An evaluation of nigeria’s foreign policy under the administration Goodluck Jonathan in relation
The study is an assessment of Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Goodluck Jonathan in relation to ECOWAS. This work is necessary on the basis that in modern times no state can evade international affairs and that such participation must be systematic and based on certain principles. The objective of this work was to determine whether Nigeria’s policy during the reporting period had a significant impact on Nigeria’s global image. The data in this study were obtained from secondary sources; the expos facto research plan was adopted when the qualitative descriptive method was adopted to analyze the data. Concentric circle theory formed a framework for analysis. The research found that Nigerian foreign policy under Jonathan’s administration had a less positive impact on Nigeria’s global image; internal challenges were responsible for poor policy implementation. The study recommended the re-implementation of Nigeria’s vital interest, which involves the security of life and property, the protection of its society and the defense of independence. Nigerians in the Diaspora must be recognized and encouraged as they play a permanent role in advancing the country’s foreign policies.
1.1 Background to the study
All states have some kind of relationship with each other. No state in modern times can avoid involvement in international affairs, and such involvement must be systematic and based on certain principles. In other words, States must behave with each other in a special way. The development of foreign policy is therefore an essential activity of a modern state, because a state without foreign policy is like a ship without a rider that can drift aimlessly and can be carried away by a storm of current events. What a state intends to do is defined by its interests; what it is actually capable of achieving depends on its military and economic capacity as well as the quality of its diplomacy. The history of Nigerian foreign policy since 1960 has constantly changed, although the principles guiding its foreign relations remain the same (Gambari, 1989). Nigerian leaders are largely responsible for these volatile foreign relations. Apparently, Nigeria’s foreign policy is deeply rooted in Africa with a strategic focus on political and economic cooperation, peaceful settlement of disputes and global non-alignment (Gambari, 1989). Nigerian leaders also have their attention on the successful implementation of these principles. However, the influence of the individual personality on Nigeria’s relations with other countries cannot be totally ignored, as different leaders adopt different styles in the conduct of External relations.
The examination of the personality of the leader at both the theoretical and practical level is therefore important for the understanding of Nigeria’s foreign policy. This is largely due to the fact that critical historical analysis revealed that the country’s foreign policy is synonymous with the personality of the leader on board at some point. However, it is important to point out that Nigeria’s foreign policy has started at a moderate level since independence in 1960. This may be due in large part to the gentle surrender of power that occurred between Nigeria and the colonial master of the time (Great Britain). The crux of the matter remains that, nothing in the model and traditions of Nigerian foreign policy from independence to the emergence of Sani Abacha as head of State suggested that the country would become a pariah state in the international system. Even the speech of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa on Independence Day, October 1, 1960, seemed to indicate that Nigeria was properly focused and that his mind was firmly directed towards the goal of his foreign policy. He thus declared;
I am indeed very confident that, on the basis of the happy experience of a successful partnership, our future relations with the United Kingdom will be more cordial than ever, bound together as we will be in common wealth by a common allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth whom we proudly acclaim as Queen of Nigeria (therefore) we are grateful to the British officers whom we have known, first as masters, then as leaders and finally as partners but always as friends (Balewa, 1960:26).
Immediately thereafter, on 7 October 1960, Nigeria registered as the 99th member of the United Nations, becoming a recognized member of the international community. By its resources and even its size, Nigeria was at the forefront of Africa, providing with others, the necessary leadership and to fight the clutches of colonialism, neo-colonialism, underdevelopment, poverty, famine and racial discrimination. In fairness, some leaders have given the nation its right of place.
President Olusegun Obasanjo, on his inauguration in May 1999, inherited a nation with a battered image and no external credibility. In his determination to regain the lost glory of Nigeria and reintegrate it into the civilized world, he engaged in skillful shuttle diplomacy through the great capitals of the world. It is in view of the above imperative that the study should examine the gains and challenges of Obasanjo’s administration on Nigeria’s foreign policy in the 21st century.
President Good luck Jonathan after his victory in the 2011 elections, before the 100 days in office, instructed the Presidential Advisory Council on international relations (PACIR) to coordinate Nigeria’s foreign policy reform to be investment-focused. Coupled with his interactive forum with Nigerians abroad during his overseas visits, the president asked the country’s foreign policy experts, seasoned diplomats, professionals and the intelligentsia to chart a new path for the future without rejecting the past.
1.2 problem statement
Relations between Nigeria and other state and non-state actors in international politics from 1999 onwards were based on democratic principles. The tit-for-tat diplomacy of the late General Sani Abacha, the de facto president of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998, significantly damaged Nigeria & apos; s image. The government has been accused of human rights violations and has been repeatedly convicted by the US State Department. There has been a break in relations with many countries with threats of economic sanctions from others. Apart from that, the government has been characterized by an inconsistent foreign policy that has made Nigeria a disregard for the courtesy of nations.
The purpose of any foreign policy is to establish and maintain a cordial relationship with other nations as well as to build a good image for a nation and meet its national or national interests. This invariably means that foreign policy is important in formulating, maintaining and maintaining the right image of a nation. The Jonathan administration, like many other administrations in Nigeria has never lacked good foreign policies. The problem of Nigeria’s foreign policy that affects the image of the country is not in the formulation, but in the implementation [Nwankwo O (2013)].
In response to this, the research is therefore aimed at evaluating Nigerian foreign policy under President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2015. The research will also determine the extent of the implementation of the foreign policy issues that President Jonathan has focused on to implement.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Relations between Nigeria and other state and non–state actors in international politics from 1999 onward were based on democratic principles. The tit-for-tat diplomacy of late Gen. Sani Abacha, de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998 had greatly damaged the image of Nigeria. The government was accused of human rights abuses and was repeatedly condemned by the U.S. State Department. There were break in relationship with many countries with threats of economic sanctions from others. Apart from this, the government was characterized by an inconsistent foreign policy which made Nigeria a scorn in the comity of nations.
The goal of every foreign policy is to establish and maintain a cordial relationship with other nations as well as to build a good image for a nation and meet its national or domestic interest. This invariably means that foreign policy is important in formulating, maintaining and sustaining a nation’s good image. The Jonathan administration, like many other administrations in Nigeria has never lacked good foreign policies. The problem of Nigeria’s foreign policy that is affecting the country’s image is not in formulation, but in implementation [Nwankwo O (2013)].
In response to this, the research work therefore aims at assessing Nigerian foreign policy under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration from 2011-2015. The research will also find out the extent of implementation of the foreign policy issues that President Jonathan focused on to implement.
1.3 Research questions
- Did Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan regime have any positive impact on Nigerian’s image globally?
- How has ECOWAS enhanced Nigerian’s economic development?
- What were the challenges of implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy Under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration?
1.4 Objectives of the study
This study has both broad and specific objectives. The broad objective of this study is to evaluate Nigeria’s foreign policy under theadministration of President Goodluck Jonathan 2011 to 2015, in relation with Ecowas. However, the specific objectives are as follows:
- To determine if Nigeria’s ForeignPolicy under President Goodluck Jonathan regime had any implication on Nigeria’s global image.
- To examine how ECOWAS enhanced Nigerian’s economic development.
- To ascertain the challenges of implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy Under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on Nigeria’s foreign policy under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan 2011 to 2015, in relation with its achievements with the regional body of Ecowas. It looks at the influence of personality on the conduct of foreign policy. Other areas which this study covers include the domestic factors that influenced the foreign policy of Goodluck Jonathan. Moreover, the key achievements of Goodluck Jonathan foreign policy as regards domestic economic growth, political stability, regional security, and international participation are covered in this research. However, the research will be limited to the foreign policy implementations of President Goodluck Jonathan and does not intend to provide a biography of the man nor do a comprehensive study of all his political activities in Nigeria.
1.6 Limitations of the Study
In producing a work like this, the problem that confronted the researcher was not the scarcity of materials, but its availability. More so, this research work is contemporary and politically sensitive. The researcher therefore was confronted with the problem of interpretation of the actions of President Goodluck Jonathan as some of the policies initiated are still an on-ongoing process. Time and funds served as serious impediments to this research.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study has theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, it will add to already existing knowledge in the field of foreign relations and related fields. Practically;
- It will be useful to scholars’ especially diplomatic historians, political scientists, economists and international relations experts in their research. Diplomats like ambassadors, high commissioners and staffers of foreign ministries will benefit from the work
- The study will be of paramount importance to decision makers and the would-be diplomats for it traces the historical development of Nigeria foreign policy since 1960.
- It will help to re-affirm the bold attempt made by the democratic governments under various administrations, especially that of Goodluck Jonathan.
- This research work will help in providing information on the domestic factors that influenced Nigeria’s foreign policy under President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2015.
- The political and military class will learn, through this study, the need for them to be patriotic.
Based on the research questions and objectives of the study, the following hypotheses were formed.
- Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under Goodluck Jonathan’s regime impacted positively on Nigerian’s global image.
- Ecowas has positively enhanced Nigerians economic development.
- Nigeria’s foreign policy Under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration suffered poor implementation.
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