Former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, on Tuesday said, South Africa has cast its eyes on election into the United Nations Security Council to checkmate Nigeria.
Speaking on Tuesday during an interview, Akinyemi regretted that Nigeria turned down his proposal to form a medium power concept, which is a variant of BRICS.
His words: “What has played out in the BRICS summit in South Africa is what some of us have anticipated as far back as 1987. I was a Minister then, and I warned Nigeria that the anti-apartheid struggle was basically over and that Nigeria may have to redesign its foreign policy and know that there were going to be competitors.
“Nigerians didn’t listen to me at that time. That was when I proposed the concept of medium powers. BRICS is a variation of the concept of medium powers. Nigeria rejected my proposal even though foreign countries that we invited accepted that proposal.
“If Nigeria had embraced and pursued that policy we would be the one determining the fate of South-Africa and not the other way round.”
Speaking on non-invitation of Nigeria to BRICS, he said, “What played out in South Africa, the country has shown itself as an enemy of Nigeria.
“It is determined at all costs to checkmate Nigeria whenever it gets the opportunity to do so. Whether it is xenophobic attacks. It has already cast its eyes to the election to the Security Council of the United Nations. It has got two of the super powers on its side, and it intends to use that to checkmate Nigeria.
“This is the time that we’re closing down embassies. Our embassies are badly financed. There are good people in that ministry. There are good ambassadors who are prepared to do their best. You can’t climb with an empty hand. You cannot perform your functions when you’re not properly financed.
“South Africa continues to open embassies and provide funds for their operations. We’ve become our own enemies and what has played out in the BRICS invitation, even though it is a setback for us, it provides us with an opportunity if we’re going to grab that opportunity. What is that opportunity? There are more states outside BRICS than there are in BRICS.
“You’ve got Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, and etcetera. These are also countries that are important. These are countries that Nigeria will approach and break into an organisation that is not going to be against the West or against East.
“This is an opportunity for a clever application in the form of a new concept of medium powers. Are we going to grab it? It is up to those who are in power.”