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Sucking Up To The West For Invitation To G8 Meeting - Politics - Nairaland

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Sucking Up To The West For Invitation To G8 Meeting by mekusoil(m): 1:06pm On Jul 19, 2006
The meeting of the G8 has come and gone and Obasanjo who sucked up to the West on June 12 by unilaterally signing away Bakassi peninsula, one of the local governments listed in the constitution of Nigeria, at the UN to please France, Britain and Germany in exchange for an invitation to the Summit was after all not invited; in the first place Putin did not want to see his face in Russia. After the funeral of third term agenda where every world leader rejected term elongation to the benefit of current office holder, the president resorted to another maneuver hoping for the same result he got last March during Charles Taylor's evanescence. The price he pays and will continue to pay for third term elongation may continue beyond his grave though we may never live to witness it. Unfortunately, our country will continue to be liable for his misjudgment also for a long time to come.

Let me take you down the memory lane to see the connection. Last March Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, called for Nigeria to extradite the former president and warlord Mr. Charles Taylor to face war crimes charges. Our president responded that Liberia was "free to take" him. On Friday March 24, 2006, "Pappy" as he is known by his band of child soldiers was reported to have been seen but by Monday March 27 had disappeared from the government mansion where he took refuge since 2003 in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. "In a just world, Taylor would have already been tried, condemned and sent up the river. But the world has never been just, and this case is complicated" according to the editorial of International Herald Tribune of Wednesday March 22. This editorial was correct about the complication of the case but could not predict the shameful drama cooked up by Obasanjo administration that was about to unfold a few days after. It did not surprise many people around the world who know about Mr. Obasanjo's crookedness, overt and covert.

How could one explain the disappearance of Mr. Taylor in a supposedly heavily guarded mansion days before he was to be handed-over? Days before then, security had been beefed up around the mansion. But on Monday March 27, two days before Obasanjo was scheduled to meet with President Bush CNN carried the Breaking News reporting Nigerian authorities had discovered Mr. Taylor was missing without a trace. Earlier in the day, the US said it was Nigeria’s responsibility to see Taylor was handed over to the Special Court. Mr. Obasanjo was to fly in from Nigeria to meet his counter-part in the White House. Many US law makers were solidly behind the US president not to meet with Mr. Obasanjo and called for him to produce Mr. Taylor because the meeting could take place. The next day President Obasanjo launched an inquiry to investigate the disappearance. Just like that -a flip of one's two fingers, at the eleventh hour before the meeting, like in a James Bond movie where a timer in a bomb is detonated with one second left, Mr. Taylor was 'captured' at the border between Nigeria and Cameroun. Problem solved and the door was open for Mr. Bush to meet with Mr. Obasanjo Wednesday March 28, 2006.

I am not questioning how the event unfolded but its timing after all Mr. Taylor is not new to escaping from detention for while he was awaiting an extradition in the US to Liberia once escaped and his where about was unknown for four years but believed to have been in hiding in his native country. If he succeeded in a more secure environment in the US, a mansion in Calabar would be "a cake walk," and that was proven. But how did Nigerian authority know the pin-point location to capture Mr. Taylor within a short time in a long stretch of border towards the north? Did it surprise you that when Mr. Taylor had time to speak he implicated the administration for taking him away from the mansion to the border at night? If you tie these questions up with the report that a day before the capture, a government airplane arrived at an airport closest to the border where Mr. Taylor was captured to take a position. By connecting the dots, you see a very poor and embarrassing episode written by this administration. Our president thought he could have it his way: the buck stops with our president, whether or not he knew about the disappearance of Mr. Taylor since it happened during his watch he was responsible to produce him. But he did not want to be seen as the one who handed over a fellow African for trial on crimes against humanity which he too may some day be sent to account for his atrocities against Nigerians.

All along for years and months since the ICJ opinion, the president showed no urgency in handing over Bakassi to Cameroun. The bottom line is after the failed third term, Russia made it clear she was not inviting Mr. Obasanjo and being that he needs something to rave up his dying image around the world, Bakassi peninsula had to be the sacrificial lamb for him to get invitation to G8 Summit. Now that G8 Summit is over, the rush that started a few weeks ago in an attempt to vacate the peninsula to Cameroun may take a slow turn because France, Britain and Germany could not help secure the invitation from Mr. Putin for our image-ailing president to attend the Summit.

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