University teachers, Prof. Abiola Irele and Dr. Sa’ad Omoiya, have warned the Federal Government against any face-off with the United States and other countries following the state pardon granted to former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
They spoke in separate telephone interviews with our correspondent on Sunday.
A US newspaper, The Hill, had quoted the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, as saying, the US was disappointed with Nigeria following last week’s presidential amnesty granted to Alamieyeseigha by President Goodluck Jonathan.
She allegedly said the US Government could stop further aids to Nigeria.
Irele, the Provost, Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, Kwara State University, said Nigeria depended much on aids, adding that the country should develop its economy to be less reliant on foreign aids.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to handle the looming diplomatic row with the US with caution to avoid the matter from degenerating.
Alamieyeseigha’s pardon, he said, gave the impression that the Federal Government was not committed to anti-corruption crusade.
Irele said,“I do not agree with the President for giving Alamieyeseigha pardon. It is a slap on the face of public opinion. There is a lot of dissatisfaction in the country over conduct of some public officials.
“Nigeria should tread softly on the looming diplomatic because this is the wrong kind of fight. We should not alienate those who are our friends and who seem to have the best interest of the country at heart.
“We can resolve the US-FG problem amicably. The Foreign Minister and the President should resolve it amicably. Nigeria should tread softly and should not do anything to undermine the anti-corruption campaign. It should also continue to maintain the friendship of its international community.”
Omoiya, a former Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities Union University of Ilorin, said Nigeria needed the friendship of the international community to advance.
He urged the Federal Government not to do anything that would make the country a pariah nation.
He noted that Nigeria cannot afford to be an island, adding that the country should not be seen as promoting corruption.
He said, “American, Britain and other European countries are aware of our problem; which is the mismanagement of Nigeria’s abundant natural resources. We cannot be an island. We must continue to maintain the friendship of the developed world to survive as a nation that has a good ground to advance socio-economic and political relations.”