Nigeria breaks away from African Union at its own risk

Nigeria has threatened to pull out of the African Union just because its leader (Jonathan Goodluck) lost his bid to take over from the Equatorial Guinean leader (Theodoro Mbasago Obiang) as the Chairman of the AU. He lost to Benin’s Boni Yayi and is so peeved as to contemplate this action as a way to teach the AU a bitter lesson.

I hope this news report is not true. But we are far away from April 1 (April Fools’ Day).

Specifically, Nigeria is not just threatening to break away from Africa but it is threatening to form an independent continent
of Nigeria. What else could be more ridiculous than “an independent continent of Nigeria”? Of course, Nigeria is a big country—probably, its size being a curse in disguise, something that would make the former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi agitate for the country to be split into three—but it doesn’t justify any politically suicidal move to turn it into a continent of its own. What malarkey?

The threat was contained in a terse press release signed by Mr. Reuben Abati, representing the Nigerian government. The rationale behind this threat? Here it is: “Since Africa does not consider our President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan good enough for the Chairmanship of the African Union, then Africa does not deserve our presence on the Continent.”

The one-week’s ultimatum the Nigerian government gave the AU to regroup and crown Goodluck Jonathan as the head of the Union deserves nothing but disdain. There will be consequences for Africa but Nigeria itself. All of a sudden, we’ve been given the nasty part of the Nigerian leadership. Is this the sort of leadership that can help that country solve its hydra-headed problems? This threat is hollow, misguided, and politically misdirected. It won’t materialize to Nigeria’s advantage. It demonstrates incontinence and lack of respect for discipline and order.

This threat is characteristic of churlish losers of genuine competitions. Such churlishness doesn’t promote democracy. What does Goodluck Jonathan think he has to make him a better AU Chairman than Boni Yayi? To cut a long story short, Nigeria leaves the AU at a great risk to itself, not the rest of Africa. Specifically stated, Nigeria needs the rest of Africa more than ever to remain what it is.

Here is the reality, at least, gathered from the press release from the Nigerian government itself:
“Meanwhile, ministers, cabals, and members of parliament are believed to have secretly convened to decide how Nigeria’s breaking away from Africa should be organized to ensure that the Igbos and other Southerners do not use the opportunity to slip away into the Atlantic with their oil and also form their own continent.”

What could be more revealing of the danger looming over Nigeria than this situation?

Especially at this time that the Boko Haram terrorist group is intensifying its destabilizing activities, the Nigerian government will do itself a world of good if it stops giving nastily wrong signals forthwith. The threat posed to it by the Boko Haram threat can’t be neutralized with anything its leader does at the international stage. It can be tackled successfully if Nigeria depends on external support. It can’t handle that danger alone. That is why the Nigerian government must not make utterances or take any senseless action to annoy those whose help it needs to remain stable, if that is what its internal situation is now.

Then again, the aftermath of last year’s general elections is a clear pointer to the fact that there are many fault lines in Nigeria’s body political that are ready to cave in to plunge the country into chaos. At several levels, there are flashpoints. Ethnic tension is high, religious intolerance among the Muslims and Christians for each other is at a fever pitch. Politicians in the rival political parties (especially the ruling PDP and General Ibrahim Babangida’s camp) are at each other’s throat.
Beyond all is the general discontent among the citizenry over deplorable living conditions, neck-breaking bribery and corruption, and many other despicable tendencies that continue to threaten the country’s viability.

These faultlines are visible, and it is only a determined trouble-maker who will go out of his way to add more to it, especially as the Nigerian government seeks to do now.

Can’t anybody wear his thinking cap the right way to know that Jonathan Goodluck’s plate of troubles is already overflowing and that he needn’t more added to it?

What is it about the Chairmanship of the AU that will equip him with the skills that he needs to solve his own country’s internal crises even before turning to shoulder the responsibilities of an AU Chairman that is nothing but a bundle of thorns to wear?

Is the Nigerian government disputing the outcome of the voting that put Benin’s Boni Yayi in place as the AU Chairman to replace Theodoro Mbasago Obiang of the Equatorial Guinea whose tenure some of us can’t say we were proud of, his being a wicked tyrant who shouldn’t have been given the Chairmanship of the AU, in the first place?

What the Nigerian government is about to set in motion is horrendous and must be condemned with all the force at our disposal. Indeed, by this desperate move, all that Nigeria is telling us is that respect should be demanded, and not commanded. Such a move is empty, calamitous, and idiotic, to say the least.

The rotation of the AU Chairmanship is based on the atmosphere of trust (or is it conspiracy?) that exists among the various Heads of State of the member-states. It is based on the assessment of a candidate’s abilities to handle the tasks, not on anything that might be motivating the Nigerian government’s intended desperate move.

Has the Nigerian government done any homework, it would realize that Jonathan Goodluck is not experienced enough to become what is now being sought after with this kind of dangerous manouevre. He doesn’t command respect among the member-states of the AU.
At least, he may wait for his turn after passing the test as a leader who can command respect, trust, and confidence among his colleagues. It is only then that he will draw attention to himself for consideration. He has to know that a good thing sells itself. No one has to draw attention to it.

If he hasn’t succeeded in becoming the AU Chairman at the just-ended 18th summit of the AU, it’s not because of any conspiracy or mischief against him. It’s because his own colleagues don’t consider him fit for the position. What about this glaring fact is difficult to understand and accept?

Let the Nigerian government go ahead to pull out of the AU. Unlike Morocco, which broke ranks with the AU over its objection to the AU’s handling of the Saharoui Arab Democratic Republic’s status, Nigeria’s case is based on childishness and immaturity in international politics.

Instead of doing anything rash only to pay dearly for it, the Nigerian government should recant, swallow back its empty threat, and take measures to groom Jonathan Goodluck for the position in future. After all, he has about four more years to function as a Head of State. If he does what will appeal to his colleagues, they should change their impressions about him and place him above them as their leader in future.

For now, he should just accept his fate and concentrate on what he can do to solve Nigeria’s problems instead of seeking to bite off more than he can chew. Statesmen are not made through the issuing of empty threats. More importantly, he shouldn’t expect to know how to run without first learning how to walk. If Nigeria has a functioning railway network, it shouldn’t be difficult for someone who knows what the prominent warning signal at a railway crossing is: Stop! Look! Listen… before you cross! Will Nigeria’s Jonathan Goodluck look before leaping into danger?

The African Union may not be achieving much to justify the sacrifices made by citizens of the continent to maintain it; but it can’t do so just because it is a Jonathan Goodluck of Nigeria who will be at the helm of its affairs. Yes, we want to see results, but we don’t expect anybody interested in heading the Union to do so through unconscionable manouevres, including this arm-twisting move by Nigeria.

Indeed, some people will never learn to cut their coats according to their sizes. They will want to fly even before developing wings. And when they fail to take off, they blame others for their woes. Why won’t Goodluck Jonathan hasten slowly? Surely, he is over-speeding on the highway for no apparent reason but just because he wants to be where he hasn’t prepared himself to be at this time of his political career. He has more learning to do and should be content with what he is now. Nigeria needs him more than Africa does.

All too soon, is he also power drunk to want to plow the entire field for more to satisfy his ego? We are beginning to see how political power can mislead those who grab it into thinking that they can go to any distance at all, the sky being their only limit. Surely, Nigeria has started an action that will explode in its face.

Let the good luck that Jonathan Goodluck has be used to tackle Nigeria’s internal crisis first. Then, with experience from solving his country’s problems behind him as his best teacher, he can step out to handle more complicated challenges to move Africa forward. For now, the door is shut and he must remain where he is. An independent continent of Nigeria fits more into Don Quixote’s agenda than the reality on the ground in Africa.

Or is someone doing overtime to win the crown of the most celebrated comedian of the 21st century? Let some sound-minded Nigerians step in to help this Jonathan Goodluck before he goes haywire to mess things up all the more.

By: Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

32 comments

  1. This is absolutely consistution of nuisance. I guess the writer wants to announce himself , he isn't an ignorant of central truth.

  2. absolute nonsense…. Ghana is looking for whom to blame for loss of african nations cup… Ghana don't worry I understand the nonsense.

  3. This is complete rubbish, who wrote this crap? is he thinking with his anus? in fact who marked his thesis at the University, was it not Nigeria that even muted the idea that Benin should take over, MR ABATI never made such a comment , he said that Nigeria had more pressing issues than heading a continental body, I believe the writer has his personal hidden agenda or is quite illiterate about events that took place at the AU summit, because by reading his write ups one can see that he is well educated and can easily do a little research on the internet at least before coming out with such a fabricated story that should not have a place in modern journalism.

  4. Dr. Bokor, for your information, some Nigerian attorneys in the U.S. are looking at this with very high interest.
    It would therefore be advisable that you have your hard evidence handy.

  5. Nigerian Lawyers in the US are highly interested in this article. It is highly advisable Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor has credible and verifiable proof as to the source. God bless Africa.

  6. I am yet to ascertain sources other than Ghana web where the Nigerian president made the assertion that his country wants to pull out of the Africa Union. I have never in my widest imagination heard that Nigeria was or is uncomfortable being in the union.
    The history of AU cannot be complete without the Nigeria contribution to its formation, funding and other contributions starting from its inception to date. Nigeria has always seek and encourage Africa unity, so where this so-called Ghanaian doctor got its source, I do not know. if I may ask, did GLJ or his assistant, Abati made this statement in Ghanaian soil whereby Ghanaian web was only privy to the message. I am trying to gather more information on this allegation.
    Be that said, this Michael should not promote journalism of hatred or rivalry. Nigeria and Ghana have many things in common, ranging from colonialism, common ancestry, you name it. If there is crack on the wall, it should not be made deeper by any of these countries.

  7. Dear "Dr" Michael,

    I believe your article was written in jest.

    Did you approach any reputable paper hoping to get this published?

    You'd probably have been laughed out of the place!

    The fact that you are a doctor makes me suspect that you are an intelligent man

    However, the fact that you choose to flaunt this makume think ermm, maybe not!

    Even if what you claim Abati said is true, surely it is too silly to respond to.

    Whatever next, the continent of Aflao?

    You have only succeeded in giving me a good laugh and demonstrated clownishness at extraordinary levels! Please keep it up.

    You should have your own show

  8. This 'Bokor' guy is such an Ignoramus, who from his writting, it is clear that he is envious of the Nigerian state. Personally "Bokor", know that you have let Ghanaians down for such an unprofessional piece…

  9. I hope this is not a reflection of present day Ghanian journalism.

  10. This story can not be abt Nigeria and does fit the Nigerian people

  11. It is surprising and shows the shallowness of both the writer and the person who posted it online. AU does not belong to Nigeria, its leadership rotates and no one country can threaten to pull out much less form a continent because continents are not formed arbitrarily. M. J. Bokor in his opinionated write-up which he takes for news, shows his personal hatred for Nigeria, that can only be the reason for this piece drooping with venom. Shame on Dr. Bokor for this unprofessional job.

    • Nigeria breaks away from the African Union at its own risk
      For your information, here is the original news report that prompted Dr. Bokor’s opinion piece:
      Abuja – Following the expected loss of AU chairmanship to Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, President Goodluck Ebeble Jonathan’s administration today threatened to breakaway from Africa and form an independent continent of Nigeria.

      In a terse press release signed by Mr. Reuben Abati, Nigeria stated:

      "Since Africa does not consider our President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan good enough for the Chairmanship of the African Union, then Africa does not deserve our presence on the Continent."

      Following the statement, Africa's most populous nation has given the AU an ultimatum of 1 week to regroup and crown GEJ the head of the prestigious union otherwise there shall be consequences.

      The press release also advised the advisory body of AU not to bother trying to contact GEJ on the matter as it is non-negotiable. The document pointed out that the Nigerian president is currently too busy negotiating with more important personalities like Boko Haram who the AU should not force him to exile to their countries.

      Meanwhile, ministers, cabals, and members of parliament are believed to have secretly convened to decide how Nigeria’s breaking away from Africa should be organized to ensure that the Igbos and other Southerners do not use the opportunity to slip away into the Atlantic with their oil and also form their own continent. (Published on Ghanaweb.com, under the heading: “Nigeria Threatens to leave Africa!” on Friday, February 3, 2012, and attributed to the source: Danger Mouse)
      You may access this story at: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=229187

      What in this article says anything to the contrary?

    • Michael Bokor Mr boko … your name sounds more like mike boko haram… who are u working for them ?… do not publish nonsense…

    • Michael Bokor My brother, if you are really a Doctor and in a university environment, honestly, the article coming from you is a shame. If Dr. Reuben Abati issued such a statement, surely, one or two media houses in Nigeria would have had access to the statement and used it and Nigerians would have responded appropriately. Knowing who Dr. Abati is, i can vouch for him that he cannot write such. That you got it from ghanaweb.com is no reason at all to comment on it. I expect that with "your claimed level of education", you should be able to sift the chaff from the grains. Please withdraw the piece from the site with immediate effect.

  12. So people can even write under hallucination. Who is this dumb Michael Bokor? Is there no more editing? Please, Vibe Ghana should start looking for a new editor-in-chief immediately.

  13. This is just one of those Ghana/Nigeria rivalry, how can you guys believe this story?

  14. What a trash article!

    • i have seen a lot of rubbish in my time,but this article must be one of the most stupid contraptions ever written. i wonder if the person is even sane.

    • It sure is …this is absurd.Guess his personal biased point of view might only ruin the Ghana-Nigeria relationship of those who sheepishly take this seriously. What baffles me is how irrational a man of caliber can take such sensitive issues …Dr…permit me but this title is becoming so cheap!!!

    • It sure is …this is absurd!!!Guess his personal biased point of view might only ruin the Ghana-Nigeria relationship of those who sheepishly take this seriously. What baffles me is how irrational a man of caliber can take such sensitive issues …Dr…permit me but this title is becoming so cheap!!!

    • Is that what Ghana is propagating against us?

    • Presido I doubt very much if this story is true. I think some people just want to rubbish our president and our country. I know jonathan is not the best we have,but I think this is the work of mischief maker to tarnish the image of nigeria. We should never allow them do that.

    • Samuel Ibrahim Ibs : Ghana is not propagating anything odd about Nigeria. The original story came from your own quarters and I only commented on it. There is nothing to suggest that my opinion represents anything "Ghana" against your country. The problem is that some of you fail to appreciate opinions that run counter to yours. What is it about my opinions that doesn't reflect the situation on the ground in your country? Have you read news reports about Wole Syinka's position? If you did, you'd realize that your own intellectual compatriots are saying worse things about the situation in your country than I have done in my opinion piece. I wish you'll take off the blinders and see clearly what others have seen. Good day.

    • Michael Bokor Hope you are better at being a real Dr? If someone like you can get one then…FYI all i got from this ill-written article was you being scared of the threats and also opportunity to bash NIGERIA/NIGERIANS.

    • Its so sad that Canyons will descend so low to write this piece of thrash! Well Sometimes when the goat is permitted to play with the dog it assumes the foolishness of being a dog. This is what u get from beggars who have being saved. So much for our failed leaders! Now even the Ghanians can open their buccal cavity to spill junk!

  15. This is nothing but an imagination of the writer, and I am suprised some people believe this story. No where did Abati make the statement attributed to him. Fellow nigerians dont support the plan to rubbish us.
    Solomon

  16. If this is true… As a Nigerian, I am very disappointed in that president. This is a joke, it sounds ridiculous!

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