Diplomacy

Belarusian and Nigerian authoritarian rulers endorse each other, agree on collaboration

The authoritarian ruler of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, and his Belarusian, President Alexandar Lukashenko, say they are impressed with each other’s administration and have agreed to collaborate, purportedly for the mutual benefit of their both countries.

President Buhari disclosed this on Tuesday at State House, Abuja, during the visit of the Special Envoy of President Alexandar Lukashenko of Belarus, Gen. Victor Sheiman.

President Buhari said: “I’m impressed with the progress you have made as a country. We can benefit a lot from your experiences. I’ve taken note of your capacities, and we will contact you for areas we can collaborate, and work together, especially in agriculture. We have the land, the people, you have the technology, and you will surely hear from us.”

Gen. Sheiman had commended President Buhari for working “for the benefit of Nigerian people,” noting that it was exactly what President Lukashenko was doing in Belarus.

He added: “We are a stable and friendly country, trying to be self-sufficient in many areas. We can offer a lot of opportunities to Nigerians. We will love to cooperate in industry, agriculture, petroleum, refineries, education, joint trading, transport, building of oil and gas pipelines, manufacturing of tyres, tractors, defense equipment, and several others.”

The Special Envoy said his country was fully sufficient in agriculture, and sells surplus food products worth up to $7 billion yearly.
He added that Belarus was ready to cooperate with Nigeria in mechanized agriculture, and can also help in the fight against terrorism.

This newfound bromance between two notorious antidemocratic strong men rulers may not be unconnected with their common authoritarian history and increasing international isolation.