Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Q&A: Civil Strife Across Africa

Recently some situations, events, circumstances, struggles attracted attention in Kenya and Nigeria. Does this mean that the US or UK or other powers have adopted a new policy of encouraging ongoing civil wars/strife taking place across Africa in Nigeria currently and in Kenya after the 2007 general elections etc or are these situations arising on their own?
Firstly; the apparent conflict in Kenya and the ongoing tensions between the different tribes is a consequence of rivalry between America and the UK over the upcoming presidential election due to be held in March 2013. The Anglo-American struggle is focused on the struggle between the incumbent President Kibaki, his successor Uhuru Kenyatta on one side, both of whom are loyal to the British and on the other side, Prime Minister Raila Odinga the pro-American candidate for the presidency. This struggle ensues from the outcome of the presidential elections in 2007, which was widely disputed by Odinga and his American backers with Kibaki and his supporters, the British. Both Kibabki and Kenyatta hail from the Kikuyu people, which is the largest ethnic group in Kenya. Raila Odinga is from the Luo people, which is the third largest ethnic group. The power struggle between the US and UK often gets translated into struggle between Kibabki and Odinga, and their respective tribes and those tribes allied with them.
As the presidential elections are fast approaching, tensions are also increasing between the different factions to consolidate their gains ahead of the elections. As such there is no intentional policy between US/UK of having civil strife for the sake of producing cheap struggles and keeping the situation tense and unstable. On the contrary, the civil strife witnessed is geared towards either gaining political advantage ahead of the presidential election, or to keep the possibility of postponing the presidential election, should America and Britain see that the circumstances do not favor the success of their respective candidate. Because of this reason America is stressing the need for Kibabki to hold fair and free transparent elections, so as to give Odinga a greater chance of success over Kenyatta. The US has even extended its assistance to the point of getting directly involved. US Secretary of State Clinton while visiting Kenya earlier this month said, "The United States has pledged to assist the government of Kenya in ensuring that the upcoming elections are free, fair and transparent. We urge that the nation come together and prepare for elections which will be a real model for the entire world." But she also admitted that this was no easy task as a lot preparatory work had to be done. She said, "However I am well aware that there are many issues yet to be decided and many laws to be passed." ("Clinton pledges US support to avoid bloodshed at Kenyan polls" The Guardian Online. August 4 2012)
It is clear that America is still concerned about the prospects of Odinga winning the elections and wants to interfere in the election process. This will only increase tensions as the British will try and obstruct any American interference, through Kibabki and the Kikuyu and selected individuals from amongst their followers and the tribal structure.
However, there is one matter that has added extra "spice" to the existing tensions and that was the announcement by Kibabki in March 2012 about the discovery of oil in Kenya ("Kenya joins the great African oil boom with latest discoveries" The Christian Science Monitor Online, May 9 2012). Naturally, this has increased tensions between the UK and the US as they compete to secure the Kenyan oil for their respective multinational companies, which comes at a time of severe economic crisis for both countries.
Secondly, with regards to Nigeria
The protracted illness of Nigeria's President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua ushered in Goodluck Jonathan as the President of Nigeria on February 5th 2010. Prior to the appointment to the presidency, Goodluck Jonathan served as Umaru's Vice President and both men hailed form People's Democratic Party (PDP). In fact it can be said that both Umaru and Jonathan owe their rise to political fame to Obasanjo, the stalwart leader of the PDP.
Obasanjo is America's principal agent in the country and is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the continuation of America's hegemony in Nigeria and marginalizing Britain's influence. It was Obasanjo who handpicked Jonathan to run as Umaru running mate in the 2007 Presidential election. In their profile of Goodluck Jonathan the BBC stated: 'Mr Jonathan took over as governor and two years later was hand-picked by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to run on the Profile: Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan PDP's ticket as vice-presidential candidate in 2007'. ("Profile: Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan", BBC News Online, April 18 2011). Later, Obasanjo orchestrated Jonathan's rise to the presidency. According to Vanguard Newspaper Obasanjo was instrumental in Jonathan's presidency. The paper stated:' ...with his emergence as chairman of the board, Obasanjo brought his influence to bear on the affairs of the party. When Yar'Adua became terminally ill about two years into his four year tenure, Obasanjo, who first visited the ailing president in a Saudi hospital returned to champion the crusade for Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to be sworn-in as acting president as Yar'Adua did not hand-over to him before traveling out'(Clifford Ndujihe, "Obasanjo's resignation: What next for PDP, Jonathan?" Vanguard Newspaper Online, April 4 2012).
Thus America succeeded in getting a large mandate for Goodluck Jonathan in his bid for re-election to the Presidency in 2011. Jonathan used social media tools to reach out to the Nigerian masses and secured 77.7 % of the vote. This was a vast improvement from Umaru's mandate, which was widely disputed at home.
However, more political weakness has appeared after the appointment of Jonathan as president than during the period of Umaru Yar'Adua. This is despite the fact that Obasanjo has been Jonathan's key advisor through the Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees of the PDP. Jonathan's rule has been plagued by several issues which have undermined his ability to remould Nigeria's civil institutions and political life. These issues can be summarized as:
1. Political corruption
Political corruption in Nigeria is of endemic proportions and under Jonathan's tenure in power, efforts to curb government corruption have been half hearted to say the least. Even America, the backer of Goodluck Jonathan has grown tired of the anti corruption drive and has publicly chastised Nigeria's government. "Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security forces," it said of Nigeria in its 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which was submitted to Congress by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Furthermore, Jonathan's government has ignored development is some of Nigeria's state in preference for other states. Subsequently, this has alienated segments of the population towards Jonathan's government and spawned violence, especially in the North of the country.
2. Removal of fuel subsidies
It seems that Goodluck Jonathan failed to understand the impact on the removal on fuel subsidies and he mishandled the entire episode. After several days of rioting in January 2012, Jonathan's government finally relented and restored some of the subsidy. But it was too little too late, as the reputation of his government was severely damaged, and the middle class Nigeria's that backed Jonathan turned against him. The situation worsened for Jonathan's government when a report revealed that the true cost of fuel subsidies was not $8 billion but $17 billion.
3. Discrimination against the Muslim populace
Under Goodluck Jonathan tenure relations between the government and the Muslim population has worsened. Goodluck Jonathan has reversed the policy of appeasing Muslims started by Obasanjo and has increased heavy handed tactics to suppress the demands of the Muslim community. Rather than offering better political rights, job prospects and improvement in social conditions the security forces have intensified their oppression of Muslims, especially in the Northern parts of the country. This has created an enormous Muslim backlash against Jonathan's rule and has led some Islamic groups like Boko Haram to become violent both against the government as a reaction to the brutal repression of Muslims by Jonathan's Government.
A closer examination of the issues that have dogged Jonathan's tenure and have increased the violence in the country reveal that they all have been manufactured by America in collaboration with Goodluck Jonathan to allow America to increase her interference deep within Nigeria with the sole aim of securing the country's oil wealth.
As a clarification of the American efforts, we can say the following:
As for the political corruption, despite public disapproval of Nigeria's political corruption, America secretly encourages it, as it allows the country to be ever dependent on American aid and assistance, it enables America's agents to become richer as a reward for serving their master, and it also permits America to go after those politicians that stand in her way and are loyal to other foreign powers most notably to Britain. Moreover, corruption is a double edge sword for American agents, on the one hand it is the carrot for American agents to keep them bound to it, on the other hand is intimidation and threats to American agents. For they know full well that if they were to disobey her then America could easily use corruption as means to punish them and remove them from power.
As for the removal of subsidies on the fuel, Again the removal of the fuel subsidy was done at the behest of the IMF, which America controls. The BBC reported: 'The IMF has long urged Nigeria's government to remove the subsidy, which costs a reported $8bn (£5.2bn) a year' ("Nigeria fury as fuel prices double after subsidy ends", BBC News online, January 2 2012). Her aim behind this sinister move is to increase her economic oppression of the people and deflect their attention towards the corruption of fuel subsidies and away from the efforts of American oil companies to siphon off the country's oil wealth.
As for Jonathan's heavy handedness towards Muslims and particularly Boko Haram, this has been instigated with the aim of expanding American oversight of Nigeria's security apparatus to safeguard the country's oil under the pretext of helping Nigerian security officials fight Islamic militants. On Clinton's visit to Nigeria on August 9 2012, a senior security aide said, 'Washington will offer Nigeria help with forensics, tracking of suspects and "fusing" disparate strands of police and military intelligence..."We know all too well from our own experiences in both Iraq and Afghanistan what can happen if soldiers and police are not operating under appropriate authorities. We will encourage them not to use excessive force and to look at this as a ... law enforcement operation". Washington would also be willing to help Nigeria develop an intelligence coordination centre that would assist in integrating information, the official added' ("Clinton urges Nigerian reforms as Islamist attacks worsen", AFP online, August 9 2012).
However, the U.S. efforts in these tense issues are so far as reaching a stage wherein America can find a justification for her intervention in order to secure wealth, but without reaching a civil war which would suspend efforts to secure oil wealth, for at least in the foreseeable future.
As for the political conflict in Nigeria, it differs from that in Kenya. In Kenya, both America and Britain have equals share in the political medium that serve their interests in Kenya. However, in Nigeria, since the election of Obasanjo in 29/05/1999, the effective political medium becomes loyal to America and gradually those loyal to the English weakened. Their effectiveness remains little, rather their effectiveness is in sidelines, compared to American's faction. Nonetheless, Britain is still trying to exploit tensions to return to its former influence.
In conclusion, it is painful to see the states clash in a country where Islam had a great significance. Today, its issues became in the hands of the enemies, the kuffar colonialists. However, the Islamic Ummah will not remain silent, rather, Allah willing, her movement is escalating in anticipation of the dawn of a new day that will restore her honor as described by Allah,
كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ
"You are the best of peoples, brought forwards for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing In Allah"
and that is not too much for Allah.
3 Shawwal 1433 AH
21/08/2012 CE

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