You can see more US Navy photos from the Photo Gallery – African Partnership Station.
The Tema clinic is one of more than a dozen community relations projects planned during this six-month round of APS.
“It is very gratifying that after all the visits our interaction in the partnership has yielded something very good. As we stand here today, we are going to witness the ground breaking for a medical clinic to be built by the U.S. Seabees in partnership with our work services engineers,” said Ghanaian Navy Commodore Matthew Quashie, Eastern Ghana Naval Command.
“The facility that is currently on their base is old and worn, they’ve asked us to build a new medical facility right outside the Navy base so they can not only treat their military personnel, but so the local people can benefit from the clinic as well,” said Lt. j.g. Joseph Clements, project officer with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40.
At the same time Nigeria has reiterated opposition to an AFRICOM base in Africa. There is an interesting interview with General Victor Malu, former Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria, on the subject of AFRICOM in the Daily Trust.
Some years ago when he was the Chief of Army Staff General Victor Malu opposed the presence of American military in Nigeria. This earned him the fury of the then Commander-in-Chief, and Malu was consequently retired.
Two weeks ago, the Americans renewed their moves to set up their African Command (AFRICOM) in Nigeria, but the Council of State rejected this. In this interview, Malu explained how the US first made its efforts, why he opposed it and what setting up an American military base here would mean.
Malu: What the Americans wanted to do was not to set up a command. The Americans because of five years of Abacha’s administration that blocked Americans from developing or updating their intelligence on armed forces of Nigeria took the opportunity of somebody who had no knowledge about military in the name of Obasanjo to come and associate with him and convinced him that they wanted to train us for peace-keeping. Americans cannot claim that they want to train us for peace-keeping. We’ve succeeded in peace-keeping where Americans have not succeeded. What they wanted was to update their intelligence on the armed forces . . .
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To make matters worse, even when we have reluctantly accepted because of the pressure from our Commander-in-Chief, to allow the Americans to train us, the Americans insisted they must live in the barracks with the soldiers. I left Abuja and flew to Sokoto to go and meet the governor, to plead with him to give us an area outside the barracks we would prepare it for the Americans. The governor accepted to do that. But the Americans turned it down insisting that they must live in the barracks with soldiers. I asked General Danjuma who was my GOC as far back as 1970, I said sir, you are my GOC in 1970, would you have allowed any army of any other country to come and stay with your own troops in the barracks? Well, at a point I didn’t know whether he understood me or not, but this was the type of argument that was going on. I don’t have direct evidence but I have every conviction in my mind that it was due to the interference of the Americans when they found out that I was becoming a stumbling block that they gave Obasanjo as a condition for their cooperating with him that he must get rid of the COAS.
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The issue of African Command is nothing but because of the oil interest on the Gulf of Guinea, going out to the Coast of Liberia and so on. Americans are finding an easy place where they can extract oil, and you know is a much shorter route than going around to go to the Middle East.
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WT: There is this report people are finding difficult to believe. Right now, the American soldiers are occupying the last floor of the Defense Ministry.
Malu: I was in service before that happened. I remember I resisted that I was not going to have any American soldiers sitting with me in the building. That is to prove to you what I am trying to say. When America came we had a defence headquarters in the same place we have some blocks reserved for the Navy and the Air force. Americans are not interested in any of this, it was only where the army was. Having people sitting on one floor on top of you is like sitting with you, watching and observing everything you are doing.
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If America wants to create democracy by use of force they would have invaded Saudi Arabia.