Africa as the Centerpiece of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy
Upon independence in 1960 Nigeria’s major foreign policy aim has been in the restoration of the African dignity and this became the centerpiece of the countries foreign policy. Africa has remained the centerpiece of the Nigerian foreign policy since independence when it was adopted under President Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. In his acceptance speech at the United Nations on October 8, 1960, Balewa clearly portrayed Africa as the foremost concern of his foreign policy. According to him as the country belongs first to Africa so also Africa must first claim attention in the country’s external relationship. With the credit of being the first Nigerian Prime minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa made the foremost foreign policy statements on behalf of the country and gave it a distinct direction which clearly focused on placing Africa overwhelmingly at the epicenter of Nigeria’s foreign policy, and successive Nigerian leadership have well followed suit. However, it was the regime of Gen. Yakubu Gowon that clearly identified Africa as the center-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Africa as the center-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy is a foreign policy thrust which primarily and persistently accords utmost attention, total concentration and exclusive recognition to Africa in Nigeria’s foreign policy making and implementation before thinking of the outside world (Adekunle, 1986 cited in Dr. Nwanolue, 2012). This includes friendship and co-operation with all nations of the world which recognizes and respect Nigerian’s sovereignty, assistance to African state in search of solution to their problems and encouragement of the development of their common tires among all African states to foster co-operation among countries of Africa in so far it is compatible with Nigerian’s national interest, the defense of our sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the defense and promotion of world peace, the promotion...
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