Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, president of the Nigerian Academy of International Affairs (NAIA), issued a statement on behalf of the esteemed academy condemning the recent gathering of Nigerian politicians in Europe especially in London, Dubai and Paris. NAIA described the Nigerian politicians gathering in London and elsewhere, outside the shores of Nigeria as “clownish gathering.”
NAIA noted that even “During the gravest period of our existence, our civil war, peace meetings/conferences were held only in Africa. None was held in Europe or the Americas.”
The statement released by the Academy reads: “It is most unfortunate and heartbreaking that some Nigerian leaders had to abandon the shores of this country for the ex-colonialists’ capitals of London and Paris in search of delusion-solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
“The ill-advised and unwitting jamboree of shame displayed by these leading Nigerian politicians in London/Paris has demonstrated that the Nigerian environment created and polluted by them is not conducive to their vainglorious self-importance and unearned esteem.
“Consequently, and because of their neo-colonial mentality, which blinded them from seeing and appreciating the goodwill and resilience of Nigerians, they preferred savoury Western atmosphere. The implication of which is the exposure of Nigeria directly or indirectly to unwarranted Western influence, particularly as they were perceived to be washing our dirty linens in the full glare of the world.
“Isn’t it ludicrous that, from information available to our Academy, some horse trading, which dominated their so-called talks on bringing ‘enduring hope to Nigeria’, centred on counting their chickens before the eggs are hatched, as deliberations focused on dividing and allocating the national cake to themselves even before the cake is baked, as regards allocation of principal offices of the National Assembly, Ministerial posts, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and others, rather than devoting sufficient time to finding solutions to the pervasive insecurity, economic recession and poverty in the land, problems which they caused or contributed substantially to their creation.
“Indeed, the unnecessary and inexcusable trips to London/Paris/Dubai demonstrated the insensitivity and reckless disregard for the plights of workers and pensioners whose salaries and pensions have not been paid for a long time.”
“It is really revolting and unacceptable that Nigerian leaders should always fly out of the country in search of the magic wand to solve the country’s problems. It would be more cost effective and appropriate to brainstorm here in Nigeria in order to get wise counsel from the rich pool of very capable and patriotic Nigerians. Let it not be the norm or practice that Nigerian leaders have to fly to Western capitals to rule the country by remote control in the same way that many nonchalant governors rule their states from Abuja.
“During the gravest period of our existence, our civil war, peace meetings/conferences were held only in Africa. None was held in Europe or the Americas.
“It is this kind of neo-colonialist behaviour that has led to our absence from the global scene. Nigeria is not invited to G20, BRICS or any significant meetings. Countries that watch our leaders’ pattern of behaviour such as the obnoxious conclaves in London/Paris/Dubai will have no respect for Nigeria. No wonder South Africa has eclipsed Nigeria from global scene.
“The Academy, a platform set up for open and private debate on the emerging new world order and Nigeria’s role or non-role in the world, feels it has a duty to call out our leaders when their behaviour diminishes Nigeria’s status in the world.”
The Academy insisted that Nigeria is “scandalised by the clownish gathering of some members of our political elite in London recently following similar meetings in Paris and Dubai.”