October 2, 2023
Concerned Nigerians have reacted bitterly to what they described as a show of shame of some leaders who left the shores of the country to hold political meetings to discuss matters pertaining to the general section coming up in 2023.
News filter in last week that a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, met with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in London. The trio met on Thursday alongside Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke.
Reacting to the choice of the location of this political meeting, the Nigerian Academy of International Affairs, a body of eminent and retired professionals and scholars in diplomacy and International Affairs, says it s scandalised by the clownish gathering of some members of our political elite in London recently following similar meetings in Paris and Dubai.
A statement made available to the media by the Academy says “It is most unfortunate and heartbreaking that some Nigerian leaders had to abandon the shores of this country for the ex-colonialists’ capitals of London and Paris in search of delusion-solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
“The ill-advised and unwitting jamboree of shame displayed by these leading Nigerian politicians in London/Paris has demonstrated once more that the Nigerian environment created and polluted by them is not conducive to their vainglorious self-importance and unearned esteem. Consequently, and because of their Neo-colonial mentality which blinded them from seeing and appreciating the goodwill and resilience of Nigerians, they preferred a savoury Western atmosphere. The implication of this is the exposure of Nigeria directly or indirectly to unwarranted Western influence, particularly as they were perceived to be washing our dirty linens in the full glare of the world.
“Isn’t it ludicrous that, from information available to our Academy, some horse trading which dominated their so-called talks on bringing “enduring hope to Nigeria”, centred on counting their chickens before the eggs are hatched, as deliberations focussed on dividing and allocating the national cake to themselves even before the cake is baked, as regards the allocation of principal offices of the National Assembly, Ministerial posts, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and others, rather than devoting sufficient time to finding solutions to the pervasive insecurity, economic recession and poverty in the land, problems which they caused or contributed substantially to their creation?
“Indeed, the unnecessary and inexcusable trips to London/Paris/Dubai demonstrated the insensitivity and reckless disregard for the plights of Nigerian workers and pensioners whose salaries and pensions have not been paid for a long time.
“It is really revolting and unacceptable that Nigerian leaders should always fly out of the country in search of the magic wand to solve the country’s problems. It would be more cost-effective and appropriate to brainstorm here in Nigeria in order to get wise counsel from the rich pool of very capable and patriotic Nigerians.
“The solution to Nigeria’s problems lies within Nigeria and among Nigerians.
“Let it not be the norm or practice that Nigerian leaders have to fly to Western capitals to rule the country by remote control in the same way that many nonchalant State Governors rule their states from Abuja.
“During the gravest period of our existence, our civil war, and peace meetings/conferences were held only in Africa. None was held in Europe or the Americas.
“It is this kind of neo-colonialist behaviour that has led to our absence from the global scene. Nigeria is not invited to G20, Brics or any significant meetings. Countries that watch our leaders’ pattern of behaviour such as the obnoxious conclaves in London/Paris/Dubai will have no respect for Nigeria. No wonder South Africa has eclipsed Nigeria on the global scene.
“The Academy, a platform set up for open and private debate on the emerging new world order and Nigeria’s role or non-role in the world, feels it has a duty to call out our leaders when their behaviour diminishes Nigeria’s status in the world.”
The statement was signed by Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi who is the President of the Nigerian Academy of International Affairs and former Foreign Affairs Minister.

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