Africa’s richest man and Nigeria’s pride, Aliko Dangote revealed much about himself recently during an interview with fellow billionaire Mo Ibrahim but the fact that he does not have Angolan visa on his African Union passport got my mind working in many directions, especially to the past.
How many of those who man the foreign service or immigration desks in Angola know or remember the days of the Liberation Movements in the 70s? How many remember the roles Nigeria played to end the fratricidal wars fought by MPLA, UNITA and FNLA? How many know that Nigeria sent military and other aid worth over $100million to Angola during the wars?
How many know that Nigeria recognized the MPLA government as the legitimate government in Angola while the OAU (Organization of African Unity) dithered? How many remember the statement made by General Murtala Mohammed during the visit of Angola’s Premier, Lopo Do Nascimento to Nigeria? Unmoved by the fact that the Premier publicly displayed two white South African soldiers captured in Angola, Mohammed declared,
‘I want to assure you that in your hour of need we are solidly behind you in your efforts not only to stand alone but give respectability and dignity to the black race. Your struggle is therefore of significance to all Africans and black men all over the world… Your struggle for justice, freedom, equality and humanity will succeed and it is only a matter of time before the South African racist regime and its international supporters are defeated. Time and history are on your side and you will surely win.’