CURRENT AFFAIRS UNIT, RADIO KWARA, ILORIN
PROGRAMME: NEWS COMMENTARY
DATE OF BROADCAST: 30/8/89 AT 1810 HOURS
WRITER: LANRE KAWU
This week, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher has been doing a whistle-stop tour of Africa. This latest trip of the “Iron Lady”, as she is known, takes her to Morocco, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Malawi. In Morocco, Mrs. Thatcher held talks with a well-known conservative King Hassan, a leader who has always been willing to do the biddings of the West. The main area of discussion was the impending unification of the European market by the year 1992, and its likely effects on the exports coming from the Maghreb. Mrs Thatcher and her host, were also able to exchange notes on the situation in the Middle East, against the backdrop of the Palestinian Intifada, and related issues of the region. They similarly talked about Southern Africa.
The two-hour stopover in Nigeria, was mainly concerned with the serious crisis facing the Nigerian economy. It was therefore understandable that Nigeria’s team to the talks with Mrs. Thatcher, included the finance minister. At a post-meeting press conference, Mrs. Thatcher explained that Britain was now at the forefront of efforts to get the creditors to reschedule Nigeria’s debts. Of course, as Mrs Thatcher said, this was after Nigeria’s recent agreements with the IMF on austerity programs in Nigeria.
It is indicative of the present levels of development, that this visit did not become an occasion for the manifestation of anti-apartheid disgust, as witnessed during her visit last year. The few students who made an effort were quickly removed by security men. Mrs. Thatcher, of course, re-asserted her opposition to apartheid. An issue that President Babangida said would be judged by history. An obvious acceptance of an inability to move the “Iron Lady” from her patronage of apartheid.