Africa Must Have a Permanent Seat in the UN Security Council

Published on 30th September 2021

At the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations, Africa - led by Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and Sierra Leonean President, Retired Brigadier Maada Bio - again called out for the inclusion of (this time) “two” African countries as “Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council” – about the highest global power-club that is the exclusive preserve of the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China: “The Big 5”! 

United States-based prolific Sierra Leonean audio analyst, about 76 years old Kutubu Koroma, in an audio and prose message posted in THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN Whatsapp forum on September 21, 2021…. rained derision on Africa for their audacious demand: “It will not ever ...ever be possible”; it’s a “complete waste of time”; African countries are “too corrupt”; and they would likely “sell their votes” or receive “bribes” should they get into the Security Council as Permanent Members; African countries are “just spectators” at the UN; “no one takes them seriously”; they are “beggars”; they have “no foresight”; African nations should govern themselves “like civilized people” before making such demands. 

There are truths of real politick in the contempt of Kutubu Koroma but, there are Orwellian Big lies in the words of Kutubu Koroma. Africa has the moral right to demand to be a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council.  I have a ‘secret card’ that Africa can play to gain entrance into that esoteric power-club.

Kutubu spoke 70% of the Truth.  Four of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council were Second World War “Allies” – 1939 to 1945 - that won the war against Germany. It was a ferocious war.  Russia lost 10,700,000 military personnel; and 24,000,000 civilians.  China lost 4,000,000 soldiers; and 20,000,000 civilians. The United States lost 416,800 soldiers; United Kingdom lost 383,600 soldiers; France lost 217, 600 soldiers and 567,000 civilians in that war.  The Big-5 created and have earned their place in the United Nations Security Council with BLOOD and IRON.  The Permanent Members of the UN Security Council is not a place for LOSERS - like Germany that lost 5,553,000 military personnel, and 8,800,000 civilians during that war.  Japan, another LOSER, lost 2,120,000 military personnel, and 3,100,000 civilians (including the fame or infamy of the only nation that nuclear bombs have been dropped on - to end the Second World War).  It’s not a place ‘for sorri hart’ – for nations like Poland that lost 240,000 soldiers, and 5,600,000 civilian deaths; or, India, that lost 87,000 soldiers and 2,500,000 civilians. And it is not just yesterday’s blood, sweat, and tears and suffering that the Big 5 rely on; they have awesome military and economic POWER today.

 The United States is the Indisputable Greatest Global Power

The United States annual military expenditure is $778 billion – that is 39% of total global military expenditure of $1.8 trillion.  China’s annual military expenditure is $252 billion, 13% of global military expenditure.  United Kingdom’s military expenditure is $59.2 billion; France’s $52 billion; and Russia’s is $61 billion. Reread those figures – the military expenditure of all the other four of the Big 5 does not equal to the United States’.  How can Africa ask to seat with the United States and other such military giants?

Nigeria’s military expenditure yearly is just about $2billion; Kenya, $1billion; and Ghana $237 million; and Sierra Leone $20 million. The United States expenditure on its 16 intelligence agencies average $16 billion – that is more than all the biggest spenders on the military by all African countries put together (Algeria, the biggest in military expenditure is just about $10billion, Nigeria, $2.4 billion; and Ghana $237 million. Sierra Leone a pathetically laughable at $20 million). The United States alone has about 12 aircraft carriers that carry hundreds of soldiers, and is  equipped with complete high-end flight facilities and a deck that carries, deploys, and recovers aircraft.  The average cost for each of them is $15billion.  That does not include operational costs. Don’t talk about nuclear weapons!!  There are enough nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the Big 5 to end all humanity’s life on earth six times over!!   It’s funny!! Most of these weapons are almost ‘useless’ today. In the "MAD" strategy ("Mutually Assured Destruction") of the nuclear-club, each of them know that it would be suicidal to use nuclear weapons today.

At the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 21, 2021, the most powerful leader on planet earth, 76 year old Joe Biden, informed the world of an “inflection point” in global history, when… “Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are fixing our eyes on devoting our resources to the challenges that hold the keys to our collective future: ending this pandemic; addressing the climate crisis..” Biden’s words give hope for Africa to be given an entrée into the Permanent Security Council membership.

 Nigeria: Africa’s Hope to Make Big 5 into Big 6

“Nigeria has therefore joined other countries of the southern hemisphere in demanding for a reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in such a manner as to ensure fair representation of all the regions, equity and democratization of the world body…..(Ability) to protect, project and promote national interests is contingent on capabilities… (The) ‘Veto’ is not distributed based on ethics, sympathy, friendship, benevolence, fairness, equitable representation or even democratization. Evidently, it is based on power calculations …There is no gain saying that any Nation-State aspiring for Veto power should at least, possess the capabilities to exercise it. Is it not thus rationally objective that states should seek first the capabilities, so that, every other thing shall be added unto them? … (Is) Nigeria capable of exercising the Veto power, if by any chance it is granted to her? Has she become a de-facto big power, able to resist coercion and to effectively coerce others? Herein lies the futility of insistence on that level of reform of the UN Security Council, as reported in Uhomoibhi (2008:232). As admonished by Thucydides, we should be on guard against naïve dreaming, realizing that it is utopian to ignore the realities of power in international politics….

Unrelenting, President Goodluck Jonathan, while playing host to the then British Prime-Minister, David Cameron, precisely on 19th July 2011 in Lagos, as reported by Alabi, Wole & Chukwuma (2011) canvassed for British support to Nigeria’s quest for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council… argued that Nigeria shoulders about 75% of the security challenges in the West-Africa sub region” (SOURCE: [PDF] Nigeria’s Quest For A Permanent Seat At The United Nations Security Council: An Appraisal/ Semantic Scholar).

What Kutubu Koroma wrote in his typically provocative ungloved language is what this writer above has written in elegant prose: “we should be on guard against naïve dreaming, realising that it is utopian to ignore the realities of power in international politics”.  In the 1970s, Nigeria was awash in petroleum dollars; so much so that then military leader of Nigeria, Colonel Yakubu Gowon, bragged that for Nigeria “the problem is not money, but how to spend the (surplus) money.” Nigeria’s elite squandered Nigeria’s vast wealth.   “In 2018, the World Poverty Clock estimated that about 90.8 million Nigerians live below the poverty level. That report earned Nigeria the title, 'The Poverty Capital of the World'...”. (SOURCE: The Causes of High Poverty Rate in Northern Nigeria - Tekedia; February 13, 2020, by Ozioma Okey-Kalu).  Then, OXFAM “presented an alarming picture of the Nigerian economic situation, stating that 112 million Nigerians are living in abject poverty and that the combined wealth of the five richest Nigerians, put at about $29.9 billion, could end extreme poverty in the country” (SOURCE: Can The Wealth Of These 5 Richest Nigerians End Poverty In Nigeria? []; posted by Lukwago J in Life style, May 19, 2017).

 For Nigeria to Lead, it Must Kindle a Martin Luther-like Reformation

Nigeria’s 200 million people with the largest GDP in Africa (just $500,000,000,000 [billion]; juxtaposed that with the United States GDP of $2,500,000,000,000 [trillion]), and its vast petroleum and gas reserves can gain some respectability in the West.  But, … in the aforementioned OXFAM report, “Odo disclosed that … poor people are unable to benefit from Nigeria’s wealth because of high levels of corruption …For example, he said public officer holders stole an estimated $20 trillion from the treasury between 1960 and 2005…”. Rampant corruption by a predatory and insensitive elite has eroded Nigeria’s respectability on the global stage. Since the 1990s, I have had hope that Nigeria is best positioned to play the ‘Green Card’ for Africa.

That was why about a week ago, I was delighted when Ayodele Aderinwale, the executive head of the (President) Obasanjo Presidential Library (at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria) sent me a social media message asking about my  $2trillion demand which if it resonates with the ideas of former Nigerian President Retired General Olusegun Obasanjo for the upcoming COP-26 global climate change summit in the United Kingdom… could be given traction by the now global luminary who was twice Head of State of Nigeria. Nigeria!! 

I founded the SLAVE SHIP-FREEDOM SHIP Movement - which fuses the THOUGHT of the Atlantic Slave Trade with the THOUGHT that undergird man-made Climate Change - in Calabar, Cross River State, south east Nigeria in 1992. In 1994, I got the support of Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo (a member of the Royal Council of the Obong of Calabar, who was then, also Vice President of the Confederation of African Football), and Etubom Bassey Ekpo Bassey (a famous journalist; and a noted politician) to develop a project that links the Atlantic Slave Trade, the environment, and World Cup-1994.  That was rudely aborted; misunderstood; and I got put on a plane and sent home to Sierra Leone by security agencies of the Nigerian government in February, 1995.  In 1996, I got the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria through their High Commissioner in Freetown, H.E. Chedi Abubakarr, to develop the project in Freetown, Sierra Leone -  that fuses the Atlantic Slave Trade, environment and Olympics-1996.   The ‘Green Card’ is the ‘secret weapon’ for Africa to get into the United Nations Security Council Permanent membership. If African presidents and their bureaucrats and parliamentarians listen to me on how to use this green ace card….

I pause,

By Oswald Hanciles, The Guru

Founder and CEO of The Slave Ship-Freedom Ship

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