Professor Abayomi Akinyeye, Univesity of Lagos:
Nigeria, Charles Taylor and The UN Security council Seat: A choice
between the devil and the deep blue sea.
I have read the above piece with keen interest and deep reflection.
While as a patriotic Nigerian I share some of the deep concern of my
compatriot, the issue is not as straight forward as the author would
like us to see it. While American support for the Nigerian bid for
the UN seat is desirable the qui pro quo demanded is humiliating.
America should rather base its support to Nigeria on the country's
total worth and capability rather than the Charles Taylor issue.To
insist on this matter the way the US is doing is to reduce the
country to the status of a parvenue. Apart from this it portends a
great danger for the future of conflict resolution in Africa.The
Liberian crisis was resolved at the time it was by the offer of
asylum by Nigeria to Taylor. This saved more lives and limited the
untold hardship of those who would have been refugees with serious
consequences for the West African region.To surrender Taylor now on
American insistence will discourage future warlords to agree to
sheat their swords for the sake of humanity as Taylor did. It will
also jeopardize Nigeria's future chances of mediating in conflicts of
this nature in the future.The US should therefore be magnanimous
enough to temper its demands with the reality of the politics of the
day. Afterall American-Nigerian relation antedates and will outlive