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Nigeria may end up in the Middle East Mess


lt is official Nigeria has formerly joined the Islamic coalition against extremism. Led by Saudi Arabia the coalition seeks to battle IS and other forms of terrorism. Until Nigeria joined the coalition was purely made up of Islamic States. Nigeria therefore becomes the first non-Islamic state to join this coalition. This is a move that has left some people perturbed.

More than half of Nigerians are not Muslims. This is perhaps the single most important reason why such a move was received with mixed reactions in Africa's powerhouse and beyond. I particularly do not read much into that. Why Nigeria which is a non Muslim state decided to join the Islamic coalition and its implications on internal politics at home is a matter that largely does not worry me. Obviously there are those who already argue that this move was made because the current President of Nigeria is Muslim. Again this remains a non-issue, at least, at the moment, unless of course Nigerians decide to make such a big issue. After all the President's justification remains tenable since Nigeria has a huge number of Muslims and has suffered from the Boko Haram extremism which is now claiming allegiance to IS that the Islamic coalition seeks to annihilate. Nigeria has every reason to enter into coalitions and partnerships that can help the country get rid of extremism.

My worries are actually elsewhere. The Islamic coalition against extremism is led by Saudi Arabia and it partly, if not wholly, antagonizes Iran. This is my only real worry with Nigeria's move to join the Islamic coalition against extremism. Perhaps Nigeria needed a more careful calculation before such a move. It appears that the Nigerian authorities may have underestimated the impact of this kind of interpretations and their repercussions not only to Nigeria but Africa as a whole. 

Worse still, Nigeria could have chosen this path to benefit from the monies being pumped into the said coalition by the US and other world powers. If that took precedence then Nigeria may sooner rather than later curse its move to join the Islamic coalition without a much careful consideration.

This decision could just extend the nasty Iran/Saudi Arabia conflict from the middle east far deep into Africa. At least as things stand it is only Egypt which is entangled in the never-ending middle east conflict with western interference. If Nigeria gets sucked into this vicious web of middle east conflict then the web only expands and the middle east conflict escalates and becomes more difficult to resolve than it is. I have every reason to hope things don't turn out that way.
Nigeria may end up in the Middle East Mess Nigeria may end up in the Middle East Mess Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on March 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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