Chapter One: Introduction
Nigeria’s foreign policy has largely been driven by domestic forces, especially by the presiding president or head of state. This was evident in 1960 when Alhaji (Sir) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the then Prime Minister, made Africa the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy. In his words, we belong to Africa and Africa must claim first attention in our external relations.1 Thus, successive governments have had to carve out their foreign policies (although, with focus on Africa) making the foreign policy of Nigeria a unique and dynamic one.
When Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s era is compared to the Murtala/Obasanjo military regime, there are sharp differences than the similarities they share. For instance, the period covering 1975 to 1979 marked the formal articulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy and its centeredness on African countries. While Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s era was inactive on regional issues, the Murtala/Obasanjo era witnessed a confrontational foreign policy which challenged the domination of foreign powers on the African soil.
This study therefore seeks to examine the Murtala/Obasanjo regime and Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, regime by looking at the various factors that influenced their decision to pursue the country’s foreign policy objectives differently; give a comparison of their foreign policy objectives; discuss the domestic and external influences on the conduct of external relations; and look at the instruments used in pursuing their foreign policy objectives. The formation of Organization of the African Union and subsequently, Economic Community of West African States are examined in the light of the two various governments in Nigerian that serve as the driving force in their formation.
This chapter looks at the conceptualization of the term ‘foreign policy’. It also traces the evolution of Nigeria foreign policy. The chapter discusses Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the instruments by which she conducts her foreign policy. It also examines the principles of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
This chapter provides a comprehensive detail on Nigeria’s foreign policy under Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
This chapter provides a comprehensive detail on Nigeria’s foreign policy under the Murtala/Obasanjo administration.
This chapter gives a summary and conclusion of the whole research work. Recommendations on how the 21st century Nigerian diplomats and government officials can advance the country’s foreign policy objectives drawing lessons from the Murtala/Obasanjo and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa governments.