The Federal Government announced on Monday that it would not host the United States military’s new Africa-wide military command, taking Africa’s most populous nation and a top source of American oil imports out of contention.
The government made its position official on when President Umaru Yar’Adua met with state governors and federal lawmakers.
Nigeria is also against the US command basing its headquarters elsewhere in West Africa, where the country of 140 million people is a major military and diplomatic heavyweight, said the Kwara State governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who announced the government’s position after the meeting.
US military officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. The US had said it aimed to better protect America’s strategic interest in Africa and assist African countries with military training and conflict prevention.
But a number of African countries, including Libya and South Africa, had expressed reservations about a move that could signal an expansion of US influence on the continent and may focus primarily on protecting oil interests.