MOTTO: DIALOGUE, NOT VIOLENCE

16th May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

IMPLICATIONS OF CITING FOREIGN BASES IN NIGERIA – MURIC

 

An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has shed more light on the implications of a foreign military base in Nigeria. The group insisted that such a move has dire security consequences for the country, particularly loss of territorial sovereignty, the abdication of national dignity and admission of self-inferiority.

 

The human rights advocacy group spoke on Thursday, 16th May, 2024 via its arrowhead, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

Akintola gave his reasons:

 

“There is every reason to put to rest the ongoing debate on the likelihood of the United States of America (US) citing its military base in Nigeria after its exit from the Sahel. The most important is the denial by the Federal Government (FG) that it has no intention to permit the US to cite its base in the country.

 

“We must give FG the benefit of doubt but at the same time we must continue to sensitise Nigerians on the issue. They need to know why no foreign country, not even a neighbouring African country, should be allowed to set up a military base in Nigeria, talk less of a world power bent on unipolarisation. Our people need such enlightenment because Nigeria is the ancestral home of articulated gullibility.

 

“We therefore see the need for a follow-up to our press release of Sunday 5th May, 2024 captioned ‘No To US Bases in Nigeria – MURIC’ (https://independent.ng/muric-cautions-tinubu-on-proposed-us-french-military-bases-in-nigeria/; https://www.muricnigeria.com/no-to-us-french-bases-in-nigeria-muric/).

 

“The example of Ghana is enough lesson for Nigeria. The Ghanaian president was denied access into the US military base in Ghana after the base had been set up. This is a serious security breach because if the president of a country cannot enter any place within the country, it means even their security agencies cannot enter that place.

 

“It also means America or France can hide criminals, fugitives and kidnapped ‘persons of interest’ (for rendition) in any military base in the country thereby frustrating our security agencies and giving them inferiority complex.

 

“With a US military base in Ghana, US soldiers cannot be held accountable in the Ghanaian law court if they kill Ghanaians or commit any atrocity. It means US soldiers will be above the law if they are allowed to set up a military base in Nigeria. That will be a calamity of unimaginable proportion.

 

“According to the defence agreement between Ghana and the US, no Nigerian can sue the US military if it destroys his or her property. US soldiers cannot be sued for damages if their drone mistakenly or deliberately destroys a residential or school building, killing the occupants, even if the victims are children or pregnant women. Do we want that to happen in Nigeria?

 

“Based on the same defence pact, Ghana gave the US base radio frequencies pro bono but Ghanaians must pay millions for communication licence before they can establish radio and television stations. This implies that Americans are super homo sapiens inside Ghana whereas the citizens who are the tax payers and the aboriginals are inferior human beings.

 

“By virtue of the same military agreement, neither the immigration or customs men in Ghana can search the body of a US soldier entering or leaving Ghana. Nigeria would have compromised its security and abdicated its responsibility to protect its citizens if this should happen on Nigerian soil.

 

“Besides, US soldiers do not need any international travelling passport to enter Ghana at any time because the defence pact between Ghana and the US covers them. But no Ghanaian soldier can enter the US without a valid Ghanaian passport. Where is reciprocity? Where is mutual respect?

 

“Can Nigeria stomach such a one-sided agreement? Does it not give the impression that countries which allow foreign military bases to be cited in them are inferior to the overlords?

 

“By the way, can America allow Nigeria to station a battalion of its army in Washington in the North or Florida in the South? Shouldn’t such agreements be based on mutual respect?

 

“There is yet another potent raison d’etre. Any country that allows a foreign power to launch an attack from its soil automatically becomes a target of the country that was attacked. That was what happened recently when Iran warned neighbouring Arab countries that they would also become its targets if they allow Israel or the US to launch a strike at it from their soil.

 

“Again, the closer a military base belonging to the US or France is to our country, the greater the danger of drone strikes on Nigerians perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be working against the interest of those two countries.

 

“It is an open secret that the US is fond of interfering in the affairs of other countries and imposing its own values on those countries. History does not forget. It is on record that the US has invaded many countries in several parts of the world.

 

“In chronological order, America invaded Guatemala in 1954, Cuba in 1961, Guyana also in 1961, the Dominican Republic in 1965, Chile in 1970, Nicaragua in 1981, Grenada in 1983, Panama in 1989, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

 

“The ground for the invasion of Nigeria was being prepared when, like a garrison commander to his captive, Donald Trump asked ex-President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2018, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’ (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-18/trump-questioned-nigerian-president-about-killing-of-christians).

 

“Nigeria cannot afford the risk of allowing such a country that believed that a section of the country is killing the other with the express permission and participation of its leader to set up a military base in the country. It will make it too easy for the US to see another Manuel Noriega in Aso Rock and give it cause to revisit the Panama scenario in Abuja for the purpose of reenacting Operation Just Cause.

 

“MURIC is aware that Nigerians are a gymnastically religious people. But this is not religion. The issue of citing a military base has nothing to do with religion. It is national interest. Nigerians should not fool themselves by thinking a US base in their country will give the adherents of a particular religion an edge over other faiths.

 

“Neither is our position for the American case alone. We will react the same way we have done now if Iran or Syria decides to cite its military base in Nigeria. Neither are we swayed by ideological consideration of anti-capitalism because we will reject any request for a military base from the communists too, be it Russia or China. We should be allowed to remain neutral between the West and its foes.

 

“As we drop the anchor, MURIC commends FG for coming out boldly to debunk the rumour of the likelihood of citing US and/or French military bases in Nigeria. It is another evidence that this administration listens to its citizens and engages them in national discourse. We urge Nigerians to give FG the benefit of doubt. Those who never believe their own government will end up as professional doubting Thomases.”

 

#ForeignMilitaryBase

#NigeriansNotSecondClassCitizens

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

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