- Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the West's sanction of Moscow, a historian, Aderemi Ojo, has revealed the side Nigeria may take
- Ojo said Nigeria is a non-aligned country and is not under obligation to take sides in the ongoing war between the two European countries
- Nevertheless, the historian said Nigeria will likely take side with Ukraine based on principle, adding that no stronger nation has the right to invade another nation
In the early hours of Thursday, February 24, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, announced military operation in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, several Western countries have imposed sanctions on Moscow in a bid to compel Putin to push the stop button.
Russia-Ukraine war: Can Nigeria also impose sanctions on Moscow
Speaking to Legit.ng on the development, Aderemi Ojo, a historian, said Nigeria is non-aligned country and is not under any obligation to take sides with either Russia or Ukraine.
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He noted that "Africa is the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy", adding that Nigeria is not entirely concerned with what happens beyond the (African) continent.
The Nigerian historian added that what the Nigerian government is obliged to do is to protect its citizens in the affected country (in this case, Ukraine).
"Nigeria is a non-aligned country and has no any obligation to take sides at all. In fact Africa is the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
"Beyond the continent, we are not entirely concerned, except to protect our citizens or in extreme cases. We once sent troops to Lebanon."
Nigeria will likely side with Ukraine - Ojo
Speaking further, Ojo said though Nigeria is "a non-aligned country", it may side with Ukraine based on principle.
He added that the chance of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Nigerian government siding with Russia is "almost zero".
"Nigeria will likely side with the Ukrainians based on principle. No stronger nation has the right to invade another nation. Period! But the chance of the Buhari-Administration siding with Russia is almost zero given the circumstances.
"We also do not have a historical tie with Russia that could warrant such. Economically or politically, there is little to gain compared to the USA. And as you know, national interest comes first in foreign relations.
"To postulate, with the sanctions on Russia, Nigeria’s oil might receive higher demands. It is a possible economic boom depending how the people at the foreign ministry play their game."
Foreign minister finally reveals Nigeria's position
Meanwhile, as Ojo predicted, the Nigerian government has finally revealed its position on the Russian war against Ukraine.
Speaking on Channels TV, foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the Nigerian government does not condone Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Onyeama added that the Nigerian government would act in accordance with the United Nations.
According to him, the Buhari-led administration will comply with UN resolution should sanctions be imposed on Russia.