Does Africa Need Nuclear Weapons?

Africa is the least defended continent in the world. It is the least influential continent diplomatically. It’s the weakest continent by military power. Yet Africa is the most resource rich continent. It has the worlds youngest population. It is estimated that by 2030 seven of the worlds ten fastest growing economies will come from Africa. If Libya invasion never happened, if Boko Haram never flourished, if terrorism never gained a foothold in Africa, if the CIA and France had done what the British did, leave its ex colonies alone, there is a good chance that Africa by now will look completed different.

If the only remaining dictatorship in Africa ( Cameroon and Chad) had been pressured by the world’s two oldest constitutional democracies  (United States and France) had used their economic and diplomatic influence to push for democracy and reforms  rather than reward dictators with official recognition and military cooperation, they would have achieved some level economic independence and by extension never be used as proxy to destabilize the region. Africa would not have overtaken the continent as the most conflict ridden continent in the world, housing the deadliest terrorist group in the world .

But alas, the opposite has been the case. The failure and inability of South Africa and Nigeria to stop NATOs destruction of an AU member state highlights how weak and powerless Africa is in the global arena.  But what if one or two or more African country had the military wherewithal to deter the world powers from using Africa as a testing ground and proxy in their power struggle? What if one or two African countries had nuclear weapons? What if South Africa never gave up her nukes? What if Nigeria did not buckle the way it did under U.S and French threats when North Korea offered to sell Nigeria ballistic missile democracy? Unfortunately life doesn’t give you “what ifs”

But is the degraded military capability of Africa’s most powerful militaries by design?

A lot of pressure is being mounted on the leaders of Africa by the United States and its allies the west to sign the NPT in order to prevent Africa countries from acquiring and developing nuclear weapons to the detriment of the continent’s development while the powers that be holds the monopoly. Otherwise what was the rationale behind South Africa, a country that constructed six nuclear weapons and the seventh under construction, and even tested same, all of a sudden decided to dismantle them, thus rendering all put together, including finance, to assemble the materials and develop them, to be in vain, and then became the first country in Africa to sign the NPT. Does it even make sense?

In similar vein, after spending much resource to acquire nuclear weapons technology, Libya decided to invite the IAEA to inspect its nuclear facilities which she later destroyed, though not yet functional, and stopped the programme. Can this act of stupidity be rationalized? Today the same Libya that decided to restore relations with the West and destroyed her nuclear program has been torn apart by the very same West. Remember Hillary Clinton’s famous remark?

We came. We saw. He died. A disrespect and shame to the African Union.

In the case of Nigeria, for the past thirty-five years, three nuclear training and research centres were established to meet the nuclear needs of the Nigerian people, as of today, nothing has come out of it successfully.  Are Nigerians even aware that there are five training and research centres established within five universities in the country, yet there is no prospect of developing them due to pressure from the west.

Similarly in 2008, after Vice President prematurely opened his mouth about Abuja’s and Pyongyang’s ballistic missile partnership, the United States and France warned Nigeria not to rely on rogue nation in its quest to acquire nuclear technology and that Washington was closely monitoring the growing clamour by Abuja to join the elite group of nuclear nation with great apprehension.

The White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino said,

“it is a concern shared by the administration about the spread of nuclear materials. That America is concerned about Nigeria’s discussion with Iran and on the acquisition of nuclear materials…”.

This was actually in reaction to a statement made by the then Nigeria’s Science and Technology minister, Mrs. Grace Ekpiwhre, that the government will continue efforts to build nuclear power plants as an answer to the country’s electricity needs.

In a swift reaction, the then Nigerian minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Maduekwe, denied that the country wants nuclear weapons from Iran after Washington protested to Aso Rock on the deal. What this means is that warning, threat and pressure from outside, hampers the continent’s nuclear development efforts.


All through history, especially prior to and immediately Nigeria attained independence, its foreign policy was directed towards the west. The height of this pro-westernization was the period between 1957 and the end of civil war in 1970.

In fact, Tafawa Balewa’s regime’s commitment to the west was aggressive and loyal to a fault, that anything outside the west made no meaning to the regime. Despite his consistent stance on non alignment, his speeches on major national and international issue betrayed him.

To justify this assertion, he made statements like, “we shall never forget our old friends”, “those we are accustomed to”, etc, apparently referring to Britain and the United States as Nigeria’s best friends, if not allies; and their leaders more reliable and trustworthy than those from the eastern bloc. Well Nigerian politicians have historically not been diplomatically smart. Because with that speech Tafawa’s Balewa just made Nigeria a legitimate target for Russia’s SS-18 Satan.We were in the camp of the West. If nuclear war had started Lagos would have bern a legitimate target.

As if that’s not bad enough, Balewa’s government imposed unprecedented restriction on the number of Soviet diplomats in Nigeria, importation of communist literature and on travel to soviet bloc countries and discouraged soviet bloc aid and trade. Throughout Balewa’s era, Nigeria was referred to as a “status quo state, a stooge and minion of the west”, and we remained a stooge for decades.

Consider the national embarrassment to Nigeria by Obama’s decision to slam an arm’s embargo on Nigeria and put to kaput Nigeria’s arms deal with Israel and South Africa over Nigeria’s anti-gay legislation, while at the same time offering military assistance to Africa’s two longest sitting dictators. A request that was unsolicited. Nigeria crawled on her knees for years begging to be sold an aircraft that quite frankly we could get something better from the east. And after years of crawling and begging they finally agree to sell us carp, only if we agreed to pay $600 million for a piece of crap that won’t survive 10 minutes in a contested airspace.

Presently, Nigeria is gradually restructuring its foreign policy to be all embracing, including opening diplomatic missions in many countries (West, East, Pakistan and etc) and its latest romance with Russia over the acquisition of nuclear materials and the sponsoring of some Nigerians to Russia and China for further studies. Just day before yesterdays Nigeria signed a military cooperation with South Korea, to collaborate in the areas of weapons production, training and capacity building to improve combat efficiency.

But lets not kid ourselves. Despite this restructuring, the character disposition of Nigeria political leadership and her foreign policy makers is still tilted towards the west. What this means is that whatever decision is taken in the west, particularly the United State and Britain, still binds on Nigeria. We have lost a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire ballistic missile technology know how from North Korea. Thrown away on a platter of gold.

This has left in its trail suppression, oppression, repression and subjugation of Nigerians and, indeed, Nigeria.

Now that the craze to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is stronger, any attempt by Nigeria to acquire ballistic missile technology will be at the mercy of the West. Whatever decision the West takes Nigeria will no doubt abide by it. Nigeria has to be the most unlucky country in the world. A nation gifted with unmatched resources, one of the worlds smartest countries with one of the most educated people consistently being governed by incompetent leaders with no clue on how to use Nigeria’s economic and diplomatic leverage to pursue her national interest.


8 Replies to “Does Africa Need Nuclear Weapons?”

  1. Today’s Nigeria is what you get when you let uneducated, half-baked Oldies rule us. Having been ruled by the northern Nigeria for most of our existence as a nation, we haven’t truly harnessed our strengths. The oil boom of the 70s-80s was the best window we have had so far to rapidly develop, by now we would have a better emerging economy than Singapore, stronger than Egypt militarily and more attractive than Dubai. However, that was not to be the case.

    I don’t think we have matured enough or completely understand the risks, gains and responsibilities that comes with being a nuclear state. With no clear foreign policy direction, no regional strategy, heck we can’t even play the “big brother” role we used to play to other Ecowas states.

    We have failed to realize, there’s more to be gained forging stronger diplomatic ties with Russia and China compared to the West. China readily supports infrastructural developments with loans and Russia will support us militarily without restrictions. They also have no sinister plans to control governments unlike the West neither do they let whimsical issues such as gay rights determine how they handle matters with us.

    Both China and Russia have prospered despite repeated sanctions against them spearheaded by the West. South Africa’s military industry developed rapidly after an arms embargo was placed on them when they began developing nuclear weapons. They purchased weaponry clandestinely and reversed engineered them. These efforts gave birth to the multinational defense company Paramount Group that Nigeria is now purchasing fast patrol naval boats from.

    Nigeria isn’t unlucky, we are just being plain stupid. Choosing to focus on mundane issues, recycling old hags in government and ignoring ominous signs of impending trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So when the south was running things where things better or are you forgetting that a northern head of state does not translate to a northern lead nation you Blame the north but it’s the south that is always opening its anus to the west, or is it the north where they insult you and call you illiterate because you don’t hear or speak English

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that Nigeria needs to get serious about creating a strong manufacturing base we also need strong state capitalism as well as lower institutional corruption as well as pride in the area of new ideas the fact is many Nigerians have comeback home to start something only to be ignored and insulted so they go to the west to help it develop
    We need first along with making deals with Russia and China as those are true allies as well as North Korea we need to also bring in Nigerians that work in engineering and other area to help us develop these our weapons and manufacturing industries we need to stop doing efizee for Nigerians that choose to come back in saying this as a Nigerian That has lived more of my life outside Nigeria who plans in returning one day I’ll probably leave if I have to deal with stupidity and that’s me so I doubt someone with less patience will stay and that’s what has been killing us Nigerian hubris against fellow Nigerians

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You clearly do not understand my point here. We have been ruled most of our years by the north. Here we are. I was privileged to have served in NNPC, Abuja, I had the opportunity to work closely with and understand how the average northerner thinks.

      Only the very much educated ones have a “complete sense” of national patriotism and see the bigger picture of one great Nigeria. The rest of them believe Nigeria begins and ends in the north and the only reason they look to the south is for the oil. They believe they “own” Nigeria so therefore they should decide who gets what. Why do you think over the years they have worked hard to build the major military installations, military institutions in the northern side of the country and also occupy majority of slots allocated each year to new NDA entries.

      The top military brass is filled with them leaving very little room for brilliant minds that can contribute meaningfully from the south. They promote not based on merit but the language you speak and region you’re from.

      Unfortunately, the last southerner to be in power was too much a weakling and was busy kissing their asses that’s why a whooping $2B can be stolen under his nose and mandate taken from him.

      Be aware, I am not tribalistic. I love northerners a lot because they have a strong sense of acquiring power among other reasons. However, there will be little development until the southerners who are known for being industrious and knowledge seeking are accommodated and trusted in critical decision making concerning security of the whole nation. Trust is key here!


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