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X- RAYING NIGERIA’S WEAK FOREIGN POLICY UNDER PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AFTER REPEATED XENOPHOBIC ATTACK:
- Njoku Macdonald Obinna
Abuja , Nigeria .
Nations seek to attain different goals and objectives in the process of governing their sovereign entities .
While some of the goals can be attained by the states on their own , others can only be attained with the cooperation or active support of other entities beyond their borders . All decisions in form of actions or reactions dealing with such matters requiring cooperation or active support of others across the borders of a given state for their attainment , fall within the ambient of foreign policy . Thus , Foreign Policy is authoritative actions taken by governments or those governments are committed to take in order to either maintain the desirable aspects of the international environment or to amend its undesirable aspects .
Last Sunday ‘s xenophobic attack on mostly Nigerians , and a number of foreigners living in South Africa, has once again , given impetus for one to critically x -ray the Nigerian Foreign Policy and her bilateral relationship with the South African government and the rest of the world .
On August 21st , 2019 , President Muhammadu Buhari allotted portfolios to his appointed 44 ministers . Fortunately or unfortunately enough , Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama was reappointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs , a reflection of an old wine in a new bottle and a pointer to the continuity of old style of foreign policy tactic , which technically and indirectly justified the maltreatment of Nigerians by asking them to respect the last written laws of their host communities : With this very psychology of defeatism and colonialism .
This goes without mentioning the bad image and gory pictures painted about Nigerians living abroad . Our own president , who ought to be a father -figure to this great nation usually adds salt to the injury during his public functions as he unconsciously talks about Nigeria in a very bad light before the international communities ; as a corrupt country peopled by corrupt politicians . Needless to deny a careless statement credited to him when he was quoted to have addressed our youths as Lazy Nigerian Youths .
In international relations , public image is the opinion that many people formed about a person , institution or nation . Unfortunately , we seem to dwell more on our weaknesses , on our bad stories rather than finding some space to repeatedly share our challenges , strengths , triumphs , exploits , green vegetation , wealth of natural and human resources , our green vegetation and population as the Giant of Africa .
Why are we not appreciating who we are ? Why are we not appreciating what we have done as a nation ?
Look at Nigeria’s role in West Africa through the ECOMOG ! We brought peace there ; Central Africa , Congo , Dafur and others . We lost resources , we also lost lives ; our military troops , to savage these war torn smaller nations . Yet , nobody is talking about it . Also , look at what we are doing over Africa through the technical head -cost by sending professionals all over to help develop these countries and yet nobody is talking about it.
Story about the Singaporean economic revolution is not said to be complete without giving some space to acknowledge Nigeria’s agricultural inputs . Look at our prominent and strategic role as giant of Africa during the agitation to free Nelson Mandela . Are we also talking about our role during the apartheid ?
Our people even gave up their salaries in the 70s and 80s in the struggle and yet , nobody is talking about it. South Africans , rather than attack our people , should be grateful that Nigeria gave them a back to fall on in their most challenging seasons .
This Foreign Minister is too quite for my liking . A Minister who can not stand up to speak out against unnecessary physical and moral attacks on his country , is not my idea image maker as a Foreign Affairs Minister .
We only talk about young Nigerians on FBI list of fraud suspects in the United States without celebrating the e -commerce exploits of Invictus Obi and Prince Nnamdi Ekeh , son of Scion of Africa’s digital Ambassador and promoter of digital economy , Leo Stan Ekeh . How often do we celebrate the literally legendary of Chimamanda Adiche , Prof. Wole Soyinka and others ?
Who is celebrating our sports , and our footabll living legends like ; Kanu Nwankwo , Jay Jay Okocha , etc ?
During the days of late Dr. Dora Akunyili as Information Minister , Nigeria was seriously projected in a positive light before the international communities as ” Good People , Great Nation ” .
In the present administration , we have less proactive Foreign Minister who speaks only Queen’s English and his Information Minister counterpart , Lair Muhammad who dwells more on Political Propaganda rather than selling the Policy Thrusts and programs of the APC led Federal Government . At times , one does not have to blame him as he lost his strong voice of an opposition since his appointment as a Minister .
The truth remains that , Nigerian Foreign Minister , Geoffrey Onyeama , lacks the needed strong character , tactic and strategy at a time like this to sustain the Rebranding Mantra of the Nigerian collective project of image laundry in the International Communities .
However , a critical assessment of Nigerian Foreign Policy and Global Image in the period from 2015 until 21st August 2019 , shows it lacks strategic focus.
4thestatereporters.com findings also reveal that , Nigeria’s Foreign Policy over the years has been greatly sabotaged by inconsistencies and ambiguities .
Our findings further show that more than external challenges , it is the internal challenges that are damping Nigeria’s attainment of positive international image and national transformation . And some of those challenges include ; leadership crisis , corruption , insurgence , terrorism and the proscribed IPOB recent headache to the country .
It is in light of this perspective that the reappointed Foreign Affairs Minister , Geoffrey Onyeama , and his new Minister of State , Ambassador Zubairu Dada , should begin to evolve a Foreign Policy grand strategy for Nigeria , a foreign strategy that should inspire the whole of Africa .
Such a policy should not be couched in the slavery orientation of ‘America First’ ‘Almighty Dollars’ But rather , a Foreign Policy that should be evolved along the lines of ‘Nigeria as Pride of Africa’ ‘Nigeria as leader of the black race’
According to Bola A. Akinterinwa , a respected International Public Relations Expert and trained Journalist ; ” Our Foreign Policy strategic calculations should be largely informed by scenarios – building . It should be more anticipatory than always reacting to international events ” .
Taking cognizance of the global threats to Nigeria’s foreign policy and particularly , to Nigeria ‘s national security , it is therefore , highly recommended that major reorganization of the foreign service such that the positions of Ambassadors , subsequent appointment of Foreign Ministers and other key positions will no longer be politicized . And the government should integrate professionals in its interaction with the international communities in order to effectively boost global image of the Giant of Africa .
4thestatereporters.com has joined well meaning African leaders , international organised labour unions and civil society organizations around the world to condemn the fresh violence outbreak in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg in South Africa on Sunday , which has left not less than five people dead and others seriously hospitalised for smoke inhalation .
- Njoku Macdonald Obinna
Executive Country Director ,
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