(Saturday, April 20, 2002)
By Chief Charles O. Okereke,
President George W. Bush on Friday signed a memorandum paving the way for $4m U.S. military aid to Nigeria.
Bush ordered that 4 million dollars in excess Defense Department equipment and military training services be provided to Nigeria.
He stated in the memorandum that "an unforeseen emergency exists in Nigeria that requires immediate military assistance."
In a separate memorandum, George Bush also extended military assistance to Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan.
Bush stated in the document that "I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and services to the governments of
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace,"
President Bush's Nigerian posture might be in response to growing fears of instability of the Nigerian polity in April 2003,
when the next presidential election comes up.
Which tribe produces the next president, upsurge of tribal militant groups, and hotly disputed constitutional issues,
are unresolved national issues of perplexing dimensions. Fears of electoral violence in the next presidential election abound in all quarters.
Whether Bush is a Messiah or a catalyst to a showdown, would be seen come 2003, when Nigeria would change the presidential baton.
A successful transition or a bloodbath? The answer is in 2003, and the place is nowhere but Nigeria. Keep your fingers crossed.
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