Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Who's Listening?

As Yawn'Adua prepares to obey a non-binding, fully reversible decision of the ICJ and hand over 300, 000 of his fellow countrymen to Cameroon in what will surely go down in Nigerian history as the most spineless decision ever taken by a President, one has to ponder what, exactly, are his motivations?

The military has said handing over Bakassi would place Nigeria at a serious strategic disadavantage, pointing out that our navy would need Cameroonian permission to enter Calabar, which is an economic hub. Moreover, the military high command has said Baba never consulted it on the strategic importance of Bakassi to Nigeria's territorial integrity. One would have expected the President to slam the brakes on the planned transfer in the light of such information. Yawn'Adua ignored his military advisers.

Legal luminaries have advised the President to appeal the ruling to the Security Council. Nigeria has played a massive role in ensuring peace in much of Africa, and has shouldered huge financial burdens for keeping UN Peacekeepers stationed in some hotspots. We could parlay this into sympathy for our cause, as nobody else can do what we do in Africa. Yawn'Adua ignored them too.

The National Assembly has protested the planned handover, telling the President that as the Green Tree Agreement signed between Baba and Paul Biya was never presented to it for ratification, the treaty is not binding on Nigeria and cannot have force. By international law, where a treaty must go through an internal process (ratification) before becoming valid, it remains invalid until it has gone through the required process. Yawn'Adua is either unaware of this rule (which is extremely unlikely) or has chosen to ignore it.

A Federal High Court has ruled that the handover must be suspended pending the determination of a suit filed before it by the indegenes of Bakassi. Yawn'Adua has, well, yawned at the Court, and in so doing, has also yawned at his "rule of law" jingle.

Bakassi is credited with holding hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil, and billions of cubic metres of natural gas, making it a hugely important piece of Nigerian real estate. Yawn'Adua has ignored this fact as well.

And then, there are the people of Bakassi. They have said over and over again that they are Nigerians and not Cameroonians. They have told the government to ask the UN to conduct a plebiscite in the region, as the right of a people to self determination has long been acknowldeged as a fundamental right by the UN. Any plebiscite would surely result in the territory being declared Nigerian. They hold Nigerian passports, and vote in Nigerian elections. Yawn'Adua has ignored them too. And why not, when he knows that their votes don't count?

And this last, is perhaps the most criminal. As long as our rulers choose to ignore the legitimate aspirations of the people, and as long as the ordinary Nigerian continues to be treated as a faceless and voiceless entity, there can NEVER be any progress, and there can be no hope, and there can be no future for this country.

And as long as our rulers continue to put themselves and their selfish personal interests first, as long as they continue to close their eyes to the fact that it is in their best interests to see that there is equity and justice in the country, and as long as they continue to block their ears to the cries of pain and suffering emanating from the streets, there can be NO future for them.


bighead said...

So wat exactly is his motivation?

Jobs in Nigeria said...

yes, exactly...

whats his motivation? said...

Lets leave the president out of this , he is an uprightman and his hands were tied from the start over this bakassi issue he is only following the rule of law .

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