President Buhari and the Laughable and Hypocritical Gambian Intervention —By Simon Utsu


Simon Utsu|19 January 2017 I'm going to outline at least 3 reasons why Buhari leading the pack of African leaders 'intervening' in the Gambia is the most laughable foreign policy decision ever taken by a Nigerian leader in recent times. 1. ECONOMICAL: Of what economic benefit is this intervention to Nigeria? America, Britain and co have carried out similar interventions in the middles East in the last 15 years simply because of economic and political interests. We know how Haliburton and co benefited from oil deals in Iraq immediately after the Iraqi intervention. So what's Nigeria going to benefit from the Gambia economically? Especially after spending millions of dollars on diplomatic flights and deployment of warships and military personnel? Gambia's population is a little over 2 million, that's the population of Alimosho local government in Lagos or that of Surulere and Isolo combined. I've lived with a couple of Gambians in the past and was able to extract from them that groundnut (peanut) is the mainstay of their economy. So after 'intervening', it's groundnut we'll get in return? Groundnut that we have in abundance in northern Nigeria? Not forgetting that we're currently in a recession, is this expensive intervention necessary especially now we know it's not going to be of any economic benefit to us? Why do you think that the west haven't invaded Zimbabwe to kick Mugabe out all these years? How's it going to serve their economic interests? What natural resources does Zimbabwe have? Same can't be said of how quickly France would send fighter jets to support Cameroun if Nigeria tries to invade or trouble her. 2. POLITICAL: America, Russia and co have 'intervened' and invaded smaller countries in the past due to political interests. America sponsored the Cold War in the 1970s, 1980s to enable the breakup of the USSR and weaken the Soviet Union's growing world political influence which was becoming a threat to America's own influence. Russia in equal measure retaliated just last year by intervening politically and influencing the outcome of last year's US presidential elections. Now they have a Trump who is grateful to them and is very likely to give them less economic and political trouble over the next 8 years. Same way the US interfered in Libya because Ghadafi was a political and economic threat to them. Like I mentioned earlier, the population of the Gambia is just above 2 million; the size of one local government (county) in Lagos, Nigeria, what political threat do they pose given that they're far away from us? 3. MORAL: This is the funniest to me. Does Buhari have the moral justification whatsoever to intervene in the Gambia's electoral process? Given that he himself heated up the Nigerian polity three times in the past when he lost Presidential elections? His post-election vituperations and body language in all those instances were so foul that hundreds of lives were lost as his fan boys and girls up north went berserk and embarked on a bloodletting spree. I remember a President Obasanjo once intervened in Sao Tome and Principe few years back. This remains the best and only 'electoral process' intervention by a Nigerian leader since 1999. It was morally and economically justifiable. Morally in the sense that, their President was in Aso Rock to visit Obasanjo when the coup in his country happened. OBJ acted by ordering the coupist to step down or face his wrath, an order which they obeyed with alacrity. Economically because Nigeria had (and still has) crude oil blocs which they're jointly developing with the Sao Tome government, this falls under economic interests or doesn't it? In conclusion, we shouldn't also forget that Nigeria currently has her own internal issues which are quite severe and hence, needs policing and internal military intervention like never before. So doesn't this unnecessary show off by President Buhari in the Gambia reek of comedy, cluelessness and hypocrisy? Simon Utsu
Is a Social Commentator