The Chatham House Circus of Our Rulers

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Presidential candidates of the major capitalist parties contesting in the 2023 elections have been falling over themselves to speak at Chatham House, London. Bola Tinubu of the APC was there in December. And both Peter Obi of LP and Rabiu Kwankwaso of NNPP spoke within days of each other mid-January.

Essentially, they all came to talk about their political program. Atiku Abubakar of the PDP has also been invited and is expected there soon. By the way, he has spoken there twice, during some of his earlier race for the presidency, i.e., 2007 and 2018. General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) also proudly wore the “I spoke there” badge during his 2015 campaign.

Now, it is not only the politicians that have been scrambling to Chatham House. Professor Yakubu, chair of INEC, which will conduct the elections, was also there to talk about how prepared the electoral umpire is for the contests in February and March.

What is so special about Chatham House? Why are Nigerian politicians so smitten with performance at this strange House, which invented the Chatham House rule that does not apply in their case?

Chatham House, which is also called The Royal Institute of International Affairs, was established in 1920, just after World War I. The British Empire was entering its twilight. The Institute was an instrument to aid imperialist transition from colonial domination to neocolonial authority. 

In the 21st century, this imperialist think tank for British and global capitalism, provides ideological support for neoliberalism. The circus acts of our rulers there is to assure their international masters they will follow the neoliberal agenda of privatization, cuts in public spending, and keeping the Nigerian market open for imperialist exploitation.

by Baba AYE

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