Nigeria Restates Opposition To AFRICOM


 Yar’Adua and Bush at the White House


Nigeria has clarified her position on the US/Africa Command (AFRICOM) by restating its opposition to the presence of foreign troops in Nigeria and the Africa continent. Ojo Maduekwe, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister made the clarification in a statement to the media in Washington DC today.

The Minister said it was necessary to clarify Nigeria’s position given the interest the issue has generated.

“President Yar’Adua’s statement on the proposed AFRICOM is consistent with Nigeria’s well-known position on the necessity for Africa to avail itself of opportunities for enhanced capacity for the promotion of peace and security in Africa;

“Nigeria’s position on AFRICOM remains that African Governments have the sovereign responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security in the continent, especially in the context of the proposed African Union Stand-by Force and

“In this regard, the need for support and assistance by Africa’s development partners, such as the United States, in the provision of training, funding and logistics for African militaries was duly acknowledged.” The statement concluded.

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua himself clarified his position yesterday when he told the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA) in Washington DC that his position on AFRICOM remains unchanged.

“I did not accept AFRICOM in my discussions with Bush. I asked for assistance and told Bush that we have our plans to establish bases for African countries. We asked for training on weapons and training to establish our bases to be managed by our people.”

“Seven countries in the Gulf of Guinea will be involved,” he stated. The president said he asked for training from the US government. The US insisted it can only render help through its AFRICOM base in Stuttgart, Germany, said Yar’Adua.

In a chat last night with members of the Nigerian press in Washington, DC, Maduekwe said the country’s position on the issue of foreign troops in Africa has always been firm.

“There is no u-turn on the part of Nigeria or the President. Nothing has changed.”

“What happened is a clearer articulation of US position. The convergence is that we have had long experience of training and sharing of information and if AFRICOM is about training and cooperation then we have no problem with that component.”

“If it is about capacity building, training and logistics we will work with them. But, no country or military is going to come and us like an occupied territory. That will not happen.”

“I can promise you that you will not see American soldiers or marines on the streets of Lagos or Abuja or anywhere in Nigeria running around with guns or a building with AFRICOM signpost on it.” Maduekwe said.


6 responses to “Nigeria Restates Opposition To AFRICOM

  1. Nigeria and all African Nations should not accept and allow AFRICOM or any foreign military base/bases, either from the United or any foreign power in the continent of Africa. African countries are independent sovereign Nations. We are now in the 21st century and no more under colonial rule and Africans should be assertive of their freedom period.

  2. Like i said in the earlier report,wait to hear the whole story before rushing to conclusions.I hope this has cleared the issue,though to the skeptic,nothing really does.

  3. well it hasn’t cleared the issue because the notion of u.s. bases in nigeria is a big fat red herring. read up on u.s. military “cooperative security locations” and then reconsider maduekwe’s last quote in the above article.

    and neither yar’adua nor maduekwe disowned the former’s remarks to the press on thursday that nigeria would now partner w/ AFRICOM. hello. that means they accept the concept of the united states combatant command for africa operating on african soil.

    besides, since when did anyone believe the words of a politician?

    the neocon-friendly u.s. intel outfit stratfor recognizes what likely occured, as an analysis on friday stated that:

    “Yaradua lifted his government’s opposition to AFRICOM in return for U.S. political support that is expected to be used against his domestic political detractors. At home, opposition political parties are petitioning a constitutionally mandated elections tribunal for fresh elections to replace the April 29 polls which Nigerian opposition parties and international observers criticized as severely flawed.”

  4. Well,lets watch and see how it all plays out.

  5. We welcome this News. There must not be two security organizations in our soverign Nation.
    Nigeria musn’t put itself along side the most controversial Nation today. We should remain independent and help Africa grow strong without inviting the military command of our ex-colonialists. The real problems of Africa include the unfair trade and the arms being sold and swarmed into our societies, that this same US is at the head of promoting. This is what is making us weak.

  6. Fundamentally, the concept of AFRICOM is to enlarge the frontiers of the neocom concept of International security and war against Terrorism. You will recall that the Negroponte was in Abuja recently saying that Al-Qaeda has some bases in Northern Nigeria. The American govt. is bent on having bases here in Africa and that will happen,even if not in Nigeria. Nigeria doews not possess the capacity to deter the US from having such a base even in Mali or Ghana or any west African country for that matter. Ojo Madueke’s talk as articulated in Washington is not relevant. He served as Minister and secretary in Nigeria recently wherein Obasanjo (whom he promoted for the third term) gave unfettered acess to American troops to Nigeria’s defence system.These troops still have an office at the Nigerian defence HQ in Abuja,madueke and Yar Adua are all aware of this. Recall that General Malu,perhaps a global expert on regional intervention forces now in the globe who was COAS opposed the obasanjo regime over the American troop’s presence in nigeria. Obasanjo and general Danjuma fired malu. Danjuma confirmed Malu’s opposition to the presence of American troops in Nigeria in an interview he granted on his 70th birthday to nigerian Newspapers.

    Essentially what iam saying is that Except there is a radical change in the nigerian govt. position over this issue,what Madueke(who was part of the previous regime) is saying is double speak,typical of madueke and his likes. American troops have bases in Nigeria already(the office at defence hq in Abuja is as good as a base anyway).

    Indeed the recent diatribe is of no qonsequence as far as waht is on the ground is concerned.

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