There is an ongoing rivalry between the Western Powers, led by the United States, against China. This rivalry is to determine the continuity of the old Western economic order, or the birth of a new order driven by the fast growing Chinese economy. While the war takes an economic form, what is equally true is that it is a rivalry for political dominance.
As a report had correctly documented, China imperialism now plays almost as powerful a role in the global economy as the U.S. It has defended an authoritarian model for economic growth, armed artificial islands in the South China Sea, and built a military base in Djibouti. China has created new multilateral organizations for security discussions and one for infrastructure loans, which the U.S. declined to join. It has developed a global lending program—the Belt and Road Initiative—and has stepped into a stronger global role on climate change. And China is spreading its political and economic influence into Africa and Latin America. The strength of an Imperialist China is a threat to the United States imperialism and the latter had fervently fought to bring to halt the former.
According to the BBC, the US imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese goods, totalling more than $250bn. The US has also put tariffs on worldwide imports of goods like steel and washing machines, which further affects products from China. Beijing hit back with tariffs on $110bn of US goods, accusing the US of starting “the largest trade war in economic history.” This trade war has continued to influence the politics of countries across the globe, especially African, as the United States and China struggle to win others to their side.
HOW HAS THIS WESTERN POWERS-CHINA RIVALRY DETERMINED THE POLITICS OF NIGERIA?
Before now, Western Power has been dominating the Nigerian economy like other African countries. Until very recently, when Chinese began to take large chunk of the economy. Behind the scene battles naturally ensued between the western imperialist power and Chinese imperialism. It even became all out physical war in some countries like South Sudan.
At a time, former Nigeria president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, accelerated the process of moving away from western domination towards Chinese. He started having issue with western power as a result, but luckily for the West, his regime was also very unpopular and that made it very easy for the western power to join the local force to push him out, hoping that Buhari will commence the process of reversing this direction. That is, will start returning back to western power tighter economic relationship.
When Buhari came to power in 2015, the Western Power did everything to bring him to the Western Domination Agenda. On the 21st of July, 2015, Buhari was specially and uniquely hosted in the Oval Office, Washington DC, by former President Barrack Obama. As he moved from the US, he jump to UK and vis versa. But, rather than changing the course, Buhari only intensified along the same Chinese direction former president Jonathan began.
On Friday, April 27, 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria signed a $2.5 billion bilateral currency swap agreement with the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC). The implementation did not begin until Friday, July 20, 2018. Two months after, President Muhammodu Buhari led a huge entourage that had four senators, nine ministers, four governors and others who include the National Security Adviser, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which held in Beijing. The wife of the President, Mrs Aishat Buhari, was not left out of the entourage, as she was billed to participate in a spouses’ programme on China-Africa at the Great Hall of the People, China.
With China, President Buhari entered into business deals that are unacceptable to the Western Power. The deals are unacceptable because it posses a great danger of the West lossing economic relationship with the largest market in Africa. Not only that, it also threatens the West to loss to China, its economic and political grip on Africa. For instance, the implementation of Currency Swap ensures that the demand for dollar collapses and CBN for the time directly issues Yuan to bank for direct conversion to naira without dollar standing in between.
Before now, IMF and world bank has been dictating economic policies for Nigeria and other developing countries. These policies had always been in the interest of the western power. They have been enforcing these policies through debt trap and bribery through “aids”. China is gradually changing this narrative. Currency Swap and directly giving out loans are some of the methods China is using to curb the domination of IMF and it is working for it. Dollar biased local banks in Nigeria are now at a major disadvantage against China leaning banks like Standard IBTC. The banking industry in Nigeria will be shaking to its root as a result of increasing dominance of China in Financial sector. Everything will be disrupted and they are already being distrupted.
IMF/World Bank has been pressurising the Buhari regime to devalue Naira and allow free market in Forex. But Currency Swap put an end to that pressure. Now, you can get Yuan directly from CBN without going through dollar purchase. It significantly reduces the demand on Dollar. Meanwhile, the visit of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to Nigeria in July, 2018, where he announced an investment of N500 billion to promote innovation in African private sector across countries—and the visit of the British Prime Minister, MAY, which had the UK Government announced a £70 million programme expected to create over 100,000 jobs in Nigeria—are desperate attempts to stem the tide. But rather than stemming the tide, the tempo keeps increasing. All of these Buhari led Nigeria-China relations changed the relationship between the Western Power and the Buhari government, thus creating an urgent need for the former to unseat the latter from power.
But neither the United States, United Kingdom nor the French can directly unseat a president. What our investigation of the Western Unseat of Maduro, Gadaffi, Lumumba, Sankara amongst other leaders who had adopted economic direction contrary to the West revealed is that the Western Imperialist raises or backs up opposition candidates against seated candidates. And in the case of Nigeria’s 2019 election and the interest of the West, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is to President Muhammodu Buhari what Blaise Campaore, Moïse Tshombe, Mustafa Jalil and Juan Guaido were to Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Muammar Gaddafi and Nicolas Maduro.
LOOKING INTO THE WEST ENDORSEMENT OF ATIKU-PDP AND THE COUNTER REACTIONS WAGED BY THE BUHARI-APC?
The Western Powers have publicly denounced the Buhari regime and they are not hiding their preference. Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo is the mouthpiece of the Western Power. He is the most trusted and the key link to implement their agenda in Nigeria, especially. Another evidence of the West denouncement of the Buhari regime is the United States government recent accommodation of Atiku into the United States.
Investigation revealed that from 2000 to 2008, Jennifer Douglas, a U.S. citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts. This and other alledge corrupt practices were the basis upon which the US government restricted Atiku from entering the States. An Atiku who has neither been prosecuted nor vindicated, was welcomed in the same country he had been barred.
In November, 2018, Nigerians were thrown into a state of insurmountable bewilderment when Atiku declared that he would sell off 90% of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. According to the Punch newspaper:
“On whether he would sell the NNPC and keep 10 per cent shares for the government, he said, “Yes, I would want to go ahead. There is no doubt about that. The government should have a very minor shareholding. Nigeria is in dire need of funds to develop its infrastructure and other sectors of the economy.”
Of all the reactions that followed the Atiku sales plan, one and only one question has continued to resonate amongst Nigerians: Who are his (Atiku) prospective buyers? If this statement is not an assurance to the Western Imperialists of having secured the largest share of the Nigerian source of revenue, what could it be? Who are the Nigerians capable of buying the Nigerian oil company?
Meanwhile, the Buhari/APC faction, had made series of gestures condemning their former Imperialist masters. When Mallam Nasir El Rufai’s tongue slipped and made a “body bag” statement to the West, it was a statement that carries the weight of a conjuncted Zuma and Olumo rocks. The statement by the Kaduna state governor, who doubles as one of the major spokepersons of the Buhari campaign, reflects a very strain relationship between the APC and its former imperialist masters.
WHAT ACTUALLY LED TO THE POSTPONMENT OF THE FEBRUARY 16TH ELECTION? IS IT THE APC, PDP OR INEC?
The Chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmoud, had boasted a certainty of the conduct of the election, even till the eve of the election. But to the surprise of the world, the commission declared postponement. Research shows that even before February 16th, the APC has been daily lossing its social base to the PDP.
Two months ago, Vanguard reports that over 20,000 mass defected to PDP in Akwa Ibom state alone. APC also lost three governors (Samuel Ortom of Benue, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara states) to the PDP between July and August, 2018. However, in that same month, The Punch published that 5,000 persons defected from PDP and other political parties, to APC in Kwara state. While the two parties have suffered loss of social base, in comparison, the Buhari/APC suffers the highest casualty.
Public opinions, as we have critically gathered on social media and on-ground interactions with Nigerians, revealed a gradual decline in the APC. What an electoral postponement can therefore achieve for an APC is more loss of supporters, since unsuspecting Nigerians will hurriedly accuse Buhari and APC of manipulation. Did they not appoint the INEC Chairperson? Is Buhari niece not a member of the Commission? From this strategic point of view, APC will not want the postponement of the election. In actual fact, if it has it way, it will want election to be brought forward. On the other hand, the PDP at the same time does not have the required strength to push the INEC to do its bidding.
SO, WHAT OR WHO INFLUENCED THE POSTPONMENT OF THIS ELECTION? AND WHY?
The stakeholders meeting with INEC had a very significant drama that suggest a lot. When the party leaders arrived, they were directed to sit behind the front seats that the INEC Chairman reserved for the European Union observers. The APC National Chairman, Mr. Aliyu Oshiomole stubbornly disagreed. He challenged such a subservient imposition and then sat down on the seat purportedly reserved for European Observer. What does this signify? INEC is bending down more for Western Power influence. The postponement may have been at the instance of the Western Imperialists power. INEC may have been blackmailed to have been working for APC. And wanting to prove clean and not supporting any side, the commission bowed to postponment. In reality, the postponment creates public suspicion against Buhari/APC.
WHAT PROSPECT LIES BEFORE NIGERIA?
The division among the ruling elite (APC and PDP) is very serious. The Western Imperialists Versus the Chinese Imperialist are deeprootedly involved, What this portends is a brutal transition characterised with so much crisis. The tendency of a tumultuous election is high. While we cannot say with absolute certainty, the probability of an inconclusive election is equally high.
President Buhari as well as his fellow APC members knows he has lost the support of the West. The only thing left to fight with in order not to be unseated is the instrument of state coercion—the police, the soldiers, the court, the prison et cetera. That informs the reasons the Buhari/APC places confidants in strategic positions of power to protect thier interests. The probability that it informs the removal of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria is high.
DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA FORCES OF PRODUCTION AS THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE APC/PDP INDUCED WEST-CHINA ENSLAVEMENT OF NIGERIANS
While it is important to point out that the Buhari-APC regime drifted towards China because of its “better terms of trade” in contrast to that of the Western Financial institutions—IMF/World Bank, what must equally be said is that, like the Western Imperialism, the Chinese Imperialism, regardless how sugar-coated its policies may appear, in actual sense, does not seek the interest of the Nigerian masses. By “better terms of trade,” we mean: more monetary value for President Muhammodu Buhari, APC and their cronies and sycophants in power.
The Nigerian ruling class (APC/PDP) has over the years has made Nigeria an economy that does not control its forces of production. That is, an economy that does not produce or add values to its natural resources! It is therefore to the advantage of the Chinese government to market its productions to Nigerians, who, unfortunately, have been “condemned” to mere consumers.
Yesterday, Reuters did report the US and China Trade War meeting that happened yesterday. The meeting of reconciliation is ongoing while they both battle over who wins the largest market in Africa. However, since the Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is at the expense of the rest of the World, and China—as it is the nature of every imperialist—wants to spread its sphere of influence, the meeting is merely an excercise prescribed to a weakened jaw.
Finally, gradually, Nigeria—and by extension Africa—is crawling out of the snare of the Western Power and moving into the cage of the Chinese Imperialism. Zimbabwean port is now directly under the control of China and Nigerians are asking: where is Zimbabwean Sovereignty? A new world order is taking form. And the Nigeria 2019 election is a Power Show between conflicting orders. It has nothing to do with the interest of the Nigerian poor masses. Maybe tomorrow, it will. Maybe!