Abuja — Nigeria's former vice-president Atiku Abubakar on Thursday recognized China as a genuine friend of Africa, going by the huge sum of investments and presence of people and government of the Asian country to promote technology, economic stability, as well as peace and unity in the continent.
Atiku, who spoke extensively on the relationship between Africa and China at a book launch in Nigeria's capital city Abuja, said because of the age-long positive impact of the Chinese people in Africa, Africans need to ignore analysts spearheading debates and trying to convince the world that China's huge presence on the continent was a strategy to become the world's super power.
He said, rather than engaging in a futile debate to prove that China's rise and presence in Africa was good or bad, Africans need to fruitfully tap a lot from China by taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Asian country's rise including market for goods, credits and aids where appropriate. Nigeria alone had benefitted more than nine billion U.S. dollars from China in recent times, he noted.
"African countries have often been told to beware of China, which some have called the new colonialists seeking to exploit Africa's natural resources for its own benefit with little regard to Africa's interest. Interestingly, in reassuring, many seasoned analysts and foreign policy experts sound a more optimistic and cooperative to urging engagements with China rather than being in conflict with it (China). I want to be counted in that column, and it seems to me to be the view of most right-thinking Africans, Nigerians and Nigeria's leaders. China, in my eyes, so far, is a genuine friend of Africans including our country, Nigeria. We should nurture and celebrate this friendship with China," the Nigerian former vice-president said while presenting the new book entitled "China/Africa: Issues, Challenges And Possibilities."