WTO and Okonjo-Iweala: Is the US the enemy of Nigeria?

 On US' refusal to support Nigeria's Okonjo-Iweala as WTO DG

Okonjo-Iweala and the WTO
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala


The news that our daughter, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been appointed the DG of the World Trade Organisation was received with much joy and jubilation by many, especially, Nigerians. While our jubilation and congratulatory messages filled the air and the social media space, a sudden twist came, namely, that the US has refused to throw their weight on Iweala's appointment. As a consequence, many Nigerians got filled with rage against the US, dubbed them evil, arrogant, selfish and stupid. Some even went as far as insulting fellow Nigerians who support Trump's second term bid. 

Unfortunately, a bitter truth some of us have failed to realise is that this life which many say, "no balance" is largely about interest. Just as in politics, 'interest rules'. You go for the individual or party that represents your interest, beliefs and/or convictions; an individual or party that can help solve or significantly reduce your problems. 

I come from a region where the inhabitants cast most of their votes for  PDP candidates. Surprisingly, in my Senatorial district and Federal constituency, the people voted most for APC candidates whom they believed and believe represent their interests the most. So, you see it's about interest. 

Now, with regard to the headship of the WTO, South Korea is a very strong trade partner of the US. They have a very strong business relationship. What the US makes from South Korea in business is far more than they make from Nigeria. By implication, the US economy thrives more with South Korea than Nigeria. Nigeria is much more disposed to China. Most of the things we buy and own are from China. And we borrow much from China. In fact, those thinkers who opine that China owns Nigeria are not far from the truth. Would it then be right for anyone to call China evil for supporting the country they gain so much from? And we're much aware of the economic battle of superiority between China and the US. How then would one think that the US would easily accept a candidate from a country economically owned by China without being sure of what they would gain? Undoubtedly, the US is the most influential country in today's world and so, cannot be ignored when it comes to global matters. 

Rather than cry like a petulant baby or wield unproductive sentiments, our government should, as a matter of urgency, be smart to reach out to the US (that is if the US has the veto to quash our daughter's emergence) and lobby them into accepting her. Here, Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power becomes very important and instructive. Law no. 13 says: "When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude". The truth is this: once the US see they'll benefit much from Iweala's headship of the WTO, they'll rescind their veto. 

So, it is not right for anyone to consider the US government evil, arrogant, selfish and stupid for desiring what would be of many benefits to themselves and their citizens just as it wouldn't be right for anyone to consider us evil, arrogant, selfish and stupid for supporting our very own and refusing to support South Korean's Yoo. After all, we are supporting our daughter because we believe her emergence will benefit us more. Let our government arise and act smartly to seal the deal. 



From: Dr. Dennis E. Igwe

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