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Nigeria’s Leader Role In African Union Under President Muhammadu Buhari 2015-2019

International Relations Project Topics & Materials

Nigeria’s Leader Role In African Union Under President Muhammadu Buhari 2015-2019

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background To The Study

Nigeria has been playing an unmatchable role in Africa since its independence in 1960 including especially its role in the eradication of colonialism in Africa and racism in the continent. Nigeria gave support to liberation movements in the continent. The measure of support it provided to freedom fighters in Africa  is exemplified in the extra-ordinary role it played in bringing to an end apartheid regime in  South  Africa.  Nigeria  provided material support and  finance to anti-apartheid movements  throughout  the struggle.  Nigeria’s foreign  policy revolves  around  Africa as  the  centrepiece and  it has  remained so  from  regime to  regime.  For this  purpose Nigeria played a crucial role in the formation of the OAU.

 Nigeria’s ability to mediate conflicts in the continent was instrumental to the formation of the group. From formation, Nigeria has continued to play major roles in Africa through  the  organization including the promotion of peace  in the continent. Thus Nigeria’s peace role in Africa cannot be over emphasized because it spans even beyond its immediate sub-region including under AU and UN. Nigeria also played vital roles in the successful transformation of OAU to AU. It has also continued to play vital roles in the maintenance of the group; such important role could be seen from its contribution to the formation of both NEPAD and APRM. Nigeria has also been active in the pursuance of AU  goals in Africa including  the  implementation  of  its  charters.  For  example  it  has  played  major  roles  in  the  pursuance  of democracy  in the  continent  despite  its  own democracy  being  fragile.  There  is  a  clear  disconnect between Nigeria’s  role  under  AU  and  the  socio-economic  development  of  Nigeria.  For  example  Nigeria’s  political system remains  fragile while  its  role under AU presents  the state of Nigeria as  one  with strength and might. Lack of stability in Nigeria’s political system could be exemplified in the numerous socio-economic problems in  the  country;  including  especially  the  civil  war  from  1967-1960,  religious  riots,  Niger-delta  militant activities  and  the  current  Boko  Haram  insurgencies  and  threats  in  the  country.  Other  socio-economic problems of Nigeria include poverty, corruption and lack of purposeful leadership in the country. Essentially, Nigeria has not been able to transform its role under AU to its national benefit.

Nigeria has been playing an unmatchable role in Africa since its independence in 1960 including especially its

role in the eradication of colonialism in Africa and racism in the continent. Nigeria gave support to liberation

movements in the continent. The measure of support it provided to freedom fighters in Africa  is exemplified

in the extra-ordinary role it played in bringing to an end apartheid regime in  South  Africa.  Nigeria  provided

material support and  finance to anti-apartheid movements  throughout  the struggle.  Nigeria’s foreign  policy

revolves  around  Africa as  the  centrepiece and  it has  remained so  from  regime to  regime.  For this  purpose

Nigeria played a crucial role in the formation of the OAU. Nigeria’s ability to mediate conflicts in the continent

was instrumental to the formation of the group. From formation, Nigeria has continued to play major roles in

Africa through  the  organization including the promotion of peace  in the continent. Thus Nigeria’s peace role

in Africa cannot be over emphasized because it spans even beyond its immediate sub-region including under

AU and UN. Nigeria also played vital roles in the successful transformation of OAU to AU. It has also continued

to play vital roles in the maintenance of the group; such important role could be seen from its contribution to

the formation of both NEPAD and APRM. Nigeria has also been active in the pursuance of AU  goals in Africa

including  the  implementation  of  its  charters.  For  example  it  has  played  major  roles  in  the  pursuance  of

democracy  in the  continent  despite  its  own democracy  being  fragile.  There  is  a  clear  disconnect between

Nigeria’s  role  under  AU  and  the  socio-economic  development  of  Nigeria.  For  example  Nigeria’s  political

system remains  fragile while  its  role under AU presents  the state of Nigeria as  one  with strength and might.

Lack of stability in Nigeria’s political system could be exemplified in the numerous socio-economic problems

in  the  country;  including  especially  the  civil  war  from  1967-1960,  religious  riots,  Niger-delta  militant

activities  and  the  current  Boko  Haram  insurgencies  and  threats  in  the  country.  Other  socio-economic

problems of Nigeria include poverty, corruption and lack of purposeful leadership in the country. Essentially,

Nigeria has not been able to transform its role under AU to its national benefit.

As an  up-grade of  the  defunct Organization of  African Unity  (OAU),  the African  Union (AU)  is  a continental

union made up of 54 independent African states. African leaders unanimously agreed to form AU in July 2001

at  the  Lusaka Summit  but officially  launched  it  on 8  July,  2002 in  South  Africa (Udombana,  2002; Onuoha,

2005; Gottschalk, 2012; Murithi, 2008). The highest decision making body of the union is the Assembly of the

African Union which is  made  up of all the heads  of  states  or government of member  countries  of the union.

The  union  has  several  specialized  institutions  including  especially  a  representative  body,  the  Pan  African

Parliament, which is made up of 265  members  elected  by  the  national legislatures of the AU member states

(see  Gottschalk, 2012).  However,  since  inception,  AU has  adopted some  vital  new  documents  establishing

codes of  conducts and  diverse regulations  at  continental level  in  order to  complement the  already  existing

ones  before  the  transformation  of  the  union  from  defunct  OAU.  These  include  the  AU  Convention  on

Preventing and Combating Corruption (2003); the African Charter on Democracy; Elections and Governance

(2007),  and  the  New  Partnership  for  Africa’s  Development  (NEPAD)  and  its  associated  Declaration  on

Democracy, Political, Economic and  Corporate Governance. Nigeria has been  an  active member of the union

since inception  and as  such has  actively been  involved in  the formulation, implementation  and guidance of

the union’s policies.

As an  up-grade of  the  defunct Organization of  African Unity  (OAU),  the African  Union (AU)  is  a continental union made up of 54 independent African states. African leaders unanimously agreed to form AU in July 2001 at  the  Lusaka Summit  but officially  launched  it  on 8  July,  2002 in  South  Africa (Udombana,  2002; Onuoha, 2005; Gottschalk, 2012; Murithi, 2008). The highest decision making body of the union is the Assembly of the African Union which is  made  up of all the heads  of  states  or government of member  countries  of the union. The  union  has  several  specialized  institutions  including  especially  a  representative  body,  the  Pan  African Parliament, which is made up of 265  members  elected  by  the  national legislatures of the AU member states (see  Gottschalk, 2012).  However,  since  inception,  AU has  adopted some  vital  new  documents  establishing codes of  conducts and  diverse regulations  at  continental level  in  order to  complement the  already  existing ones  before  the  transformation  of  the  union  from  defunct  OAU.  These  include  the  AU  Convention  on Preventing and Combating Corruption (2003); the African Charter on Democracy; Elections and Governance (2007),  and  the  New  Partnership  for  Africa’s  Development  (NEPAD)  and  its  associated  Declaration  on Democracy, Political, Economic and  Corporate Governance. Nigeria has been  an  active member of the union since inception  and as  such has  actively been  involved in  the formulation, implementation  and guidance of the union’s policies.

There  have  been  scholarly  studies  that  address  Nigeria’s diplomacy  and  contribution  to  AU  albeit  many authors have failed to  explain  how these bode with  the  socio-economic development  of  Nigeria.  There have been  few  instances where  attempts were  made to  explain  such,  yet a  fully-fledged  analysis  lacked in  their conclusions.  For  example, contributors  such as  Okereke  (2012) and  Gusau  (2013) limited  their analysis  to only Nigeria  and AU  but failed  to  recognize the contradiction  of Nigeria’s  diplomacy and  contribution  with Nigeria’s socio-economic condition.  There  is  no  doubt  that many  more studies are required in this direction so as to beef up the scant literature that currently exists. We are therefore convinced that this paper makes a worthwhile  contribution  to  literature  on  the  subject.  This  possibility  adds  some  value  in  enriching  the literature on Nigeria  and  AU with  a  reflection on how  Nigeria  under AU platform  has  reflected on its  socio-economic  condition.  The  study  also  explores  the  general  framework  of  Nigeria’s  foreign policy  goals  and strategies in Africa and how it can serve both its national interest and the overall development goals of Africa. This paper is structured as follows: following this section is a brief description of the methodology adopted in this paper. What follows thereafter  are  (1) an overview of  Nigeria’s  foreign  policy in Africa;  (2)  Nigeria and the Organization of African Union (OAU); (3)  Nigeria’s  contribution to AU formation; and (4) understanding Nigeria’s  AU  role  and  its  socio-political  economy  since  independence  in  1960,  and  thereafter  we  drew conclusions. Thus,  this study  utilised qualitative  method of  research reliant  on documentary  analysis to re assess Nigeria’s foreign policy within the  umbrella  of AU and  how  it  has  fared in relation to  Nigeria’s  socio-economic values

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

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 and domestic interests. This invariably means that a good foreign policy is important in formulating, maintaining and sustaining a nation‟s positive image. However, Nigeria‟s reputation is at a very low ebb under the Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari‟s administrations. It is alleged that violent crimes is a bane of Nigeria‟s development. The Boko Haram terrorism, the Niger Delta crises, and the IPOB agitations have earned Nigeria a place amongst the least safe countries of the world (Martin, 2016). The violent crimes perpetrated by these (and many other) groups have led to the death of over 1.3 million Nigerians and the displacement of over 20,000 people, pallid national integration, and ethnoreligious chauvinism (Duke & Agbaji, 2017). Also, bedeviled by corruption and the maddening disregard for transparency and accountability, Nigeria‟s image tarnishes while she simultaneously loses huge foreign direct investments (FDI) and herenergetic young human resourcesthat migratebecause theybelieve the country haslittle or nothing to offer them. Thus, the nation is unable to successfully combat internal insurrections and stands amongst nations with a smeared image of bad governance. This weakens the economy, increases insecurity and maladministration. In fact, according to Transparency International‟s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of 2017, Nigeria ranked 148th out of 180 nations that were surveyed which is a slippery dash below her 136th position in TI‟s 2014, 2015 and 2016 rankings making a mockery of the Nigerian government‟s acclaimed anticorruption blitz. Added to this is the fact that the Jonathan and Buhari‟s administrations, like many other administrations in Nigeria, have 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

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to examine Nigeria’s leader role in African union under president Muhammadu Buhari 2015-2019

SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study centers on terrorism and Nigerian foreign policy.

Limitations of study

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Global security: is the efforts taken by the community of nations to protect against threats which are transnational in nature.

Security: this is an investment vehicle offered by an insurance company, that guarantees a stream of fixed payments over the life of the annuity.

Foreign policy: is the manner and objectives that are important for establishing and maintaining relationships with other countries and people of other lands.

Policy: A plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters

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