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Hunger, inflation, manpower loss looms in Africa as Russia, Ukraine war rages – Ex-Envoy warns

Former Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr. Frank Isoh, has advised the United Nations and the world’s superpowers to prevent the Russia/Ukra...

Former Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine, Mr. Frank Isoh, has advised the United Nations and the world’s superpowers to prevent the Russia/Ukraine war from lingering, warning that such would bring hunger, inflation and loss of manpower to the African continent.

The ex-envoy said the fear of terrible backlashes has begun to manifest in Africa with the way many students seeking medical education in Ukraine have had their dreams truncated by the war.

The ex-Ambassador posited that the continent largely dependent on wheat from Ukraine would soon start experiencing an upsurge in the price of bread, with that of oil already soaring, thereby increasing the government’s spending on subsidy.

Isoh spoke at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti(ABUAD), on Tuesday, during a bi-annual Diplomatic Dialogue Titled: “Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Emerging Global Dynamics: Implementations for Africa and the world”, organised by the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy.

Isoh said he raised the fear owing to emerging indications that there are no countries and organisations to mediate in the crisis due to mistrust Russia has for the United States of America, the United Nations and the Vatican, who could have propelled trouble-shooting measures.

The diplomat, however, said the only way to rein in Putin is to impose heavy sanctions on Russia to instigate the people against his government when the economy becomes harder and unbearable.

In the alternative, Isoh mulled outright reorganisation of Ukraine to make it a federating state from the current unitary structure, as a way of fortifying the country and making it more cohesive in decision making.

Espousing his views on the implications of the war, Isoh said:

“There will be hunger in Africa if the war lingers, and an increasing fiscal deficit because the price of oil will go up and the country will borrow money to pay for subsidies thereby giving unscrupulous people to shortchange the system.

“This will certainly have ripple effects on the prices of goods. The food prices, particularly wheat of which both Russia and Ukraine are substantial exporters will increase. Nigeria imports a good proportion of her wheat from Russia. The war will have an effect on the prices of wheat-based products in the long run.

“For Nigeria, there is likely to be an increase in the fiscal deficit as a result of mounting subsidy payment on petrol. To meet these mounting subsidy payments on petrol. To meet these amounting subsidy payments the country may resort to more borrowings and more debts.

“Another significant impact, particularly on Africa, is in the area of education. Ukraine is a magnet for African and third world students seeking medical education. Those students have already had their education disrupted for an uncertain length of time.

“Records show that a total of 5,200 Nigerian students and about 3,000 citizens living in that country have had their educational pursuits and means of economic survival truncated”.

Isoh added that having a strong country deploying its military to muzzle a weaker country is no longer fashionable in this era, saying such despotic tendency shouldn’t be accepted.

Condemning the killings and rendering of many citizens homeless, ABUAD’s founder, Chief Afe Babalola(SAN) fumed at the International Court of Justice for posing as a “Toothless Bulldog” over its inability to sanction Putin for disobeying its orders.

Babalola said Ukraine remains a sovereign state and that it was criminal in the face of international laws for Russia to be killing in that country for failing to agree with its diplomatic policies.

“The lesson we learnt from all these is that the World Court has no power to sanction Russia for disobeying its orders. You can see that the ICJ is no more than a toothless bulldog”, he said.

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