AN APPRAISAL OF THE EFFECT OF DOMESTIC POLICIES ON NIGERIA’S SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, 1999-2007
The foreign policy of a nation is a reflection of its domestic demands, needs and aspirations. Much as there is a relationship between a state domestic policy and those foreign to it, the outcomes in the course of their implementation could turn out to be complementary or simply contradictory. In the case of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in this fourth republic heralding the transition from military dictatorship to civilian rule in 1999, paved the way for democratic dispensation with the leadership endeavouring to steer the nation’s foreign policy in accordance with democratic ethos. This became expedient in order to re-integrate the country into the international community from a pariah state and to embark on economic growth, social infrastructure and development, also the challenge of combating sectional militia and insurgent groups among others are key issues of domestic policies which must be balanced by equally robust external policies. The focus of this paper is to interrogate on whether there was a synergy between domestic and foreign policies or contradictions during the period in question. The methodology is basically qualitative. At the end, it was discovered that the leaders have maintained to a large extent the status quo in the pursuance of the nation’s foreign policy in which case, the domestic policy has dictated the external course of actions
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
National governments of States around the world are known for implementing of programmes and to set agendas for their administration. Driven by such motives, the day-to-day dealings of incumbent administrations are targeted at actualizing their goals and objectives in the process of governing their countries. While some of the goals can be attained by the States on their own, (Nwankwo, 2013: 212) in most cases, they seek the active cooperation and sometimes assistance of other States in order to achieve their national objectives. Because of this, a State necessarily has to be in communication with its external environment (Ojo & Sesay, 2002:113). Theoretically, a State’s domestic and foreign policy are complementary. Though, the former is to be implemented in the domestic environment, that is, within the territory of that State while the latter is designed for the international milieu. Though both policies often enjoy a smooth relationship, a State domestic policy can sometimes run contrary to those that are foreign oriented. It is on these premises that this paper would be analyzing the domestic and foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the fourth republic Writing on Nigeria’s international relations, Alao (2011: 21) remarked that since the return of democracy in 1999, Nigeria has focused on developing strategic partnerships with traditional, and emerging global powers, to support its domestic priorities. It has strengthened old relations and developed new ones, and has tried to balance its role as a regional and continental power, which addresses domestic concerns. No wonder as commented by Okerafor (2011), Chief Obasanjo’s foreign policy objectives were easily identifiable. For instance, his number one priority was to restore or repair where necessary so that Nigeria can regain its position as a key player in the committee of nations. An image of gross irresponsibility, inherited through General Sani Abacha’s five years of totalitarianism, had to be fixed. Most of the country’s economic partners, especially the prominent ones like the United States, European Union, Commonwealth of Nations, World Bank and the I.M.F had to be brought back. On the part of his successor, Yar’ Adua, he moved swiftly after taking office to engage the rebels in the Niger Delta, who had led violent campaign of sabotage against the oil industry since 2006… The unrest in that region had reduced Nigeria’s oil output by a fifth and helped drive up world oil price (Arizona-Ogwu, 2008). But following the death of President Umar Yar’Adua, Jonathan’s administration was caught in between a domestic environment of sectional centrifugal forces. Unfortunately for him, combating the insurgent terrorist group, the Boko Haram was a serious distraction to the pursuit of his vision 20:2020, a repackaged economic initiative of President Umar Yar’Adua with the goal of moving Nigeria from the disadvantaged third world status to the league of the top twenty leading economies in the world by the year 2020.
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
There are three concepts which not only capture the whole essence of this paper but have been repeatedly used in its analysis. The three are: domestic policy, foreign policy and national interest.
i) Domestic Policy
Beginning with the concept of policy,
Akinboye & Ottoh (2005: 115) viewed policy as a course of action or a reasoned choice emerging from the consideration of competing options. Looking at domestic policy in this context, domestic policy can be said to be the course of action which a state’s government not only formulates but also implements within its territory. Policy in this respect becomes public policy. Several Political Scientists have given scholarly definitions to the concept. According to Friedrich (1963:79), public policy is a proposed course of action of a person, group, or government within a given environment providing obstacles and opportunities which the policy was proposed to utilize and overcome in an effort to reach a goal or realize the objective or a purpose. Anderson (1975: 3) also shared similar view with Friedrich, perceiving public policy to be a purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors in dealing with problem or matter of concern. In all, domestic or public policy is whatever governments choose to door not to do (Dye, 1978: 3).
ii) Foreign Policy
According to Aluko (1981), nobody has really formulated a universally acceptable definition of the concept of foreign policy and probably nobody will succeed in doing so. This notwithstanding, quite a number of scholars in the discipline of International Relations has over the years formulated definitions which are adjudged to represent the concept of foreign policy. For instance, Modelski (1962: 6) explained that a State’s foreign policy is the system of activities evolved by communities for changing the behaviour of other states and for adjusting their own activities to the international environment. While Frankel (1963, 9), defined foreign policy as referring to those decisions and actions, which involve, to an appreciable extent, relations between one state and others. Unlike the above intellectuals, Northedge, (1968:15)opted for a more simplified definition. Accordingly, he defined foreign policy as interplay between the outside and the inside. Therefore, it can be concluded that the decisions in form of actions or reactions, dealing with such matters requiring cooperation and or active support of others across the borders of a given State for their attainment, fall within the ambit of foreign policy (Nwankwo, 2013: 212). Domestic and foreign policy when placed side by side are set of policies interconnected and flowing one to the other.