More often than not, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, appears in the news for something he has said which he probably should not have said, or for not saying something he should have said well.
The Minister’s comments on the links connecting the Indigenous People of Biafra with France and the UK have evoked various kinds of comments, particularly about how the Government has easily identified Ipob’s supposed sponsors but remain elusive on Boko Haram’s. The nature of the relationship between France, UK and the Nigerian Government has also been brought into question.
While there could be some measure of substance to the Minister’s “facts”, the France and UK may not be the ideal and immediate problems of Nigeria at the moment. Instead, another French-speaking country, Morocco, should be the focus of grievance.
With reports that the Northern African country is on the verge of joining the Economic Community of West African States, there is yet to be an official statement from the Nigerian Government rejecting the move. Nigeria plays the leading role in ECOWAS and it has been suggested by some observers that Morocco’s end game is to reduce Nigeria’s influence in the region and in Africa generally.
Morocco is currently among the best performing economies in Africa, ranking favorably on indices on the ease of doing business as well as human development.
But joining the same economic block as Nigeria is not being received well by groups such as the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria; Mr Frank Jacobs, the MAN President has warned that the move will kills Nigeria’s productive sector. Certain retired career ambassadors familiar with the African union diplomatic environment have also expressed their troubles with the North African’s intentions.