By Salisu Uba Kofar-Wambai
Nigeria’s foreign policy of nonalignment is on the right track. Thus, I commend how we keep mute and only call for peace in this ongoing face-off and altercation between Ukraine (backed by Western powers) and almighty Russia under President Putin.
Nevertheless, any attempt to side with one of the warring parties can be a big blow to the international relations prowess we have been displaying over decades. History had it that Russia supported Nigeria during the Biafra civil war. Reportedly, Malam Aminu Kano served as a bridge and intermediary embodiment between the Nigerian government and Russia in arms purchase, which positively impacted winning that war.
Aminu Kano’s Communist stance captivated Russia. Therefore, he successfully had that bilateral thing with them. It was a critical moment for Nigeria when France was solidly behind Biafrans.
However, even our much-talked-about project expected to shoot Nigeria into the league of technologically oriented countries – Ajakuota Steel project – was Russian technology. As a result, many of our technocrats were and continue to be trained in Russia.
Despite the shift in our foreign policy from the East to the West and now to Asia, Russia still maintains fantastic and fine bilateral relations with Nigeria. So supporting Ukraine to please Western powers will not do us better.
We better keep to our callings for peace and leverage primarily on this soaring of oil prices in the international oil market, evacuate Nigerians caught up there. We shall continue to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
Salisu Kofar-Wambai wrote from Kano. He can be reached via email@example.com.