Of A Diplomatic Row Between Nigeria And India

Anger As Nigerians In India Are Targeted For Murder And Expulsion
Indian police stand idly by after a Nigerian protester is knocked unconscious by one of their vehicles

AFRICANGLOBE – India is in the news as a result of a Nigerian killed in Goa, India. A diplomatic row has ensued between the twp countries. We should dwell on our similarities rather than differences.

I have been studying similarities/coincidences between Nigeria and India and I could deduce that the two countries have a lot in common in their historical developments and the paths of lives of some of the people and in view of this, the question arises: ‘Can Nigeria recreate the miracles of India in such areas as IT, Medicine, Pharmaceuticals and small-scale industries?

Below are a few coincidencences:

Pandit Nehru was born on November 14 1889 and Sir Adesoji Aderemi, November November 15, 1889 Nehru was first Prime Minister of India with Political Capital in New Delhi. Whereas Sir Aderemi was Ooni of Ife and first African Governor. He was Governor of Western Region.

Nehru”s first Daughter, Indira Gandhi was first Woman Prime Minister of India and Sir Aderemi”s first daughter Tejumade Alakija was first female head of Service in Nigeria.

Nehru and Sir Aderemi both fought for the Independence of their respective countries Nehru and Aderemi both met with Queen Elizabeth and the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Mukesh Ambani India’s Richest man and Aliko Dangote Nigeria’s Richest man were both born April 1957 Mukesh Ambani is India’s richest man; he was born on April 19, 1957 whereas Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s richest man, was born April on 10,

Dangote is Africa’s richest man and Ambani, currently second richest in Asia, has once been tipped by FORBES magazine to become the richest man in the world by 2014.

The Indian politician Vinay Katiyar and the Nigerian politician Tunde Bakare were both born on November 11, 1954. Katiyar served as Vice President of BJ Party for the State of Uttar Pradesh (population 188 million) whereas Tunde Bakare served as vice presidential candidate of the CPC (Congress for Progressive Change) in Nigeria, a country with a population of 167 million. Bakare and Katiyar are both religious workers.

Sonia Ghandi, daughter in law to India’s first woman prime minister, born December 6, 1946 is desrcribed as India’s most powerful woman relatedly Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s oil minister born December 6, 1960 has been dubbed by the Nigerian Press as Nigeria’s most powerful woman.

There are other strange developments between India and Nigeria especially as it concerns Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), Hindu nationalist, and Bola Ige (1930-2001), Yoruba nationalist.

Gandhi and Ige both studied Law at the University College London. Gandhi and Ige were both imprisoned for their struggles on the democratic front. Gandhi and Ige have both been described as having caustic tongues. Gandhi was a mystic and relatedly Bola Ige a Rosicrucian.

Gandhi and Ige were both assassinated in their 70s – Gandhi in New Delhi, the political capital of India, and Bola Ige in Ibadan, the political capital of the Yoruba nation.

Gandhi had as his right hand man, Pandit Nehru. Twenty years younger than Gandhi, Nehru studied Geology, Physics, chemistry and Botany and eventually Law.

Comparably Ige had as his special assistant, Olu Agunloye; 18 years younger than Ige, he studied Geo Physics. Whilst Nehru was prime minister, Agunloye was power minister,Nehru set up the Indian Institutes of Technology whereas Agunloye attended the Massachusetts institute of Technology.

Bola Ige is particularly interesting for the passion he showed for India, Gandhi and Nehru. In his autobiography Kaduna Boy, he revealed that the first country he visited outside Nigeria was India. He also disclosed that he had read virtually everything Gandhi and Nehru ever wrote.

Ige equally informed that when Nehru became Prime Minister in 1947, he was as happy as if he were an Indian and when Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 he had “three days of excruciating mental agony and moodiness.”

India is the world’s largest democracy and Nigeria the largest democracy in Africa. India and Nigeria both have histories of slavery, colonialism by the British, ethno-religious conflicts, nepotism in politics and crippling corruption.

For instance, India’s top sports administrator, Suresh Kamaldi and chairman of the Commonwealth Games, was charged with corruption whereas ex-Chairman of the All-Africa Games, the Nigerian Amos Adamu, Nigeria’s top sports administrator, was charged with corruption in relation to the hosting of the Under-17 World Cup.

Indians are known in Nigeria for fake drugs and Nigerians are known in India for hard drugs. 70% of Nigerians live in poverty and 30 % percent of Indians live in poverty. In both countries there is extreme riches and extreme poverty.

Gandhi, father of Indian independence, was born October 2, 1869 and the Nigerian date of independence is October 1, 1960.
There is the Ghandian Movement there is as well the Bola Ige Movement.

India has the disputed territory Kasmir, Nigeria had the disputed territory Bakassi. The economist, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who served as India’s Minister of Finance and is now Prime Minister, attended Oxford, oldest university in Britain and was Governor of the Reserve Bank of India whereas the economist, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, described by Nigerian press as Nigeria’s defacto Prime minister, served as Managing Director of the World Bank, attended Harvard university, the oldest university in the United States.

In colonial Nigeria it is said the students had a protest song that read in part: “After India comes Nigeria.” In view of his, the question arises: Can Nigeria recreate the miracles of India in such areas as IT, Medicine, Pharmaceuticals and small-scale industries? Time shall tell.


By: Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth