Wikileak US embassy secret cables continue to educate, performing a significant public service and, hence, drawing fire from all ‘responsible’ quarters beholden to American hegemonic power. This week saw significant revelations about the role of Royal Dutch Shell in
However, it is not just the Nigerian state that is infiltrated by Western multinational corporations: the university system was created by and operated largely for western interests in the run up to and after independence in 1960. Such penetration was organised by the British Colonial Office, funded by the Carnegie Corporation and other American ‘philanthropic’ foundations, and facilitated by a western-educated Nigerian elite whose mentality was entirely self- and Western-oriented.
In effect, ‘independent’
The Wikileak cables that reveal the degree of penetration – colonialisation – of the Nigerian state by just one, admittedly massive, multinational corporation is not especially surprising but remains shocking nonetheless. It shows that the end of colonial rule did not presage genuine independence for Nigerians but the transfer of political power to nominally Nigerian elites that continued to see the country as a set of resources for sale, at a price. They took advantage of their situation for their own benefit, using the context of Cold War competition between the West and the
It was hardly surprising that
They openly spoke and wrote about
In a typically provocative essay in the Daily Mail about 5 years ago, the pro-imperial Anglo-Saxonist historian Andrew Roberts who, I suspect, will be among the gaggle of pro-imperial historians to advise Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove on how to teach history in
Roberts, at least, was writing almost 50 years after independence. The telling fact is that amnesia about the creation of such endemic problems in
In truth, colonial rule in
What the Wikileaks US embassy cables have done is to cast especially brilliant light on one stark example of neo-colonial rule in Africa, striking at the heart of dark deeds perpetrated by Western power and, very significantly, its forgetful but affluent Nigerian allies.