At the second lecture series of the Department of History and International Relations, Lagos State, under the topic “Competing narratives on the Russia-Ukraine war,” a previous minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, appealed to the federal government for reevaluation of its domestic readiness to tackle the fallout of the current Russia-Ukraine war. He added that some war fighters are heading to Africa and that Nigeria needs to be prepared to tackle any destabilization plot that might arise.
The migration of Europe combatants to Africa requires Nigeria to pay close attention to its security sector. While securing the nation, the federal government should also consider improving agricultural production. More funds should be allocated to the security sector to motivate the troops and aid adequate equipment. The new troop leaders should also be aware that there is a lot of work to be done. Also, there is a binding principle accepted by the African Union which restricts each African country from an extension of its boundary into another just like in Russia’s case.
African countries avoid invasion of one another’s boundaries.
Binding principle was adopted during the time of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The boundaries were inherited at independence and no country invades the boundary of another country. Although the boundaries were artificial, it was the duties of countries to keep them. It is the reason why many Africans maintain the grounds that Russia should never have invaded Ukraine. While reviewing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, close attention should be paid to the sanctity of facts and actions of mainstream interjections.
Prof. Akinyemi, continuing his speech, said that no one can overturn the fact that there is an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and as scholars and students, conclusions should not be drawn from only news heard on CNN, Aljazeera and BBC. He described information gotten from the media as “an edited version of the facts.” Different news channels give different interpretations and presentations of the same happening. He acknowledged that in a seemingly unknown way, be it media or analysts, there is either a speaker for the global South or the global North but university scholars maintain a stand he calls “the integrity middle.”
Country’s youth are advised to struggle for democracy.
The ex-minister criticized the stand of the university scholars with the notion that although publication could be used draw people’s interest to where there are interpretation issues, the integrity of a scholar and the integrity of a university environment to make an upfront declaration of a stand during analysis. Emphasizing caution on the fallacy of mainstream interjections, he stated that making conclusions from the middle of the fight without prior knowledge of the beginning is one of the problems of the ongoing war. People’s conclusion, he added, should rely on historical causes of the war.
Enlightening Nigerian youths concerning the struggle for democracy, Akinyemi declared that they fight for what is rightfully theirs as the general elections draw closer. Things are not received on a platter of gold like people think so the youth are required to fight for their corner. He made an example of his brother who died in the army at 45 in the struggle for democracy and himself who was hunted by Abacha but was lucky not to die, while sensitizing them in the need to fight for democracy.
Nigerians who anticipate tribal split or war are warned.
The topic of the lecture series, according to Dr. Adewunmi Falode, the Head of the Department of History and International Relations, LASU, was fostered by the need to warn some Nigerians and ethnic militias who were anticipating a war and a split in Nigeria. The Russia-Ukraine war is an ongoing war with an unpredictable outcome. No one could predict that Ukraine would be destroyed by Russia within just one month. However, the war has not stopped given war is not a science.