Since the closure of some of Nigeria’s borders and its negative impact on the Beninese economy, many have questioned the silence of the Beninese government. Me Sadikou Alao, who knows the eastern giant well, raises a corner of veil on the silence of the Beninese authorities.
It is not for pleasure that the Beninese authorities have been observing silence since the closure of some Nigerians’s boder. Received on Sikka tv’s “the boulevard of opinions”, Gerdess Afrique’s president, Sadikou Alao, said that “What you need to know is that the Beninese government has an interest in keeping quiet”. According to him, President Patrice Talon and his government have an interest in keeping quiet so as not to aggravate the situation and especially because Benin’s behaviour puts it in a weak position. “In situations like these, you speak up when you have everything on your side. But the Beninese government is not in a position to speak out loud and clear because there have been many wrongs to Benin side for a very long time,” he said.
Benin’s first sin, according to Me Sadikou Alao, is that the country’s leaders have not sought to know who Nigeria is for a long time. If they had tried to find out, he continued, they would have known that it is not the Nigerian head of state who decides. According to Mr Sadikou Alao, Nigeria’s foreign policy is strongly influenced by the powerful foreign commission. This powerful national commission, which involves all ministries, he explains, gives the guidelines that the president is required to follow. “Since Nigeria gained independence, no Nigerian head of state can take a position in foreign policy that is not that of the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee,” he said.
According to Mr Sadikou Alao, Nigeria knows very well what is happening in Benin. He knows the political and economic functioning of the country and knows all the problems and the port and how the IVP works in the port. “Nigeria knows down to the last detail what is happening in Benin on the economic and political level. It knows how the port, the IVP , works. Beninese do not know it, but Benin’s leaders are understanding that Nigeria knows everything about the country through their powerful intelligence service,” he said. For Me Sadikou Alao, it is because the Beninese authorities know that Nigeria knows everything about the country that they have difficulty speaking and cannot even speak without solving certain problems. “That’s why people rushed to organize the political dialogue,” he says. According to Mr Sadikou Alao, Nigeria knows how the port works and where the money goes; he knows that management is solitary. In short, for Me Sadikou Alao, it is because the Benin authorities know what Nigeria is accusing them of that they are forced to remain silent in order not to aggravate the situation.