NIGERIA FOREIGN POLICY IN THE FOURTH REPUBLIC: A CASE STUDY OF GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S ADMINISTRATION 2011 – 2015.
International political system remains the platform were state actors have no other avenue both exercise and displayed there foreign policy over the years, on its own have never been displayed without a measure of what are national interest entails, this posit the several foreign policy by the various government at one time or the other. However, the fourth republic depicts a new beginning of Nigeria’s foreign policy through operation of democracy. While civilian rule is more open to diplomatic negotiation on the basis of allowing prudent expression of what is expected. Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan’s administration serve the country at the international political system. The study make use of Jonathan’s administration as it case study, (2011 – 2015). Achievements, challenges as while the contribution of Goodluck Jonathan’s regime to Nigeria’s foreign policy was capture. The research study make use of secondary sources of data analysis while decision theory as applied in international relations was use to explore the international political paradigm. In all the study concluded by making some resounding recommendation, among which is that Nigeria foreign policy should capture the people’s need for development.
1.1 Background to the study
One of the main “show cases” of a state’s independence in the international system is its ability to conduct an “independent” foreign policy, and to establish the paraphernalia that go with it, most importantly, a ministry of foreign affairs, although this important institution is also called by diverse names in different countries. For instance state department in the United State of America, USA, the Foreign and commonwealth office in the UK and here in Nigeria, the ministry of foreign affairs, sometimes simply called the MFA (Sesay and Fawole, 2011).
Adetula and Asiwaju (2011) contend that the centrality of foreign policy in a state’s international relation cannot, be over emphasized in there word, it through Foreign Policy that a nation is able to announce its appearance on the global state to other nations of the world as an independent actor. It is through its Foreign Policy that a state can also establish its national identity and promote other national symbols; for instance, its flag and national anthem which are hosted and play at important international meeting or for a. aside from that, it is arguable that foreign policy also provides the means by which a state, country or nation, is able to identify it friends, cultivate and establish friendship with other nations of the world.
The foundation of Nigeria’s foreign policy was laid during Nigeria’s first republic between 1960 and 1966 when the guiding principles of Nigeria’s foreign policy which successive administrations later adhered to were first articulated. Nigeria’s foreign policy was clearly pro-British and Pro-Western in the immediate post-colonial period and hostile towards the Eastern bloc. It appeared that the realities of the international environment, Nigeria’s internal international environment, Nigeria’s internal politics and the guest of the leadership for continental leadership made the country for continental leadership made the country adopt what was perceive as a “moderate” and “pragmatic” foreign policy (Stremlau, 1977).
Otubanjo, (1989) argued that Nigeria by virtue of her large physical size, huge population and rich natural endowment has always been expected to play a leading role in international and African politics. Consequently, successive administrations believed that Nigeria is endowed with a manifest destiny to be the leading voice and actor in Africa and International polities.
Nigeria’s foreign policy, like any other nation’s foreign policy is, to a significant extent, a product of the myriad factors and forces which condition and influence the actions and choices of foreign policy decision makers. Domestic factors and forces usually reflect in the international arena, while external forces also have repercussions on the domestic scene. The relationship is dynamic (Irene, 2010).
Nigeria’s foreign policy, a cardinal aspect of its overall life was impinged greatly upon both a positive and negative sense by successive military leaders. Nigeria’s external relations and its image internationally were severally impacted upon during military rule. Military Heads of state like General Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Olusegun Obasanjo, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha, stamped their authority on the direction of Nigeria’s foreign policy (Adefolarin, 2014). From the onset of military rule, Nigeria’s Foreign policy assumed on Afro-centric shape in other words, the foreign policy goals of Nigeria was largely targeted at the fostering of unity and development of the continent especially those in the west Africa sub-region (Its immediate neighbours).
After 15years of unbroken military rule and an unstable political landscape, the return to civil rule in May, 1999 was with high expectations that the liberalization of the political space in Nigeria would impact on the foreign policy arena that Nigeria would be moved out of the political doldrums at both domestic and international realms. The Obasanjo administration was expected to break off the hostile foreign policy, posture of the Babangida and Abacha military regimes and consolidate the re-integrative efforts of the preceding Abubakar regime. While Yar’adua that took over from Obasanjo in 2007 was more on a slow pace and not interested to pursue foreign policy with as much vigor as that of his predecessor (Irene, 2010, Adefolarin, 2014).
The foreign analysis demonstrated the values of the linkages as an explanatory paradigm for understanding Nigeria’s foreign policy in the fourth republic, particular under Goodluck Jonathan administration 2011-2015. The linkage of analysis will be used to identified explore and analyze the domestic input that define foreign policy goals and priorities and to determine the choice open to Jonathan administration was preoccupied with domestic power tussle, especially as it entails power shelf between the North and South as arranged in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). All these were seen as affecting it concentration of fine turning Nigeria foreign policy.
However, a holistic research unto the impact or effect of Jonathan administration in Nigerian’s administration on Nigeria’s foreign policy in the fourth republic offer a very important venture. What contributions did Jonathan administration make to the image of the country on an international scale? This is an imperative purpose of this research undertaking. This study will specifically anchor on fourth republic with particular on Goodluck Jonathan Administration as evidence in the research topic.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study examines the issue of Nigeria foreign policy in the fourth republic or the perception of external elements of Nigeria’s foreign policy under the Goodluck Jonathan administration 2011-2015. Nigeria’s foreign policy image is an integral part and parcel of its overall existence hence a positive image of Nigeria from the outside world is very essential. Nigeria’s foreign policy image is one that will have a huge bearing on it and portray it as either a success or a failure.
On the basis of the fact that the nation since May, 29, 1999 at the commencement of fourth republic civil rule as an enjoyed 15years of Unbroken democratic process, it is therefore logical to examine the effect civilian administration had on Nigeria’s foreign policy image. Having said this, the radar of this study will specifically be on the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Essentially this study will address the issue of the weighted and cold effect the civilian administration had on Nigeria’s foreign policy with a case study of the fourth republic under the Jonathan administration and also deal with the important issues of a sustainable positive, pragmatic foreign policy image for Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad aim of this research is to investigate and analyze the contribution of the Jonathan administration to Nigeria foreign policy in the fourth republic and relation to:
(i) To give clear understanding to the vital issue of foreign policy image.
(ii) To evaluate the effect of civilian rule on Nigeria’s foreign policy image.
(iii) To examine Nigeria’s foreign policy under Jonathan administration.
(iv) To identify the difficulties in formulating Nigeria foreign policy in the fourth republic.
(v) To suggest ways through which Nigeria foreign policy can impact positively.
1.4 Research Propositions
a) That foreign policy in connection with civilian rule is necessary condition for positive Nigeria external image.
b) That foreign policy in Nigeria’s fourth republic as not being pragmatic and proactive enough to position Nigeria as a potential force.
c) That the Jonathan administration contribution to Nigeria foreign policy was below expectation even with abundant resources available to the government.
d) That domestic influence contributed to the poor outing of the Nigeria’s foreign policy in the fourth republic.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Is the Nigeria external image international; relations and economic diplomacy better or worse under fourth republic? This is the pertinent question this study will see to provide answers to. The study will help to enhance the understanding of Nigeria foreign policy image when analyses of our international relations efforts are being appreciated.
Another significance of this study is that, the study of international relation and diplomatic perspectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy and critically observed in the fourth republic demand pragmatic approach. This strategy can help significant in improving our understanding of the real effects of foreign policy image and suggesting useful tools for shaping public policies that can create favourable condition for domestic economic development or minimize negative impacts of external forces in the long run. This study is very significant due to the fact the Nigeria’s foreign policy in the fourth republic has continue to witness a low level of impact that pragmatic at the forefront, of which the image of the country is negatively view considering the previous years of the vibrant foreign policy as enshrine in the foundation principle of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Another significance of this study is that, it will give a clear perspective and understanding of the impacts foreign policy as undertaking during the Jonathan administration, and considered it contribution to the achievement or otherwise of positive image of the Nigeria state. Moreover, another important significance is to add to the general body of knowledge. Enlighten the Nigerian public on the assessment of foreign policy in the fourth republic with specific reference to the Goodluck Jonathan administration (2011-2015).
1.6 Scope and limitations of the study
This study covers the period of Goodluck Jonathan administration (2011 – 2015) with particular focus on the fourth republic.
The limitations of this study include principally the financial comments one would have to make in order to do a through job. Others include the issue of time, physical and mental strain.
Another limitation is the combination of school programmed and research work of this magnitude need total concentration which was lacking. Again assessing all the materials needed for the study was not quiet easy, this solely as a result of human nature not willing to give out the entire information for researchers needs for a study.
1.7 Research Methodology
This study will be undertaken using entirely secondary sources of data. Secondary data, which entails library research from the Nigerian institutes of international affairs and other establishment where necessary materials needed for this study shall be gathered for relevant and cogent findings of this research. Information shall be gotten from journals, books, articles, newspaper, magazine, internet sources and conference papers. This study employs descriptive mode of data analysis.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
Foreign Policy: The Instrumentality by which states influence or seek to influence external world and to attain objectives that are in consonance with their perceived national interest.
International Relation: The Conscious promotion of peace among nation states and of the study and enhancement of the mechanism of conflict prevention, management and resolution.
National Interest: This is the totality or aggregate of interest of individual and groups within a given nation state.
Development: Development is a progressive movement or change in quality and quantities.
Democracy: This is government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Diplomacy: The management of international relation by negotiation, the method by which relations are adjusted and managed by ambassadors and envoys.
Decision making: This is an insightful guide to taking certain action in s situation after careful weighing of options.
Pragmatic: A purpose action that bring positive outcome without losing focus in a process.
1.9 Organization of the study
This research project is divided into five chapters and each of these chapters addresses various issues that pertain to the subject of study.
Chapter one, entails the introduction that cover, background, statement of the problems, objectives, propositions, significance, methodology, definition of terms and organization of study.
Chapter two covers the literature of the study and theoretical framework.
Chapters three discuss issues around overview of Nigerian foreign policy.
Chapter four focus on the fourth republic with significance discussion on the Jonathan administration.
Chapter five entails summary, conclusion and summary.