NIGERIAN FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL INTERESTS (A CASE STUDY OF JONATHAN’S ADMINISTRATION)
The foreign policy of a nation is a reflection of its national demands, needs and aspirations. Much as there is a relationship between a state national interest and those foreign to it. The study is aimed at examining the foreign policy of Nigeria and its national interest under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Foreign and national policy issues are related products of the same political system and are designed to define and implement overall national purposes.
Foreign and national policy must be mutually supporting, if national policy aspirations are to be achieved in an atmosphere of political stability. The research was carried out on the impact of national policies on Nigeria‘s foreign policy, using a case study method of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Nigeria as a sovereign state has continued to interact with other nations of the world since her independence in 1960. This interaction is guided by her foreign policy objectives as succinctly outlined in the past and present constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To effectively pursue these objectives, the ministry of external affairs was created with Jaja Nwachukwu as the first substantive minister of this institution, thanks to the former prime minister Alhaji Tafawa Belewa who also served in that capacity until he relinquished the mantle to Jaja Nwachukwu in 1961.
Upon the attainment of Independence in 1960, Nigeria was faced with the current realities that plagued the international system most especially the African continent and
therefore must take its stand in the way of its foreign policies.
As a matter of fact, Nigeria took the stand of not aligning with any of the power blocks, decolonization of the African continent and eradication of racial discrimination which informed its decision to champion the fight against Aparthied in South Africa, committed to peace and security in Africa and the world at large as evident in its numerous peacekeeping operations, especially in the African continent.
Against this backdrop, Nigeria’s foreign policy from Tafawa Belewa’s administration till date has been underscored as Afrocentrism. The paper therefore seeks to ascertain if Nigeria’s foreign policy under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was a reflection of Nigeria’s national interest.
II. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The goal of every nation in its interaction with other states is
to satisfy its domestic demands or national interest. In other words, the objective of a nation’s foreign policy is a derivation of its national interest on which it is anchored (Ude-Umanda 2011).
For this reason, states enter into diplomatic ties in a bid to secure the cooperation and support of other states and international organizations across its borders. However, since Nigeria’s independence in 1960 till date Nigeria has carried out diplomatic missions abroad, and
as such these missions are guided by the visible contours of Nigerian foreign policy objectives as stated in section 19, chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (asamend).
The first objective of Nigerian foreign policy is captured as “promotion and protection of national interest”. Although these foreign policy objectives are enshrined in the constitution, each administration has its peculiar approach to actualizing these objectives as contained
in the constitution.
There is a need to understand Nigeria’s foreign policy under Goodluck Jonathan; determinants, successes and failures. The research will also seek to find out the extent to which the foreign policy under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration reflects Nigeria’s national interest
as a major objective of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
III. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is:
To establish if there was an effective link between Nigeria’s foreign policy and its national interest under the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
To determine whether Nigeria’s foreign policy engendered national development under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
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