Professor Bolaji Akinyemi is a former diplomat, accomplished scholar, and a well- known Nigerian.
Responding to questions on the Arise Television Morning Show, the Professor of Political Science and International Relations spoke candidly about the state of the nation, especially in light of the recent invasion of the country’ s correctional center and police headquarters in Owerri, the capital of Imo state.
On Nigeria’ s current state of insecurity and its international reputation
Akinyemi: Well, Nigeria has always been a fortunate nation, and that luck continues to operate in the sense that the rest of the world is too preoccupied with Myanmar’ s problems to pay attention to Nigeria’ s misfortunes. COVID- 19 is causing issues in the United States and around the world. So it’ s not like the rest of the world isn’ t concerned about our woes, as shown by the fact that when Biden and Harris were calling African leaders, Nigeria’ s foreign minister was calling our foreign minister. As a result, we’ ve been relegated to third tier. For those of us who have worked in the field, this is very disturbing.
It does not bother other Africans because, as Nelson Mandela recently said in an interview with a Nigerian journalist, the world will not accord black people their rightful status until Nigeria gets its act together.
So the proper insult meted out to Nigeria was to all blacks, and we must remember that everything we do in this country reflects on blacks all over the world, because we are the only authentic African country capable of lifting blacks by their boottraps into, if you will, first- class status. I said the only genuine African country because, while I recognize that South Africa and Rwanda exist, we are Africa’ s sole force. If I can borrow Lil Kwan Yun’ s words, we are the only African force capable of bringing Africa from third to first world status.
What do you think of General Abdulsalami Abubakar’ s claim that Nigeria has six million weapons and that 80, 000 people have died as a result of them? According to Dr. Ekomo, a security expert, the six million weapons figure is understatement.
Akinyemi: My name is Akinyemi and I am from Nigeria Yes, I agree with Dr. Ekomo that that is a bit of an understatement. A task force was established by President Jonathan. I’ m not sure whether it was a task force or just a task committee on this issue, but they classified the report, and it wasn’ t made public because I was a member of the Boko Haram committee. We were able to obtain a copy of the final product, and the material was unsettling. As if Nigeria were a war zone, weapons are pouring in. Perhaps it will be a battleground; perhaps they are foreshadowing events to come.
The moment Ghaddafi was destabilized, and you might argue that it wasn’ t Ghaddafi alone who was destabilized, but you see, at the time Libya was Ghaddafi and Ghaddafi was Libya, but the moment he was destabilized, the weapons depots were robbed, and those arms simply came down south, where Nigeria, with Boko Haram flexing its muscle, was seen as a legitimate ground for the arms to be used.
They conducted a risk assessment of Nigeria’ s problems and concluded that we were not on our way to a wedding, but rather to a tumultuous future in this region. Different organisations that had been supported by wealthy individuals had funds available to them. I want to obtain the arms, which is why you in Nigeria have accepted those arms with reverence.
And you’ ve seen how beneficial that estimate was to them, not to us, because from the Boko Haram rebels in the North- East, you now have herdsmen, bandits, or whatever you want to call them all over Nigeria, and the weapons are still pouring in.
Now you wonder, what are we going to do about it, and I dare say I’ m not in the business of criticizing government or criticizing anybody. There is nothing we can do about it.
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