The Aljazeera Interview: PMB's Error

01/Apr/2016   //    Viewers:428    //    Likes:    //    Shares:    //    Comments:



By Aliyu Suleman Jatau

That Nigeria has found itself beset with a myriad of domestic issues is not news, what is newsworthy is the recent policy statement on “Talk to AlJazeera”by our President.
Quoted on local sources, the President gave reasons for Nigeria’s intended participation in the Saudi Arabia led Coalition against ISIS in Syria.
Internationally, the Alliance itself has divided opinions, with astute political observers warning of a greater setback in the domestic front, such Foreign Policy statement throws skepticism at the President’s grasps on International Politics, vis a vis its effects, repercussions and interrelatedness to our domestic affairs and national security.
The antecedence of the Gulf States forming the Alliance leaves a sour taste; For one, Saudi Arabia is a routine human rights abuser and a state sponsor of terror, with an ongoing indiscriminate bombing campaign against the independent State of Yemen, where Orphanages, Schools and Hospital are bombarded without regard to their consequence.
Outside the Gulf, coalition members have been finding it increasingly difficult to garner public support for the war, making the deployment of coordinated and organised troops particularly challenging.
Foreign policy formulation is not the exclusive preserve of the President, treaties and international agreements must have the backing of the National Assembly to have a legal base as stipulated by S. 12 [1] of the Constitution 1999 as amended.
S. 19 of the Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria, also highlights our Foreign Policy objectives by stipulating a Non Aligned posture in the promotion and protection of the nation’s interests and these do not cover isolated alliance of a religiously inclined nature.
Our President’s Official statements and policy intentions should and must not be off the cuff statements made without introspection to its overall impact.
Also debatable for instance is the question whether the President can single handedly join this exclusive Muslim club, indeed the act of dragging this Country by the scruff of the neck to an unholy Monarchial Alliance of Human Rights abusers, is unconstitutional without ratification by the National Assembly; an Alliance where the International Community is almost unanimous that the principal participants themselves are the sponsors of global terrorism and expositors of the gruesome Ideologies which is the root cause of such terror.
Nigeria is a Secular and Non Religious State and must be left alone as that, likewise are its Institutions, the Nigerian Army is a collective of Christians, Animists and Muslims, the President would do a disservice succumbing to pressure of joining an Alliance solely to please certain interests, which in the long run may counter any gains which the fight against ISIS may like produce.
The President has taken an Oath
Indonesia, Pakistan and similar nations have wittingly discovered the necessity of abstaining from this burdensome axis to fight terror, the President needs look the Saudi Coalition boldly in the eye and tell its leaders to stop funding the ideology of terror, at the same time, to discontinue its support which serves as a fountainhead.
Nigerians must collectively recognize the danger of this Alliance and must come forth to assist the President in setting a path to a mutually exclusive Foreign Policy of Non Alignment which has for long remained the bedrock of our Constitution.
The task of forming a vibrant alternative platform is very important, a viable platform to critique policies of the government and provide equilibrium to the “Governing Party”.
At a period when even the United States of America is seeking to realign its strategic interests and partnership with these regressive regimes that do not support Human Rights and Democratic values 
Undoubtedly, this would only shatter the safe haven of neutrality of Non Alignment long enjoyed, and is most likely to widen the gulf of distrust between religious and ethnic nationalities, with critics of the President ultimately finding justification over the perceived Islamization of the nation.
The opening of our nation to foreign influence is already ongoing with the Wahhabi –Saudi Arabia led Confab in the Federal Capital,which all comes at the footfall of the massacre of almost a thousand shia muslims of the minority sect, credence is now given that the onslaught itself was nurtured and motivated through Saudi Arabia’s instigation, as an unfolding phase of the Iran-Saudi Arabia proxy wars. 
Nigeria surely don’t deserve a sectarian strife, therefore, the National Assembly as a top priority should neuter the President’s proclivities of aligning with rogue States by denouncing it outright.
The negative consequence of our Military alliance to the Gulf Arab States or Saudi Arabia includes: promoting domestic instability, loss of Nigerian lives and these greatly outweigh any advantages the government may foresee.
After all the objective of the coalition is not to assist our gallant soldiers in their domestic fight to halt Boko Haram on its tracks, but to send them overseas, thereby dissipating precious reserve of energy in our own peculiar struggle with this dreadful ideology.
Yes, it is true as PMB said in the interview that Nigeria is affected by terrorism, but so also are countries like Kenya, Belgium, Canada, Britain, and France, but we don’t see them belonging to this sort of Alliance.

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