Prof. Ayo Olukotun’s article, Clinton on Nigeria: The Unlearnt lessons, hit the nail on the head in his critical comments on Mr. Bill Clinton’s indictment of our parasitic ruling class. But like Clinton’s, the article was one-sided. The role of imperialism in promoting the underdevelopment of Nigeria was conveniently left out in both comments. It is on record that Clinton fully supported the anti-people’s policies imposed on Africa by the IMF/World Bank. Why is he shedding crocodile tears now?
In his eight-year tenure, President Clinton turned down the requests of the local human rights community that western governments sanction corrupt Nigerian officials whose stolen wealth is kept in the vaults of European and American banks. While in power, Clinton condemned official graft in Nigeria but refused to name and shame those who were behind it. He even supported General Sani Abacha to transit to a civilian President, even though the US government had evidence of his looting spree.
While it is indisputable that Nigerian rulers have not invested wisely, western leaders who collude with them should not be celebrated when they make hypocritical statements. If Clinton, Tony Blair, Lady Chalker and their ilk want to be taken seriously, they should collaborate with progressive Africans who are demanding the repatriation of the looted wealth of the African people from Europe and other tax-free Islands.
When President Barack Obama made a brief stopover in Ghana three years ago, he blamed corruption as the cause of the continent’s backwardness. I disagreed with his reductionist theory and challenged him to use his position to stop capital flight from the continent. Since then, Washington has even refused to name the Nigerian officials involved in scams such as Halliburton, Wilbros, which have been investigated by the FBI.
Femi Falana, SAN