nigerian roost' in 2011”?
ingleton attributed what he called “the easy conquest of Nigeria's electoral and democratic psyche” to three main factors comprising of:
1) “A professional band of activists making a killing from the dollars flowing from America to finance their organized harassment of the Nigerian established order (for ulterior ends that they don't care to understand);
2) An unsophisticated ruling party ranks that lack the intellectual backbone to stand up to a small (but vocal) 'opposition' cabal that is pushing Nigeria around; and
3) A weak foreign policy ministerial leadership that appears too obsequious towards American State Department bullies that still have a textbook world-view of Nigeria”.
Ambassador Campbell even included Nigeria's lack of focus in foreign policy as a 'sore point' when he told the US Congress in February 2010 that “Nigeria did not demonstrate its traditional diplomatic leadership in the resolution of the political and humanitarian crises in Guinea”.
Our assessment demonstrates that foregoing statement by Campbell is latest revelation of America's 'abiding disappointment' with Nigeria's 'poor' conduct of her foreign policies since 2007, which is one of the many 'pressure points' said to have been tactfully deployed by the Americans to continually put Nigeria's Foreign Ministry on the defensive, forcing the former Minister to make public pronouncements and 'secret concessions' that tended to weaken the legitimacy of the Yar'Adua/Jonathan regime.
This situation provided the 'moral cover' for Americans to now advocate regime change in 2011 through Electoral Reforms (read: 'new' and 'timid' electoral management) that they can control to ensure emergence of a new federal leadership sans Yar'Adua; and now Jonathan. This is part of the reason why a statesman like Obasanjo, noted for his skill in dealing with America's interventionists is being redlined in the current Jonathan scheme of things.
Concluding his assessment of current country trends, Singleton said that “it is noteworthy that America does not sponsor countless Colloquiums to embarrass Saudi Arabia (which is not even a democracy) or even China (with which it is now in a battle of wills and ideology); and will not even contemplate sponsoring an army of Saudi or Chinese activists/dissidents; and openly fund them to engage in systematic disturbance of the good order and happiness of their societies like it now does in Nigeria at new levels of escalation. Nigeria can easily draw allies against much of these bashings from within the US administration itself but it has, so far, sadly failed to do so”.
Our Congressional contacts in Capitol Hill expressed a “collective shock that Nigeria's former Foreign Minister was not invited to the crucial February 2010 Feingold Congressional hearings that featured Ribadu, Campbell, Carson and Lewis; and till date, the Foreign Ministry has not raised a whimper, even when the former Minister had advance Intels knowledge that the Hearings was convened to bash Nigeria and prepare grounds for further acts of intervention in her internal affairs”.
One of our sources and 'assessors', who requested not to be named in this essay, said that “Hearings such as was held before Senator Feingold provide the embryo that forms State Department policies towards foreign nations. The absence of an official Nigerian voice at such an important policy hearing on Nigeria is inexcusable; and it hurt”.
3. Specific Incidents and a Season of Goading:
John Broder, a noted political scientist in the United States and an authority on American interferences in foreign countries, wrote that “Congress routinely appropriates tens of millions of dollars in covert and overt money to use in influencing domestic politics abroad”.
According to Broder's research, which formed the basis for eliminating US interference in elections in Indo-China, The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), founded about 28 years ago “to do in the open what the CIA has done surreptitiously for decades, spends $30 million a year to support things like political parties, labor unions, dissident movements and the news media in dozens of countries”.
This appears to be the case with Nigeria at the moment, given the hundreds of millions being spent on media campaigns and public demonstrations by The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC); certain elements of the opposition (some from inside PDP itself); and Civil Society organizations. NLC is considered the greatest asset, which is why a lot of hard work and money was deployed to convincing its national leadership to abandon 'pure labor issues' such as deregulation, power, worker welfare, etc in order to concentrate fully on the burgeoning 'political action for regime-change through control of the electoral levers', as DeVine put it.
Nigeria came into play because in the years following the Chinese rise in world influence and the 'intimidating' economic surge of the Asian Tigers, “a bored and cowed United States found cause to direct its pathological predilection for interfering in foreign elections/internal affairs to nations on the sleep like Nigeria, which also presents the prurient attraction of a gullible Civil Society always at the ready to jump at American dollars and 'friendship' directed at destabilizing and engendering foreign control of their own country”.
Recently, Nuhu Ribadu – no doubt a patriot but disaffected and angry at Yar'Adua for 'persecuting' and exiling him - told the US Congress to fund Nigeria's dissidents in so many words when he testified before the Feingold Committee that “we see a new leadership rising up, new people-oriented power centres being created. These are new phenomenon in Nigeria and they must be respected and nurtured. America can no longer take the attitude of keeping the lid on this boiling pot”.
Singleton and DeVine agree that Ribadu's calls (or goading, if you like) to the US Congress plays into the “first instinct of Americans to always romance anti-government forces in countries it hardly understands, ultimately getting burnt in the end. It happened in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin America, and all the other places where they had to abandon ship and retreat back to America after screwing up things”.
And the “new leadership” being championed, as referenced in the Feingold late February Hearings, looks beyond acting President Jonathan because in the same Congressional testimony, former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Campbell 'baited unrest in Nigeria' by calling “Jonathan's ascendency unconstitutional”. For good measure, Campbell repeatedly mocked Jonathan by referring to what he called “the unconstitutional basis of his presidential authority”.
Speaking further, Campbell said that “the National Assembly's unconstitutional designation of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as the acting president endangers Nigeria's fragile democratic development. And frantically looking to the Brits for intellectual succour, Campbell claimed that “Ridle Markus, Africa strategist at Absa Capital (London), noted in the Financial Times that, ―the National Assembly's motion (making Jonathan acting President) may not have any legal backing, which means…every decision Goodluck makes could potentially be declared unlawful”.
Our policy wonks who contributed to this essay insist that this statement is “meant to encourage two opposite, but complementary results, which are – 1) To encourage the so-called loyalists of President Yar'Adua to either disobey Dr. Jonathan or openly challenge his authority (implosion from within); and 2) To, at the same time, encourage Nigeria's conniving activist lawyers and compliant segment of the judiciary to rule Jonathan out of authority (implosion from without).
Encouraging a well-meaning but inexperienced Jonathan to dissolve a Yar'Adua-appointed cabinet and then reappointing vast numbers of the same Ministers he dismissed (and then Yar'Adua's nephew) is a political farce sure to cause instability in the system. Even a strong and patriotic Senator Mark is being pressured to railroad the confirmation of the farce in Nigeria's NASS. Too many bad things could ensue from all these, resulting in a situation where Nigeria keeps calling in the Americans to 'help' postpone the coup that is lurking in the corner”.
And going back to how it all began, DeVine reports that US embassy intelligence moles in Abuja intercepted reliable Intels on the Brigade of Guards twilight manoeuvres from the Kaduna and Abuja axis to receive Yar'Adua but failed to alert either Jonathan or Nigeria's internal intelligence (including CDS AVM Paul Dike), even when it was clear to them that Jonathan neither ordered nor was made aware of the troop movements”.
Continuing, he added that “the stealthy nature of the troop movement to Nigeria's Abuja airport was meant as a 'mock coup' against Jonathan, who is expected to get the clear warning that he does not, and cannot be allowed the control of Nigerian armed forces, even when the effect of the National Assembly resolution made him (Jonathan) the constitutional Commander-in-Chief. The non-disclosure of the troop movements serves as a pointer to the duplicitous politics America desires to play in the Yar'Adua/Jonathan impasse, as part of the grand plot to weaken them and show them out of power in 2011”.
Further evidence of this gathering plot to “pit Nigerians against one another” and 'the Presidency against itself” is revealed by the “warning” recently issued to the so-called “Yar'Adua loyalists” by the US “not to capitalize on the return of the President to Nigeria to cause trouble for Jonathan”. DeVine asks: “How can the US say such things when it was aware, via the 'illegal' airport troop manoeuvre to receive Yar'Adua, that 'causing trouble' for Jonathan was already underway but it failed to alert Jonathan?”.
Sources close to the US State Department 'Nigerian cell' confirmed that these 'dubious double-crossings' are geared to – 1) Driving a wedge between Yar'Adua and Jonathan; 2) Suborn North against South; North against itself 3) Split the ruling party from its highest leadership levels; and 4) Then, the disparate band of clueless activists and disarrayed opposition will be quickly amalgamated and primed to take the reins of power in 2011”.
The source added that “a mortally fractured PDP of 'Yar'Adua boys' against 'Jonathan boys', Northerners against Southerners, will immediately make Nigeria easy prey to those plotting to take her prisoner, albeit by the hands of their Nigerian allies”.
Further evidence is to be found in the “serial approbations and reprobations that have been spewing simultaneously from Washington since Yar'Adua took ill”.
Therefore, this “gathering interventionism” is already looking beyond the acting Presidency of Jonathan, who is seen “privately” by these people as part of the 'problem', as the following details will show.
Just recently (after the NASS resolution conferring presidential powers on Jonathan), Ambassador Campbell told the US Congress that “following failed efforts to amend the constitutionally-mandated term limits so that Obasanjo could run for a third term, the president imposed on the ruling party his own candidates, Umaru Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, setting the stage for the current constitutional crisis”.
Our analysts say that “Campbell's angst with Obasanjo's choice of Yar'Adua/Jonathan provides one of the best evidence yet that Obasanjo was forced by patriotic zeal to do what he did because he (Obasanjo) and a select few were privy to 'hot Intels' indicating an advanced plot by foreign agents to weigh-in on the task of 'picking' Obasanjo's successors, either through 'a US-dollar induced upset' at the PDP presidential Convention or suborning some compliant national electoral commissioners to 'rig in' an opposition candidate.
Further evidence is to be found in the escalated levels of the campaigns, during the period under review, to discredit the 'transition' election'. Devine insists that this plot included “an international propaganda to give Ghana a heads-up over Nigeria and prime it to become the new American satellite in African Sahara. Therefore, Ghana elections, despite Rawling's threats of another coup, had to look better than Nigeria's”.
Support for Devine's thesis can be found in the following excerpt: “Ghana's 2008 election has been hailed by national and international observers as a model for Africa. The perception of success has prevailed despite persistent concerns about an inflated voter register and electoral fraud perpetrated by the two major parties, the NPP and NDC”. See “The Successful Ghana Election of 2008: A Convenient Myth? Published by the Journal of Modern African Studies, 48, 1 (2010), pp. 95–115. Cambridge University Press 2010.
So, despite all the public posturing on other fora, acting President Jonathan is still deemed “part of the problem by these 'bait-and-switch' agents and their Nigerian allies who are intent on remaking Nigeria after their own image in 2011”. And more revealing of their angst against Nigeria is Professor Peter Lewis' remarks before Congress in February that Yar'Adua/Jonathan government is “an administration that has frankly been chilly toward U.S. overtures”.
Peter M. Lewis is the Director, African Studies Program and Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University, which is a known “academic laboratory for using gullible nations as guinea pigs to test-run new US ideas on neo-imperialism”, according to DeVine. He noted that “Nigeria has the resources and intellectual class not to be considered gullible but for the duplicity of her unpatriotic (and patriotic but clueless) activist elements”.
4. All the other Evidence is in Plain View:
China Again - Several Diplomatic Despatches from US Diplomatic Missions and Intelligence sources in Nigeria reveal that the “one major point of American discontent towards Nigeria is the increased romance with China since the Yar'Adua administration; and Yar'Adua is seen by Americans as too Islamist to boot. Tying the Yar'Adua/Jonathan regime to China is meant to –
1) Excite America's ultra-right interventionists; and tying Yar'Adua alone to extreme Islam is a subliminal attempt to make his regime a 'fair' target of America's over-reacting war on what they privately call 'Black Islamic Terror'; and 2) Such labelling will isolate him (Yar'Adua) personally from his Christian brethrens and compatriots, north to south.”
As one of our sources put it, “America is looking to humiliate China out of Africa. But at the same time, it feels that such a situation will not have arisen if President Yar'Adua had remained 'faithfully' pro-American and worked very hard to keep China away from Nigeria's natural resources. An 'interim' Jonathan is not expected to suddenly change course to repel such 'fundamental' Chinese penetration”.
Campbell offered 'final solutions' by suggesting to Congress that the way out is to support Nigeria's activists and opposition elements, adding that “they deserve our (American) support. And such support is in our own interest”. He further also suggested that “the United States should make full use of its access to the Nigerian media”. For what? Is Nigeria making full use of US media in the run up to America's federal elections or when Americans are in a partisan contest for power?
And to underscore how total this “new engagement of all Nigeria” is to be, Ambassador Carson suggested new 'diplomatic' outpost in Northern Nigeria. Hear him: “To meet this call, we seek to expand our diplomatic presence - most critically - in northern Nigeria ... report on (northern Nigeria's) political, economic and social issues”. Johnnie Carson is the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and he frequents Nigeria these days, including one very suspicious flag stop at General Babangida's Hilltop Mansion in Minna, much to the discomfiture of a Jonathan that was then just ascending to his precarious acting presidency.
Turning again to Campbell, he had also said that “domestic (Nigerian) Islamic radicalization could facilitate in the future the activities of international terrorist groups hostile to the United States”. So, it is no longer Afghanistan that is the headquarters of Al-Qaeda, but motherland Nigeria, with all her bearded mullahs, caves, Talibans and dirty bombs all aimed from Abuja towards continental United States. Haba, Campbell.
Better yet, there is more goading when Lewis told Congress that “the United States should: support Nigeria's civil society, monitor internal developments closely, state unambiguously that any resort to unconstitutional action against the Nigerian people will be resisted and back pro-democracy movements inside the country”.
Our experts at diplomatese who contributed to this essay say that Lewis' veiled use of the phrases 'civil society' and 'pro-democracy movements' are euphemisms for Nigerian dissidents/activists and intended to be a coded message to their allies to strike against the ruling party – PDP “from the very top”. His use of the word 'resisted' meant that the US has been encouraged by the reticence of our government to even be considering 'some form of military (or other coercive) action', unless it is, willy-nilly, given the final say on who becomes President of Nigeria in 2011, sans Yar'Adua/Jonathan.
Lewis' warnings against taking 'unconstitutional action against the Nigerian people' means that Jonathan must allow crippling public demonstrations, in the hope that they will produce an Orange Revolution; or a Yeltsin-type of civilians climbing atop military tanks at the Eagle Square, or worse.
But most particularly striking is Lewis' emphasis on offering US inducements ONLY to “pro-democracy movements inside the country (Nigeria)”. Now, you may ask: Since when did Nigeria become a rank dictatorship, such that will be visited with an army of foreign-funded 'pro-democracy' groups?
There is more: Lewis' emphasis on 'movements inside the country' is meant to redline sophisticated Nigerian Diaspora organizations (which are mostly based in the United States) because those are deemed to be at once patriotic and wiser in the wily ways of American foreign interventionist tactics. Thus, they are “less likely to 'play ball' by the allure of a few US dollars and a chance to appear before Congress for a fifteen seconds of fame. Much as these US-based Nigerian groups are committed to best democratic practices in their mother country, they are averse to any action that might push Nigeria to the edge, especially if they suspect that such action is made-in-the-USA or misguided”.
Recent Nigerian émigrés in the US, - displaced and disaffected by the coming of Yar'Adua and his hasty attempts to distance himself from Obasanjo - are considered Rookies and thus much more likely to be seduced by “false American idealisms and a chance to feel important”.
Also being targeted for a 'putsch' - as a consequence of their consciousness of American designs on Nigeria - are “those highly placed Nigerian officials that lived in the US in the recent past. They are described in Intels Despatches as “ramrod patriots and thus more vigilant and resistant to American covert and overt tactics at regime-change”. DeVine calls it “a search and destroy mission directed at dramatically reengineering Nigeria's electoral management to produce the result already pre-determined somewhere in Washington DC”.
5. So many good Americans are even warning Nigeria of the looming Danger:
In his award-winning book, A Faustian Bargain: U.S. Intervention in the Nicaraguan Elections..., William I. Robinson charged that “Years of the CIA's bloody proxy war in Nicaragua set the stage for the final phase: a made-in-the-USA electoral coup d'état”. According to its reviewers, the book “details how the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worked hand and glove with the Bush administration to create a unified opposition out of the ineffective and quarrelsome anti-Sandinista groups”.
"In Washington's language, the opposition forces that ran against the Sandinistas in the Nicaraguan elections were the 'democratic' and 'independent' opposition," Robinson writes.
Robinson also charged that “the groups and individuals the NED employed to "promote democracy" in Nicaragua were also neither democratic nor independent. Delphi International Group was the biggest recipient of NED funds for its Nicaragua project. Henry Quintero, who headed Delphi's Nicaragua program, is tied to the U.S. intelligence community. Quintero, Carl "Spitz" Channel, and Richard Miller ran the Institute for North-South Issues, which was a front for Oliver North's off-the-shelf contra arms operation. Delphi's president, Paul Von Ward, served in several State Department posts before joining Delphi”.
Part of Foreword to A Faustian Bargain states that: “The significance of A Faustian Bargain goes beyond a historical analysis of U.S. policy in Nicaragua. As Robinson points out with great prescience, the imperial political intervention which worked so well in Nicaragua could become a model for U.S. foreign policy in the (future).
“Indeed, US strategists want to make "promoting democracy" through political intervention a key element of U.S. foreign policy in the post-Cold War era” – Faustian. “It is sad that America has trained her gun sights on Nigeria”, lamented DeVine.
“The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is well known to be associated and providing funding (plus American diplomatic and intelligence protection) to such groups as former Senator Ken Nnamani's 'Centre for Leadership and Development'; former Governor Tinubu's CODER; and the many others masquerading as Civil Society. This includes forging close associations with activists like Femi Falana, and lately making frantic efforts to infiltrate and split Nigeria's ruling party from top to down”, says an extract from our trusted 'insider' in Washington who has followed the unfolding events in the past one year.
Broder's research found that “those are among the more benign American efforts to intervene in the domestic politics of nations around the globe, activities that have been revealed in declassified documents, memoirs and records of congressional hearings”.
It further found that “since the end of World War II, the United States, usually acting covertly through the CIA, has installed or toppled leaders on every continent, secretly supported political parties of close allies like Japan, fomented coups, spread false rumours, bribed political figures and spent countless billions of dollars to sway public opinion” in mostly third-world countries.
Such dirty tactics are already being advocated by “closet interventionists” like Campbell, who, last week, told the Congress that “Nigerian elites relish the opportunity to travel to the U.S. and to own property there. The power of the U.S. government to revoke visitors' visas is particularly potent personal leverage with members of the Nigerian elites”.
The foregoing statement represents part of a more sinister plan to “overawe ranking Nigerian leaders into submitting to the will of American idealists, seeking to reduce Nigeria from being the main player in the Gulf of Guinea to something akin to 'the baby elephant' of Africa”, as DeVine humorously put it.
Peter Kornbluh, a highly respected American researcher at the National Security Archive, an organization affiliated with George Washington University that monitors intelligence and foreign policy, called on Congress to halt what he said is “a long pattern of U.S. manipulation, bribery and covert operations to influence the political trajectory of countless countries around the world”. Kornbluh has spoken up for Nigeria where some of those who are supposed to do so and who are in authority seemed to have been cowed.
In the recent CIA Fact Book on Nigeria, there seems to be also a note of caution and circumspection to rabble-rousers like Campbell, Carson, Lewis and other disaffected elements waxing nostalgic for US direct intervention in Nigerian politics. The Fact Book pointedly said of Nigeria that “Nigeria is experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general election of 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power since its history”.
Echoing the same theme, Bruce Fein, former Assistant Attorney General of United States and a frequent and highly respected 'testifier' before the US Congress said that Nigeria experienced “a landmark election in 2007”.
All our analysts who contributed to this essay concluded that “Nigeria disappointed these people by conducting credible elections in Anambra State. Beyond the surface and pre-election posturing, these people were actually hoping that Anambra will be a fiasco and thus give them the ultimate lightening rod they so desperately needed to fast-track the grand plots on 2011. The backlash and escalation we have seen of recent were ignited more by hurt feelings than anything to do with the 'officially-admitted' faulty voters register in Anambra. Remember same faulty voters' register rampant in Ghana's much-hailed 2008 general elections”. DeVine, to whom the Anambra scenario was blinded, agrees in toto.
According to Broder, “even those who support American efforts to influence the internal politics of other countries acknowledge that it has been carried to murderous extremes in the past and has to be carefully monitored”. Our analysts call for more vigilance on the part of “anybody who desires orderly transition in 2011”.
“The toppling of Saddam revealed weaknesses in American foreign interference taken too far - the genre Broder warned about. The embarrassing reality of absolute absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq revealed that the real reason for the ill-fated invasion was Regime Change and oil politics, to boot. Though Iraqi and American battle-field casualties were legion, of more significance to the ultimate folly of it all is that the invasion took Rumsfeld, Collin Powell, Cheney and many others as casualties as well. Their careers were ruined; and capping it all was Bush who carries the invasion as the number one factor that tainted his double presidency.
“And talking also of Regime Change through elections (as is the case in the current 'Nigerian plot'), America conducted the worst election ever in the history of Iraq, pitting Shiites against Sunnis and Kurds against the rest of the country, brother against brother, all Muslims. In the end, American Generals were the ones lamenting their total lack of the skills of nation-building. Nigeria should learn from this and remain watchful as she goes into 2011”.
"With the end of the cold war, a lot of the justification for these activities has fallen away," said Michael Beschloss, a historian who has written several volumes about U.S. policy in the Cold War era. "It's always going to be a struggle between ends and means, but the burden of proof is now much greater. But when you're a country in the custom of trying to influence other countries' politics, it's a habit that is very hard to break." A habit that is now manifesting itself in Nigeria because of “her sweet crude, vibrant population, less than patriotic (or clueless) activists, weak foreign ministry and the financial interest of pesky ex-intelligence agents desperately looking for new and easy incomes in an era of a meltdown that wiped out their savings and stocks”.
According to Broder, 'Presidents from Harry Truman to Obama have justified American political interference abroad as necessary to promote democracy or combat the spread of communism, totalitarianism or mere anarchy'. In Nigeria of today, the continuous orgy of US interference in Nigerian politics, which escalated since 2006, has been too easily 'justified' on the basis of promotion of democracy. Broder said that such hackneyed excuses have been “used to justify ignoble means”, including “direct and brazen engagement of the electoral environment in the subject country”, as DeVine put it.
6 Some Notable Moments in History that should as a Primer on how Nigeria can contain the Looming Danger:
Broder's research found that 'the CIA's earliest political activities -- considered by many agency veterans to be its greatest successes anywhere -- were in France and Italy in 1947 and 1948, when aggressive and well-financed Communist Parties and communist labor unions came close to winning power by the popular will.
'The United States poured millions of dollars into both countries to support centre-right parties and conservative unionists, forestalling the Communist advance. The Italian effort was supervised by James Jesus Angleton, who gained notoriety later as the CIA's chief of counterintelligence for his paranoia about Soviet penetration of the agency.
'The CIA grew more ambitious in the 1950s, helping to overthrow leaders in Iran and Guatemala that the United States considered too leftist and replacing them with friendly dictators. More subtly, it secretly manipulated elections in the Philippines, Lebanon and Nepal with large amounts of covert cash.
'Edward Lansdale, the legendary CIA operative, essentially ran the successful presidential campaign of Defense Minister Ramon Magsaysay in the Philippines. At one point in the campaign, Dulles, then the director of central intelligence, offered Lansdale $5 million to use in the operation. The CIA officer cabled back that he could sway the election for $1 million. The agency money was supplemented by secret donations from U.S. corporations doing business in the Philippines, including Coca-Cola.
'In Lebanon, the CIA supported Christian parties with U.S. government money and donations by American oil companies that wanted to ensure a friendly government in Lebanon, a pivotal Middle Eastern country. Wilbur Crane Eveland, a CIA officer, later described driving his “gold and white DeSoto onto the grounds of President Camille Chamoun's residence in Beirut and openly delivering political payoffs”.
"Throughout the elections, I travelled regularly to the presidential palace with a briefcase full of Lebanese pounds, then returned late at night to the embassy with an empty twin case" to be replenished with CIA money, Eveland wrote in "Ropes of Sand" in 1980, a history of American policy failures in the Middle East.
Large body of research by Broder and others on this matter of US interference in foreign elections found that even “countries that were supposed to be allies were not immune to American meddling. The United States secretly supported Japan's Liberal Democratic Party and cultivated its rising political figures”. No matter that Nigeria is also considered friend of America.
'A recently declassified State Department cable recounts a conversation among American diplomatic, military and intelligence officers about the most effective way to ensure the victory of friendly politicians in an election in Japan's Ryukyu Islands, including the important U.S. military outpost at Okinawa.
The declassified Report shockingly revealed that “the American officials unabashedly discussed the mechanisms of covert financial support for candidates of the Liberal Democratic Party, debating only how to do it, and not whether (they should even try or not)”.
'Edwin Reischauer, then the U.S. ambassador to Japan, argued that it would be "much safer to let national officials of the Liberal Democratic Party handle the money than to channel it directly to local candidates”.
"Okinawa is a small place, like a small town in the U.S.," Reischauer said, according to a memorandum that was declassified in September. "Okinawa is also like a small country prefecture in Japan, where political manoeuvres -- particularly involving money -- are well known. The Japanese conservatives are going to be involved with funds and other activities in the Ryukyuan elections anyway, and it would be a perfect cover to simply add to their resources rather than trying to carry it out directly in the Ryukyus."
'The declassified Report says that the “The CIA spent $4 million to help Eduardo Frei Montalva defeat Salvador Allende Gossens in Chilean elections. Nine years later, it inspired a coup that toppled Allende, who had won power legitimately.
Africa, with Nigeria forming the pivotal point has lately come into play. And to prepare grounds for what is to come soon, US “non-officials are helping their official colleagues who succeeded them to carry on with their avowed but misguided notion of having the final say on who rules Nigeria next”.
7. The Way Forward/Conclusion:
Despite all these plots against Nigeria, there is hope – to be found in the outrage of vast numbers of Americans who continue to express their disapproval, albeit mutedly. A Congressional Committee chaired by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, concluded that “many of these activities were counterproductive as well as wrong”.
Yet, the American moral majority can only succeed in calling their wayward interventionists home when patriotic citizens of countries-in-gun-sight, such as Nigeria, rise up to defend their sovereignty.
This is where it can be said that Nigeria was hurt in many ramifications by last year's remarks (in the US) attributed to Nigeria's Foreign Minister, tending to cast a mall of illegitimacy on the Yar'Adua/Goodluck administration. From then on, Americans began to sense, rightly or wrongly, that “their broad designs on regime-change in 2011 has allies within the Yar'Adua/Jonathan combine”, says DeVine”.
Moving forward ..."we're more than a little hypocritical about these issues," said Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., who was staff director of the Sen. Frank Church Congressional committee that reviewed the sort of 'actions being aimed at Nigeria now. "The United States has certainly engaged in these things, but we get all up in arms when someone else does. The things the CIA cited as successes really weren't successes," added Schwarz, now a lawyer at the firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York. "They were an arrogant exercise of our power to intervene in domestic affairs" of other nations, he concluded.
The award-winning Book - A Faustian Bargain – contains the Modus Operandi and reveals the full scope of U.S. interference in foreign elections, using Nicaragua as a test case. We will reproduce portions of it below to serve as a further Primer on how Nigeria can best articulate its national defenses.
Below are Excerpts from the official review of the Book:
“Much has been written about the $12.5 million Congress allocated for distribution by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1989-1990 to internal opposition groups in Nicaragua. But Robinson lifts the veil of secrecy which shrouded the clandestine channels used by the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide the opposition with another $17.5 million. Robinson notes parenthetically that the Bush administration spent about $20 per voter in Nicaragua, compared to $4 per voter in the U.S. elections of 1988.
“Funds were offered to leaders and organizations on the condition that they follow the U.S. political strategy. Washington not only selected Chamorro as the candidate of the National Opposition Union (UNO) but actually drafted the platform she ran on.
"The pressures on me from the [U.S.] Embassy to join are really intense," an anonymous opposition leader told Robinson, the author of the book. "They are distributing a lot of cash; it's difficult to resist”.
“Civic, labor, youth, and women's groups were organized by NED-funded political operatives who taught them the political skills needed for an election campaign and mapped out their day-to-day activities. La Prensa, the anti-Sandinista newspaper, and opposition radio and television stations were funded and supplied with UNO political ads and programming developed by specialists hired with NED money.
“Robinson, a former reporter for the Sandinista's Nicaragua News Agency, was based in Washington, D.C. in 1989-1990, where he reported on the NED's Nicaraguan election project. He developed a talent then for getting administration and NED officials to talk to him and for uncovering incriminating documents, some of which are included as an appendix to A Faustian Bargain”.
8. Final Thoughts
If you remove Nicaragua from the above excerpt from A Faustian Bargain, you would think that the reviewer is talking about what is happening in Nigeria NOW, and the more that will come if Nigeria fails to 'activate her defensive mechanisms'.
The plot has thickened and “the hawks are circling to snatch the mother-hen”, as Mr Fein likes to say. Therefore, A Faustian Bargain is recommended as a must-read to all patriotic brethrens that care about Nigeria's sovereignty and stability, as we go into 2011.
As part of the effort to defend Nigeria's sovereignty, it is important to stress to all that Nigerians need to be proud of their country; proud of what they have accomplished as a young democracy since 1999.
Yulia Kasyankova, a Russian Lawyer and author who visited Nigeria last year and did her own independent research, published an epic essay on her impression of Nigeria. In her Letter to Nigerians, she wrote that:
“Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world. You have a rich history, rich natural resources and a climate most favorable for agriculture, when you can grow crops and fruit all year round. But above all, you have democracy, ten years on, better than what Russia had about same time after Communism. The heaviest task is to make people believe in it and to feel positive and proud of their country”.
Dr. Sullivan Odumegwu; Garba Mustapha; and James Osunbor wrote in from the United States
All responses to [email protected]