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Afghanistan: The lesson for Nigerian leaders

By Uche Diala

What has unfolded in Afghanistan, with the country’s unraveling even before the US finally pulls out its troops and personnel ought to be a strong lesson for any individual or group thinking that the US or any foreign nation will come to its rescue or assistance if they start trouble.

The pull out of the US from Afghanistan after its second obviously failed intervention in the country signals a fundamental and permanent shift in US foreign policy especially as regards its involvement in foreign conflicts. A shift in policy that the rest of the advanced world has already shown it is headed towards with the exit of Britain from the European Union.

Every nation is now looking inwards and self preserving. Every nation on the face of the earth today has more than enough troubles on its plate that it will not more than bat an eyelid should any other nation fail to manage its internal issues and allow it snowball into a conflict; Nigeria inclusive.

The world has come a very long way from Apartheid and South Africa. In fact that seems like a century away now. Even South Africans seem to have forgotten and jettisoned any lesson learnt from that. Nigeria played a pivotal role in the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. Just like Nigeria played a significant or major role in the Liberian civil war.

If the South African or Liberian situation were to be repeated today, Nigeria would not be in a position to play the same role it played then. Neither would South Africa or Liberia be capable or willing to come to Nigeria’s aid should a conflict ensue in Nigeria.

The lessons offered by South Sudan, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine/Israel, Myanmar, Haiti, Rwanda etc ought to serve as a reality check for every citizen of the world and in particular Nigerians.

There are legitimate vexetious issues and points of disagreements and misunderstandings no doubt but we can always consciously choose to agree to disagree.

When we sue for peace or explore ways and means of conflict prevention, it is not a mark of cowardice. When we seek alternative routes of conflict resolution, we make ourselves agents of peace, love, unity and harmony. The outcomes are always better, cheaper and more palatable if we think reasonably and less selfishly for a moment.

In the end, how many are the number of our days that we would prefer to live it out in hate, strive or conflict?

May God help us to do the needful.

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