Hosting Foreign Military Bases In Nigeria: Why Nigerians Must Remain Vigilant

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The disclaimer issued by the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, that Nigeria has no plan whatsoever to host US and French military bases on Nigeria, may have doused, albeit temporarily, the fears of Nigerians that their nation was being turned into the new frontier for the resurgent cold war between the West and Russia.

The US and France have been in the desperate search for a host nation for their military bases, since they were sacked ignobly from Mali, Burkino Faso and Niger.

UIn Niger today, Russian and American troops share the same military base

The Arewa Broadcast Media Practitioners Forum therefore commends the patriotism and quick action of the group of experts who blew open the issue which has generated national debate.

We similarly applaud the Tinubu administration for assuring the nation that such a dangerous and unpatriotic policy is not being contemplated.

The Minister’s assurances that there is no plan to approve any foreign military base in Nigeria, notwithstanding, Nigerians must, however remain alert to any subterranean subterfuge from these desperate preying nations to achieve their strategic military objective.

The West has since our independence been engaged in the efforts to foist a military presence in our land. In the early 60s, during the Balewa Government, Britain had sought to establish a military base in Nigeria, which was vehemently resisted by university students, diplomats and the elites.

Another attempt was made in the 90s, which was similarly thrown out, reinforcing our national sovereignty and non-aligned status.

No Nigerian should be misled into believing that a military alliance of this nature with these countries could help our nation with some of its security challenges, especially Boko Haran and the scourge of banditry.

This simplistic presumption is both empirically false and misleading.

The primary concern of foreign military bases, once established, is the pursuit of the security interests of their parent nations. As the experience of Niger Republic and other nations have shown, the host nation benefits nothing from these forces, and in end suffer loss of sovereignty and national pride and dignity.

As Niger had experienced, while American drones daily hoover over their airspace, gathering vital intelligence, their presence ironically only made the security situations of Niger worse.

Our political leaders must therefore come to terms with the fact that the antidotes to our security challenges are here with us at home.

Foreign jamborees by our political leaders, no matter how well intentioned, cannot succeed without commensurate efforts in the search for homegrown remedy.

We therefore call on President Tinubu to remain resolute and shun all entreaties by the West to use our nation as a bulwark for their brinkmanship with Russia in the Sahel.

The National Assembly must also rise in one voice to resist any attempt by anyone to smuggle this dangerous policy through the backdoor.

In our commitment to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation, the Arewa Broadcast Media Practitioners Forum will work with patriotic individuals and organizations to engender healthy national discussion on public policy and citizen participation in governance in the country.

Alhaji Abdullahi Yelwa



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