When a cup is full, it spills.

Nigeria’s deteriorating foreign policy is a direct result of unstable and unresolved internal issues; and has become a case of removing the log in our eyes before pointing at the speck in another’s.
Nigeria has been considered as the regional power because of its fundamental principles of promoting African Unity and Independence as well as pursuing the goal of regional economic cooperation and development in the region but these may seem like basking in the glory of former days.

With the death of South Africa’s icon and world leader, Nelson Mandela and President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to South Africa this week to attend the World Economic Forum holding in Cape Town instead of Lagos, one ought to reflect on the working relations of the country with other countries in the region and on the international scene.

In the last three years under the present administration, it has become a case of giving only what we have – nothing. This shows that we may have lost the voice we once had. It would also seem that having the largest troop on the contingent is no longer enough to earn respect as Ibrahim Gambari, special representative of the AU-United Nations hybrid mission in Darfur was removed in 2012 despite strong objections by the Federal Government. The same case with the brushing aside of the Government’s objection in electing South Africa’s Nkosazana Diamini-Zuma as African Union chairman as against electing a chairperson from smaller African power for obvious reasons.
South Africa may be on the move to becoming the ‘giant of Africa’ despite Nigeria’s feeble attempts of dragging rags of glory over battered image. South Africa being the only African member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the Group of 20 is growing as an actor in global diplomacy.

Also, the recent French-led military intervention in Mali and Paris ‘s troops sent to Niger to guard Uranium mines has again put Nigeria on the spot and has laid bare France interests but Nigeria in response has deployed 1,200 troops to Mali without minding the recourse that they might become auxiliaries in the country. While this might be in line with the country’s foreign policy, it shows lack of vision or just a case of taking actions that serve to defend accusations of inaction should any arise. Remember that Nigeria created the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) in 1975 to reduce the French influence in the region after the Biafra war debacle from 1967-1970.
It was good news that Nigeria will be returning to the UN Security Council next year and we hope that the country’s image will benefit from the position as well as strengthen our voice once more in the region and on international scene. This being a great concern because of reports of delay in payment of the UN dues and delivery of financial promises made to support the AU mission in Somalia - this of course owes largely to dwindling revenue because of uncurbed oil theft situations in the Niger Delta, failure to effectively diversify revenue generators and failure to recover loots and prosecute offenders among others. It is worthy to note that Burkina Faso oversees the mediation efforts in Mali and once again Abuja takes back seat.

Nigeria must therefore strategically employ approaches that will deepen our level of involvement in the region and fund military troops on foreign missions. We must take high level decisions concerning interventions and conflict resolutions as well as purposely employ all instruments of power available to grow as a country and reclaim the power that is gradually slipping through our fingers.

Article: Uneñ Ameji.

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