Monday, 8 August 2022

TÍNUBU : YORUBA VOTES AND WHAT NOT.

It was in the NYM that the Yorùbá fascination with justice first encountered an open conflict of meaning: which, of two approaches, is just? In 1941, a seat became vacant in the Legislative Council and the movement needed to choose one of its members as candidate for the seat. The new president of the movement, Dr. Ernest Ikoli, an Ijaw, had expressed interest in the seat. So did Samuel Akinsanya, from Ijebu Remo and Dr. Akinola Maja, a Lagosian Yorùbá. Based on the movement’s preexisting policy that gave preference to its president’s expressed interest in a vacant position, Chief Awolowo declared support for Ernest Ikoli. Without denying the preexisting policy, Awolowo’s position was defeated at the general meeting of the body. 


Nomination was open to any interested member; a vote was taken and both Ernest Ikoli and Akinola Maja lost to Samuel Akinsanya. But that was not the end of the matter. Based on the precedent in such matters, the result was referred to the executive committee for a final decision. The executive committee reversed the decision of the general meeting by giving the nomination to Ikoli based on existing policy, which Awolowo had espoused. The decision divided the body but Ikoli won the general election and became a member of the Legislative Council.


This story is interesting for two reasons. First, Chief Awolowo, a Remo Yorùbá supported the candidacy of Ernest Ikoli, an Ijaw, against the candidacy of a fellow Remo Yorùbá because he (Awolowo) believed that, in view of the movement’s policy of giving preference to its president in case of a vacancy, it was unfair to deprive Ikoli of the nomination. Unfortunately, not everyone saw the matter that way. For those who did not, the existing policy was unfair because it discriminated against members who might have made sacrifices to the movement but did not occupy the office of president. Though Ikoli won, it was a pyrrhic victory. The victory, which hastened the resignation of Azikwe and Akinsanya and their supporters from the movement, effectively ended the dominance of NYM. 


Secondly, the incident appeared to directly contradict the common perception concerning the ethnic coloration of anti-colonial nationalist struggles. The key actors in this drama debunked that perception with their denial of support for candidates from their ethnic groups. While this may not be obvious in the case of Azikwe’s objection to Ikoli’s candidacy (Azikwe is Igbo while Ikoli is Ijaw), it is clear in the case of Awolowo’s rejection of Akinsanya’s candidacy.


The  buffaloes move as a herd with unalloyed loyalty to the leader. Like the soldier ants, they move in a convoy. But unlike soldier ants, they only take instructions from their leader and if by chance the leader dies, they just stand around waiting for the instruction that will never come. That is how buffaloes are getting extinct. Papa Awolowo on campaign rostrum at Jos in the 60s said: “We are an ideological indomitable straight tree (referring to Action Group members who drew their numerical strength from Yoruba)”.That curves only as a natural response to a straight condition. 


The Yoruba are intrinsically proud people who cherish their freedom. Long before the British King Charles literally lost his head in a revolt against intolerable oppression; the Yoruba had established a tradition for taming intolerable despots. Despotic kings were either forced to commit suicide or banished, the same is applicable to the modern day political opportunists. 


Today All People's Congress (APC) is on death throes caused by a cross breed of the virus of political myopia, putrid hegemony and rascality symptoms that I would describe Ahmed Inertia Decrepit Syndrome (AIDS). The APC Presidential candidate Tinubu  do not believe in the salient democratic principles which Awolowo was known for, transparency, rule of law and respect for a fair and free electoral process at party level. Tínubu lacks the capacity to convert purpose and vision into action. Neither can he  generate and sustain  trust; the trust that keeps any political organisation cohesive and committed as was witnessed during the tenure of Papa Awolowo. 


To Bola Tinubu supporters The Yoruba are not buffaloes neither could any mortal nor any group of persons direct them sheepishly in political permutation and manipulation of the Nigerian STATE.2023 Presidential poll is about electing a responsive President of  NIGERIA and NOT a YORUBA PRESIDENT. The principle of Yoruba education is to make an individual an Omoluabi. Good character in the Yoruba sense includes honesty, trust and transparency in all public and private dealings. Without taking anything away from Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the truth is that if you give him gold, he will turn it to ashes. 


Olufemi Aduwo

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Could Ukraine Be Putin’s Afghanistan?


Even before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine earlier on 24 February,several commentators, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, argued convincingly that a Russian occupation of more of Ukraine, perhaps including Kyiv, would lead to an insurgency like that which the Soviet Union faced in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Defeat in Afghanistan was a major factor in the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and ultimately the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

It is important to understand how the Soviets were defeated by the mujahideen in the 1980s to understand if Ukraine could be a repeat. The Afghan resistance did virtually all the fighting against the Russian 40th Army that occupied Afghanistan starting on Christmas Eve 1979. The resistance was massive and spontaneous. But the Afghans were not alone.President Jimmy Carter rapidly mobilised a strategic alliance to fight the Russians. Within two weeks he had persuaded Pakistani leader Zia ul-Huq to support the mujahideen with refuge, bases, and training in Pakistan. 



The United States and Saudi Arabia would jointly fund the insurgency. The Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), would be the patrons of the mujahideen; the CIA and the Saudi intelligence service would be the financiers and quarter masters of the war. No CIA officer ever was deployed in Cold War Afghanistan. The British counterparts, MI6, did send officers into Afghanistan to deliver select weapons and training. The ISI did all the rest; it was Zia’s war. The ISI trained and occasionally led the mujahideen in battle, even striking into Soviet Central Asia. Being the frontline state behind the mujahideen brought considerable risk and danger for Pakistan. 

The Russians supported Pakistani dissidents who organised terror attacks inside the country including hijacking Pakistani civilian aircraft and attempts to assassinate Zia (who died in a suspicious plane crash in 1988). Pakistani fighters engaged Soviet aircraft in dogfights. The Pakistani tribal border areas became dangerous and unruly. A Kalashnikov culture emerged that still haunts Pakistan today. For Washington and Riyadh, the operation was fairly inexpensive. The Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has recently written that the Saudis spent $2.7 billion supporting the Afghans; the CIA spent about the same. Saudi private sources led by then-governor of Riyadh province, now King Salman, raised another $4 billion for the rebels. Saudi citizens including Osama bin Laden joined the mujahideen but very few actually engaged in combat. 

The Afghan people paid a horrible cost for the war. At least a million Afghans died, five million became refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and millions more were displaced in their own country. But they won.The Soviets never sent enough soldiers to defeat the insurgents and could not recruit enough Afghans to fight with them. The Pakistanis were not intimidated by the Russians. The Afghan people fought for their independence. The Afghan analogy offers important questions for the new war in Ukraine. Which state or states will be the frontline sponsor? Are they ready to take the heat from Russia? 

How much support will the United States and NATO provide? Will the insurgency spark a broader conflict, and can it be contained? Are Ukrainians prepared to pay the price? Poland and Romania are the states closest to the Ukraine. Both are NATO members with U.S. troops deployed in their territory. The U.S. has an explicit commitment to come to their defense in Article Five of the NATO Treaty; we had no such commitment to Pakistan. (Ironically, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wasv in Moscow during the week of invasionfor a long-planned visit.)



l believe the United States and NATO should help the Ukrainian resistance but we should understand the potential consequences, risks, and costs up front. Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine could well prove to be another geopolitical catastrophe for Russia but only if we help the Ukrainian resistance.

Olufemi Aduwo.

Permanent Representative,Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity( CCDI) ,to the United Nations .CCDI Is international non governmental organisation with ECOSOC- United Nations Consultative Status.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

UKRAINE:TIME FOR SOLIDARITY


The  Center for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI)  condemns  the  Russian  military  invasion of Ukraine.  It  is  an  illegal  act  of  aggression.  It  is  causing  the  death  of  innocent  civilians  and placing  the security  of  the entire  world  at  risk. The  threat  or  use  of  force  to  resolve  disputes  is  prohibited  under  Article  2  of  the  UN Charter.  Russia  was not  under  any  threat  that  offered  no  recourse  other  than  force.  In of  aggression.

Infact,  President  Putin,  in  ordering  military  attacks  against  Ukraine,  has  committed  a Crime Against  Peace  in  violation  of  the  UN  Charter  by  planning,  preparing,  initiating, and  waging a war Russia’s  acts  of  war  will  burden  Ukraine  with  an  enormous  cost  in  human  suffering, stimulate  a  massive  crackdown  on  the  civil  liberties  of law  and  peace, Russians  who  respect  international expand the  conflict,  and  even  place  the  entire  wo rld  at  risk  of  elevation  to a  nuclear  exchange.  President  Putin  has  threatened  to  use  nuclear  weapons  against adversaries  in  this  conflict.  Such  a  threat  places  the  entirety  of  civilization  in  jeopardy  and is  unacceptable. 

A  war  of  aggression  is  not  only illegal  and  immoral,  it  is  also  impractical.  Every  nation today  needs  to  cooperate  in  addressing  many  pressing  issues  such  as  climate  change, eliminating  poverty, protecting  the  health  of eliminating  the  pandemic all  species and  the  oceans,  curtailing  and ,  and  fulfilling  the Sustainable Development  Goals. We  regret  that  better  use  was  not  made  of  diplomacy,  mediation,  and  common  security mechanisms  earlier  in  the  conflict  to  address  and  resolve  historical  grievances.  We  now call  the  international  communi ty  to  use  all  non outlined  in  Ar ticles  33–- military  means  possible,  including  those 41 of the UN Charter  for  the  peaceful settlement  of those  disputes. These  provisions  of  the  UN  Charter  provide  a  route  to  mitigate,  contain,  and  reverse  the dangerous  presen t  situation  and  provide  diplomatic tools  to  obtain  peace. 

We respect the courage and rights of the people of Ukraine to exercise self-defense, express our solidarity with them, and encourage support for them from all peace-loving nations. Further, we decry the curtailing of civil liberties of Russians who do not agree with the policies of their leaders and honor their courage.    We encourage the utilisation of further diplomatic mechanisms available in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in which both the US and Russia are participants. We further urge the UN Security Council and the General Assembly to remain seized of the issue of ending the violence and conflict in Ukraine, and to obtain an immediate ceasefire..

Furthermore, the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission should be considered with the consent of all parties involved. We call on world leaders to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as requested by the international public opinion, and we urge all parties and individuals in a position of influence to renew efforts for a diplomatic solution, starting with immediate negotiations under UN aegis. 

Olufemi Aduwo

President 

..CCDI is a Maryland 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation,registered both in Nigeria and United States. Granted special consultative status by UNITED Nations/ ECOSOC

Friday, 18 February 2022

Putin


President Putin sent shock waves round the world when he amassed more than 100,000 troops armed to the teeth to surround Ukraine. Beyond his penchant to bully Ukraine and threaten its sovereignty, many of the experts in foreign affairs are yet to unravel the motive behind the build-up of arms and personnel. Was it for fear of Ukraine joining NATO? An online publication reports a former CIA chief, Don Hoffman, as saying: ‘’First of all, NATO membership is a fig leaf. It’s a red herring. Everyone knows Ukraine isn’t joining NATO anytime soon. It takes unanimous consent; France and Germany won’t give that. Putin uses that as a convenient way to frame the narrative for his disinformation propaganda. NATO is a defensive alliance but it represents anything that scares him.’’ Another expert, Chris Miller who is a former US Acting Secretary of Defence does not see the threat as deep-seated in the psyche of Russians. He believes it has some domestic undertones and calculation. He says: “…that is, that the Russians might seek to invade and occupy the portion of Ukraine that would connect Russia via land to Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014 and which contains a critical Russian naval base and port on the Black Sea. I think he’s just going to keep pushing until someone stands up against him, just like the playground.”

Some others think Putin is trying to reaffirm regional dominance and reassert regional influence in the place such that Russia can exercise veto over Ukraine’s foreign policy. It was also to raise tensions so as to squeeze concessions from the United States. The latter on the other hand sees the Russian action as reawakening old rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, and so Russia went full blast militarizing Ukraine with 11 amphibious ships and submarines and 130,000 troops. From the point of view of some other scholars a gas pipeline from Germany to Russia which is called Nord Stream 2 is the issue; it is the cause of the tension. The United States sees the collaboration as a threat capable of weakening its dominant influence in Western Europe in particular. Germans are eagerly expecting the gas supply to quickly come on stream, convinced that it would be cost effective for them. The energy would be cleaner and cheaper. Reports say once the German regulatory authority issues final certification, the supply would start.

It is seen in parts of Western Europe that the United States is opposed to the budding friendship between Germany and Russia. The chummy relationship in the reading of experts would redefine economic, military and social architecture in Western Europe. When there is economic boom in Europe it would affect the value of the Dollar thus considerably whittling down the United States influence in the region. United States panics as its influence on pristine allies is slipping off its fingers. It is, therefore, goading Russia to invade Ukraine and sour the relationship and the gas supply would be put on hold. It is believed it is an orchestration of an alarm to the American public that war was imminent in that region.

An enlightening commentary, authored by Mike Whitney, says: “The Ukraine crisis has nothing to do with Ukraine. It is about Germany and, in particular, a pipeline that connects Germany to Russia…” He adds: “In a world where Germany and Russia are friends and trading partners, there is no need for expensive US-made weapons and missile systems, and no need for NATO. There is also no need to transact energy deals in US Dollars or to stockpile US Treasuries to balance accounts. Transactions between business partners can be conducted in their own currency which is bound to precipitate a sharp decline in the value of the dollar and dramatic shift in economic power.”

The hype and worry, of Russia invading Ukraine in American Establishment does not appear would wane soon as the issue is not seen by the United States as a drive in search of economic opportunities and advantages for one of its allies, Germany. Not even by acclaimed diplomat extra-ordinary, Henry Kissinger who sees the issue other than from the American lenses. Russia, too, lent itself to a war cry with the massive militarization of Ukraine. Kissinger says: “Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends and not how it begins. Far too often, the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other—it should function as a bridge between them.”

What is clear looking at the issue critically is economic interest whether on the part of America or Germany. The United States finds it unsettling that one of its major allies is forging an economic union with Russia which has unwittingly chosen the time to flex its muscles and bare its teeth over Ukraine disguised as military drills. The heavy weaponry displayed was intimidating. Indeed, even the relief that Russia had ordered its troops back to the barracks was giving way to despair as an American official reported that about 7,000 more troops had been added to the 130,000 pack that are stationed at the Ukraine border. The claim by Putin is false, he said. For the United States, in addition to the economic factor, the possibility of it losing influence and its invincibility over Europe is destabilisng to put it mildly. The security council permanent members are undermining United Nations, its appropriate that United Nations should have a standing force. As its now, the sovereignty of Ukraine as a state is undermined and purveyor of the impunity ,Russian government is winning. Like l said, no single bullet would be fired by Russia,Ukraine does not want war either. We must redefined the power of the five security council permanent members.

Olufemi Aduwo

Permanent Representative ,

Centre for Convention on Democratic lntegrity [ CCDI},

A non-governmental organisation in Consultative Status with ECOSOC/United Nations.

www.ccdiltd.org

+238087047173

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

THE UNITED NATION’s VITAL ROLE IN AFGNANISTAN

On December 22, 2021, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to allow for more humanitarian assistance to reach vulnerable Afghans, while preventing the abuse of these funds by their Taliban rulers. With more than half of Afghanistan’s 39 million citizens, afflicted by drought, disease, and decades of war, depending upon critical life-saving aid to survive the harsh winter months, the decision to carve out an exception in UN sanctions against the ruling regime is timely.

At the same time, addressing the underlying political, cultural, and socioeconomic challenges that continue to fuel widespread deprivation, violence, and corruption in Afghanistan requires a strategy and targeted investments in development and peace building too. Fortunately, these are also areas where the UN maintains a decades-long track record in Afghanistan (including from 1996-2001, the last period of Taliban rule) and elsewhere.
Moreover, the Security Council’s recent request to Secretary-General António Guterres to provide strategic and operational recommendations on the future of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), by January 31, 2022, offers an opportunity to adapt the world body to the country’s fast-changing political, security, social, and economic context.

To channel fresh ideas and critical observations in advance of the Secretary-General’s presented proposals to the Security Council on Wednesday, January 26 and subsequent UNAMA mandate review in March, the Centre for Convention On Democratic lntegrity [CCDI} arrived at several, time-sensitive recommendations elaborated upon in our brief submitted to Secretary General of United Nations on Monday 14th Febuary ,titled  a new policy brief, A Step-by-Step Roadmap for Action on Afghanistan: What the United Nations and International Community Can and Should Do:

First, the United Nations should aid in negotiating some conditionalities put forward by Western powers. Whilst a step-by-step roadmap for cooperation is needed, vital life-saving humanitarian aid should never be made conditional on the Taliban taking certain actions.
Given the acute differences between the Taliban and the international community, diverse mechanisms are needed for addressing distinct humanitarian and non-humanitarian issues alike. Both sides have made opposing demands that essentially negate one another, while the needs of millions of innocent, vulnerable Afghans continue to grow.

In direct immediate support of malnutrition, urgent health services, and other kinds of emergency, life-saving support detailed in a new Humanitarian Response Plan, donor countries should take careful heed of the UN’s largest ever humanitarian appeal for a  single country  announced on 11 January 2022, requesting more than USD $5 billion this year for Afghanistan.

This follows from the USD 1.2 billion pledged by nearly 100 countries at a United Nations Secretary-General convened ministerial, on 13 September 2021 in Geneva, as well as subsequent additional pledges of humanitarian aid through international organisations, such as the World Food Program and UNDP, by South Korea,France and Norway. Second, there is a need to remain focused on the intersections of humanitarian, developmental, and peace challenges, rather than roll-out humanitarian-only models of response in Afghanistan. To advance more integrated approaches that break down the traditional siloes of the international aid system in responding to the Afghan crisis, the humanitarian-development-peace nexus offers a powerful framework.

The United Nations and other actors have implemented Triple Nexus programming in Afghanistan in recent years, including refugee return and reintegration, asset creation, and social safety net programming. The world body can play a vital role as a convening power and knowledge broker, facilitating local-international and whole-of-society dialogue on how to adapt nexus programming concepts and approaches in the uncharted territories of Afghanistan’s fast evolving and highly challenging operating environment.

As bilateral aid likely recedes among most major donors, the UN could also serve as a chief oversight body and conduit of international assistance through multiple emergency trust funds. In doing so, it will provide de facto international development coordination assistance, with an eye to maintaining for all Afghan citizens the delivery of basic public services in such critical areas as healthcare, education, and power generation.

The world body is also well-placed to support the new lslamic Development Bank humanitarian trust fund and food security program for Afghanistan, announced on December 19, 2021 at a gathering of thirty Organisation of Islamic Cooperation foreign ministers and deputy foreign ministers in Islamabad.

Third, durable peace in Afghanistan can only be reached through high-level political will that is best expressed through an empowered mandate and sufficient resources for UNAMA (ideally led by a Muslim diplomat with the gravitas and skills demonstrated by the UN trouble-shooter Lakhdar Brahimi).

For the UN to be truly catalytic, it is vital that it is entrusted with a comprehensive mandate to perform its full suite of well-known and field-tested functions, including in the areas of reconciliation, development coordination, and humanitarian action. To  get beyond the blame game and build trust between the Taliban and other Afghan parties, the world body must be allowed to provide its good offices and other peaceful settlement of dispute tools to resuscitate an intra-Afghan dialogue toward reconciliation and political reform.

At the same time, the Afghan Future Thought Forum chaired by Fatima Gailani continues to be the only independent platform that brings together influential and diverse Afghan stakeholders (men and women), including Taliban and former government officials, to produce practical solutions for long-term peace and recovery in Afghanistan. These can be done and it must be done.

Olufemi Aduwo 
Permanent Representative of
CCDI to ECOSOC/United Nations

NB: Centre For Convention On Democratic is nongovernmental organisation operates and registered in Nigeria and Maryland-United States with consultative status of United Nations.