US’ DOUBLE STANDARDS IN HER NIGERIAN MISSION
by Richard Babatunde
Notably, the US Mission in Nigeria has continued to exploit insecurity to justify its ostentatious proposals to her country. While the US and its agents exploit security concerns and socio-economic challenges bedeviling the country, it has failed to curb its home-based security challenges that are threatening the safety of its citizens. It is common knowledge that gun violence, mass shootings, rising drug-related crimes, arson, homicide, rape, suicide, aggravated assault, robbery and cybercrime are more prevalent in the United States than in Nigeria. White supremacist activities are even more active.
The United States’ Missions in parts of Africa are replete with under hand deals. It is unbelievably embarrassing. Aside the fact that the missions have abandoned their core objectives of advancing peace and other consular services, they have become centers of meddlesomeness and interferers in internal governance systems of host countries. These adversarial actions have been deemed despicable. Over the decades, America has engaged in activities aimed at undermining administrations across the Continent. The US Department of State is either doling out bad predictions and estimates about African countries or issuing recurrent but repulsive movement and travel alerts for their nationals suggesting the region is constantly unsafe. While the advisories are oftentimes exaggerated, the scare actions are done solely to justify and acquire more funding from their home government for self-serving interest of the diplomats.
Surprisingly, American government has not only turned a blind eye to these security concerns over the years, but has also continued to downplay or censor the gravity of crimes in their homeland. It is estimated that mass shootings is responsible for the death of over 39,000 people each year, implying that over 360 people get shot every day in the country. While the United States ranks higher than the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia in terms of mass shootings, another study found that nearly one-third of the world’s public mass shootings (90 of 292 between 1966 and 2012) occurred in the United States.
To the US and its missions in Nigeria, the daily gun violence and attacks in their country are excusable. However, it beats ones imagination, that the pockets of restiveness in Nigeria are more important to them than their frequent incidences of violence. If these attacks by armed citizens in US were to happen in Nigeria, the American government and its agents would have long premised on the situation to undermine its leadership. While the US has persistently highlighted issues surrounding Nigeria’s socio-cultural complications, it has apparently ignored its many related socio-cultural challenges and unanswered relevant questions on gun control and racism.
White supremacy crises have continued to manifest through consistent violent attacks, racial discrimination, unfair immigration policies, and the skewed media role against the black race. More worrisome is the growing number of atrocities been committed in the US by white supremacist groups, with black men as principal victims. Over the decades, white supremacist ideology was used to rationalize the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of blacks and their descendants from the Colonial period to the 19th century. This practice has remained within American government institutions. Furthermore, it is quite amazing how the US covertly supported dissidents that staged the ENDSARS protests across Nigeria.
The subversive elements were allowed to use twitter and other similar platforms to organize, communicate and execute attacks against citizens, critical infrastructure and institutions in the country. Jack, the ex CEO of Twitter, in consolidating the interest of American government to threaten public order and stability in Nigeria, out-rightly refused to suspend accounts of the ENDSARS organizers. Meanwhile, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after he was hit by truckers protests in the country, described their action as “unacceptable”. Twitter, still under the control of Jack, wasted no time in suspending the twitter accounts of the protesting truckers, what double standards! The 2021 attack and insurrection at Capitol Hill has indeed exposed the Achilles’ heel of the American government and its systems.
There is definitely no gainsaying the fact that America is as corrupt as the Nigerian governments they castigate and term corrupt. It is on record that the United States’ resistance to corruption has declined in recent years. It has dropped from its rank of 18th in 2016, to 27th out of 180 countries on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index of 2021. More so, in the recently released annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the United States fell to a low of 67 out of a maximum possible score of 100, down from a high of 76 in 2015. This simply means the lower the score, the worse the corruption. The many ways of how corruption thrives in the US include the influence of wealthy individuals over government; “pay to play” politics and the revolving doors between elected government office, for-profit companies, and professional associations; and the abuse of the US financial system by corrupt foreign kleptocrats and local elites.
It is, however, laudable that Nigerian government and the populace are beginning to wake up from their slumber and opposing the offensive attitude of US Government and their counterparts. In most cases, they are more corrupt and churning out projections and security alerts to their nationals, only to secure more allocations to fund their extravagant lifestyles. These so called US diplomats love to live large. They use the constant security scare to deceive their home government to get more money for ostensive living in the host country, acquire treated (armoured) cars; build palatial residences in the US and frolic with women of sorts. Nigeria and other African governments must sustain this “wokeness” and resist the continuous attempt to undermine their sovereignty at the expense of crooked personalities and self-centered interests.
Richard is a Lagos based International Relations Analyst.