From Stratfor comes this assessment:
Nigeria is moving to block AFRICOM, the U.S. combat command for Africa, from establishing itself in the Gulf of Guinea region. A few countries will go along with Nigeria, but oil and natural gas newcomers Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe probably will resist the move.
And Uzodinma Iweala asks:
I just wonder if Yar’Adua and his foreign/defense policy people are savvy enough to actually thwart this. What would it take?
1.) Security agreements with all of the major players (probably even a security agreement with the US). When our navy can’t even deal with oil bunkerers or the Niger Delta we’re going to go and patrol X thousand square miles of Open Ocean.
2.) Economic inducements (which we can do with Sao Tome and some of the smaller countries but we can’t hope to compete with the coercive economic power of the US)
3.) Pan African solidarity (almost laughable)
4.) A MAJOR arms/security deal with China (bingo! lets further sell ourselves to the Chinese).
I pray to God the US keeps out of this… otherwise you’ll see our leaders make some really foolish decisions perhaps more so than they’ve done in the past.
Nigeria seems to have come to the same conclusion I did, that the US is using terrorism to blackmail Nigeria into hosting a military base. There may be other reasons for the US playing the terror card.
There are plenty of other problems for the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea, including devastating amounts of illegal fishing by European and Asian countries, drug and arms and other contraband smuggling, and plenty more. I know I read somewhere, but don’t know if it is true or exaggerated for humor, that the Nigerian Navy has more admirals than ships.
Also, Kufuor is due to be in the US this week. It seems likely the US will ratchet up the pressure on him. He also owes a lot to Nigeria.