RELATION MAY NOT SOUR BETWEEN NIGERIA AND THE US

With the December 25th incident, when a young Nigeria wanted to blow up a US airliner, carrying 300 passengers to Detroit, almost any measure can be consider necessary to discourage a similar evil act.

In one of their reactions, the United States and some European countries have, in a new safety measure, tightened up security in all their entry posts. Nigerian travellers have equally been listed among the ones to be watched out for in the travelling industries, a move the Nigerian government is not comfortable with.

“This is not acceptable,” the Nigerian foreign affair minister, Ojo Maduekwe said yesterday in Abuja, after he had met with the US ambassador to Nigeria, Robin R. Sanders.

As the Nigerian minster of information, Prof. Dora Akunyili has maintained, since the ugly incident occurred on Christmas day, ‘Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’ is not a Nigerian made.

The action of Umar Farouk is no doubt gravy, for trying to take the lives of innocent people and destroying properties in another man’s land. The argument, though, is whether this is not enough to punish innocent Nigerians who are going about their normal businesses.

Umar may have been lost and so fell into the hands of some fanatics who used him for their selfish aim. It, therefore may not justify a separate treatment for Nigerians among other people, none does it, in any way, represent the feelings of Nigerians towards America.

Many Nigerians are already worried that this singular act will turn the United States against Nigeria, a, both, poor and rich West African country, with multiple crises.

Can it actually be so, judging from the many links between the two countries?

For example, several studies are still going on, on an ancient activity, now known as the ‘Olmec Culture and Civilisation’ in the pre modem American history. In reality, the studies are about a group of Africans who are believed to have arrived in the Americans from the present West Africa sub-region, about five thousand years ago.

“They were the first Mesoamerican civilization and laid many of the foundations for the civilizations that followed,” Wikipedia.

The sculptures and other relics they have left behind are clear evidence of their African/West African origin… Perhaps, the Olmec and their civilisation have all died out many years ago, as some experts put it.

Just maybe nearly all present African-Americans are descendants of the ‘slaves’ brought from Africa, few centuries ago. In whichever way, the highest percentage of African-Americans has origin from Nigeria, on a country-to-country base ‘of the present African political geography’.

Apart from the historic links between Nigeria and the United States of America, the influence of American culture on Nigerians may be the highest in sub-Sahara Africa. Sometimes, some people do wonder whether Nigerian was later colonised by the United States when the British was officially gone, on October 1st 1960.

The United States of American and the Federal Republic of Nigeria are therefore two parties, which ordinarily should not try to hurt each other, not just for the political reasons but also for the people of the individual countries.

Of course, the United States has a lot of economic interest in Nigeria, from crude oil to nameless other areas in the economy. The Nigerian military relevant in the African continent and beyond cannot be equated to a ‘confused’ 23 years old boy who may have acted like a mere character in a movie.

December 25th, is therefore an unfortunate incident, though not in the name of Nigeria; and it should be condemned with any measure, except to use it as an excuse to harass innocent Nigerians.

Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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