By Joseph Wayas
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Extra info for Nigeria’s Leadership Role in Africa
If she is going to be able to play the role successfully, she must be prepared to accept a mixture of contrariness: both gentIe and firm, sympathetie to others and opinionated about her own interests, sensitive to genuine complaints and insensitive to petty accusations, diplomatie and blunt as the occasion demands. All this will be accepted if, above all, she is seen to pI ace the interests ofthe conti ne nt as a whole above her own. 4 Nigeria and the Liberation of Southern Africa We have already noted that one of the main aims on which the Organization of African Unity rests as a continental entity, is the liberation of the colonial and white minority oppressed states of Southern Africa.
The power vacuum created by the OA U has allowed some of the Western countries to act hypocritically by almost invariably defending discredited leaders and maintaining them in power, always from a selfish motive. But it should also be made dear that I am not here advocating a double standard of peace and justice, whereby I condemn the intervention of big powers in the affairs of the continent, while at the same time condoning or encouraging the bellicosity of some African states against others.
Another criticism levelled at the OAU concerns its overemphasis on non-interference and the inviolability of states' boundaries. To be more specific, let us examine some of the principles and articles of the OAU. Here, I think it will be useful to go back to the earlier arguments of advocates of a strong Pan-Africa, men such as Nkrumah and Azikiwe. In his book, I Talk of Freedom (1961), Nkrumah, speaking of the balkanisation of the conti ne nt into a multiplicity of unviable States, emphasised that: ...