Can Nigeria Take Side with Ukraine and Impose Sanctions on Russia? Expert Speaks on Action FG May Take

Can Nigeria Take Side with Ukraine and Impose Sanctions on Russia? Expert Speaks on Action FG May Take

  • 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.

Despite the widespread condemnation of Putin's action by world leaders, Russia has continued its aggression on Ukraine even as the attacks enter day six on Tuesday, March 1.

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Russia-Ukraine War: Nigeria Will Likely Take Side with Ukraine, Says Historian
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on the sidelines of 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on October 23, 2019. Photo credit: Mikhail METZEL/SPUTNIK /AFP
Source: Getty Images

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 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).

His words:

"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.

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"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".

He said:

"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."

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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.


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