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How Nigeria Used The 13th Law Of Power On The Russians - Politics - Nairaland

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How Nigeria Used The 13th Law Of Power On The Russians by SerrickBytes: 5:31am On Mar 23, 2022

If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.
-Robert Greene, 48 laws of power

In 1967, at the height of confrontation between the secessionist Biafra and the Nigerian Federal Government, a secret cable exchange between the American ambassador in East-Germany and his counterpart in Lagos — Nigeria, revealed that a Biafran diplomat had travelled to Moscow, in order to facilitate an arms deal with the U.S.S.R. The Soviets agreed not only to recognize and support Biafra’s secession, they would sell them the weapons they need for the war; but, on the condition that Biafra would nationalize its oil industries. Emeka Ojukwu, the Biafran leader out rightly rejected the conditional offer, stating that Biafra does not have the money to reimburse the oil companies; and also they do not have the expertise to run the oil companies on their own. And so, the arms deal failed. Eventually, Biafra lost the ensuing civil war, primarily due to inadequate weapons to execute the war.

Even though the Biafran leader’s reasons for refusing the Soviets conditional offer were valid — indeed, they do not have the money to reimburse the private oil firms, as well as the expertise to run the oil industry on their own; the Soviets could care less. In actuality, they never cared about the Biafran cause or its people. They are the world’s custodian of communism and that is their only interest in the whole affair which the Biafrans could not appeal to. They lost the opportunity to get the weapons and paid the price for transgressing the Law of appealing to the helper’s self-interest.

Takeaway Quote
“And in the end, most people are in fact pragmatic; they will rarely act against their own self-interest.”
-Robert Greene

Few months after the Biafrans had failed to get the Soviets to sell them weapons, the Nigerian Federal Government sent their own envoys to Moscow to also facilitate arms deals. The Soviets agreed to sell, and gave the same condition that they had given the Biafrans — Nationalization of the oil industries. The Nigerian delegation readily accepted the offer, signed a cultural agreement with the Soviets, and promised to nationalize the oil industries including all of its allied industries, once they get the arms to fight the war and recapture the industries from the Biafrans. Few days later, 15 MiGs arrived in Nigeria and with those weapons and many more from the Soviets, the Nigerian troops were able to defeat the secessionist Biafrans. Afterwards though, the Nigerians did not even bother about the nationalization promise they made to the Russians, after all, their aim has already been achieved.

The Nigerian Federalists only wanted to defeat the Biafran Secessionist, and they needed weapons. The Soviets, who had the weapons, only wanted to propagate their communist ideology. At that point, even though the Nigerian had no real intention of nationalizing its oil industries, the promise to do so would suffice, and so they did; even going further to sign cultural agreements just to appeal to the self-interest of the Soviets. Nigeria perfectly applied the Law of appealing to the Soviets self-interest.

Takeaway Quote
“Self-interest is the lever that will move people. Once you make them see how you can in some way meet their needs or advance their cause, their resistance to your requests for help will magically fall away.”
-Robert Greene

Excerpts is from my book “Applications of the 48 Laws of Power in Nigeria
available on Amazon Kindle with the link below
NB: If you require a creative ghost writer for your memoirs, autobiographies, tell-all-tales, reach me via

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