BUHARI’S baseless arrogance was at play at the int’l scene. What he failed to achieve, the President of Guinea achieved. Violence, threats and arrogance do not win peace. This is where Mandela had it all. Int’l diplomacy does not imply violence, threats or war. Here, Obasanjo and GEJ succeeded. OBJ in Sao Thome and GEJ in Burkina Faso.
Immediately I heard Buhari would lead the team, I knew a fiasco was awaiting ECOWAS. Buhari almost pushed ECOWAS into a war. Democracy is about discussion and persuasion. Buhari’s lack of sound knowledge in modern int’l diplomacy almost brought the thinly populated and tiny West African nation to her knees. Can we imagine the situation in Ivory Coast till date? It is still fragile peace. The infrastructure that was destroyed has not been replaced. Look at Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, etc. These countries ve not recovered from the brutish use of force to change govts.
Buhari’s outdated knowledge of int’l diplomacy almost laid this peaceful country to ruins. ECOWAS was not founded to prosecute wars. War was a last resort. I mean, use of force. Buhari’s believe in force was exported from the shores of Nigeria. Violence is not known to be a Nigerian spirit. Buhari has become an agent of violence. He unleashes terror or violence on the citizen with the slightest provocation. He ignores established norms, particularly court judgements. In fact, a judgement of court of the same ECOWAS has been treated with levity by this same man that was nominated to head a negotiating team. I do not know the ground/s for his nomination to head or even be part of that grand team.
He almost dragged ECOWAS into a senseless war. A war that was avoidable. Our neighbors thought Nigeria has an older leader. They never knew we are led by a robot managed by a selected few and this selected few cannot accompany him to int’l events. I believe they ve not been following his activities in foreign land. He is not guided outside Nigeria. So, he says whatever he likes. The result being a very negative one.
Buhari’s knowledge of sovereignty has been called to question. That Syria is in ruins today is a blessing. That Egypt has not recovered from the violence imposed on her by America and her allies is progress. Invasion of a sovereign nation is seldom embarked upon. Our president saw it an honour to contribute the largest contingent to the multi national forces with the inclusion of some over zealous European powers. It is a shame that ECOWAS cannot resolve its intra disputes amicably. But it must be added that ECOWAS misplaced its reliance on Nigeria and the organization almost paid dearly for it.
Buhari has proved to be unreliable, both locally and internationally, in amicable settlement of disputes. He is easily biased, slow and unnecessarily rash in taking decisions and even acting belatedly. He is not fit to handle complex matters of this nature. He is known to be impatient in negotiations and complex disputes of this nature are for true Democrats and persons with a high degree of discerning mind. He operates a one way traffic pattern of governance. Unlike OBJ who is known for his carrot and stick diplomacy, Buhari is a novice in int’l politics and has no elements that ve cut him out for representation in volatile situations that require compromise or give and take.
ECOWAS must now notice leaders that are worthy of membership of certain bodies or committees. It is to the credit of Nigeria that ECOWAS was formed in 1975. I mean, General Gowon’s role was decisive then. Tafawa Balewa played a great role in the formation of OAU in 1963. Nigeria’s stance in the Non-Align Movement remains credible till date. But this singular and inordinate influence of Buhari almost tore these enviable credentials held by Nigeria to pieces.
Finally, Nigeria must live up to expectations of her other African brothers. We cannot surrender the enviable status occupied by Nigeria due to the inexperience of our president. We must jealousy guide this position.
By Folajin Ayodele