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UN vote: US plans to sanction Nigeria

The United States Government is considering measures to take against Nigeria and others for voting in support of the United Nations’ resolution against the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

On December 6, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as making plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

 Last Thursday, Nigeria and 127 other countries kicked against that decision.

As reported in the US and UK media, the American government said it would sanction Nigeria and other countries that voted against its decision.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump was quoted by the UK’s The Guardian newspaper as saying, “Let them (Nigeria and other countries benefitting from the US financial aids) vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.

“But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you (the US) and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

When contacted on whether the US would stop providing financial aid to Nigeria for not supporting its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a US Department of State official, Julia Mason, told our correspondent, “As President Trump said on December 20, it is a factor in the process of making our assistance decisions. The president’s foreign policy team has been empowered to explore various options going forward; however, no decisions have been made.”

In July, Trump had promised $639m in aid to assist people facing famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

Among the quartet, only South Sudan did not vote against the US.

Nigeria was one of the 10 nations in the world to receive the most foreign aid spent in 2016 by the US government, receiving $607.5m

In 2015, the United States Agency for International Development put its total fiscal year spending in Nigeria at $355,728,911.

Asked if the Trump administration felt disappointed that Nigeria and other African countries that depend on US financial aids and other supports did not throw their weight behind the US, an official of the US agency, stated, “The outcome was not unexpected. It is a non-binding resolution that does nothing to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or advance the cause of peace.”

Reacting to the UN resolution, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had said, “Unlike some UN member countries, the United States government is answerable to its people; as such, we have an obligation to acknowledge when our political and financial capital is being poorly spent.

“We have an obligation to demand more for our investment, and if our investment fails, we have an obligation to spend our resources in more productive ways. Those are the thoughts that come to mind when we consider the resolution before us today.”